At A Glance
Match is the first dating site in the world and also one of the most popular. Available in various countries and multiple languages, it impresses with a huge user pool. A lengthier sign-up process, manual approval, and more mature users make it the go-to site if you’re looking for long-term relationships and marriage.
POF has also been around for some time, although it’s much younger than Match. This free online dating service caters to a vast audience but attracts a lot of members who’re more interested in casual dating and hookups. This doesn’t mean you can’t find true love on it. You can; all it takes is a thorough profile explaining exactly what you’re looking for.
How to Choose a Dating Site
Choosing a dating site shouldn’t be taken lightly. The world is full of allegedly serious dating platforms that are nothing but scams.
Going for a big name and selecting a dating site that has been around for a while is one of the main requisites for finding the right dating platform for you.
Perhaps the main thing to decide is whether you should pay for the service or not.
As you can imagine, there is a huge difference between free and paid platforms.
Besides the wealth of features and functionalities you get if you opt for a paid service, you also have higher chances of finding a match on a website you pay to use.
The reason is simple.
If someone is serious about finding true love, they’ll go over and beyond to reach their objective.
This means paying for an online dating service.
On the contrary, if someone looks majorly for casual dating or hookups, they’ll probably choose the free service.
The former is the most renowned paid service. The latter its free counterpart. Which is more popular and which performs better? Which one do I recommend? Find it out in this head-to-head competition that can only have one definitive winner.
Starting off this contest between two giants, the first thing I checked was the availability of each service. After all, you want to swim in the pond with the big fish, so to say.
Match has been around for over 20 years, since 1995, and is currently available in 25 countries. It’s translated in several languages and caters to an international pool of users.
POF is more recent. It was launched in 2003 in Canada, from where it reached 20 countries. We could say that’s impressive, but it’s still less than Match. So, Match wins our first round.
|Match||25 countries||Read review|
|POF||20 countries||Read review|
Plenty of Fish is a free dating site; you might think it’s highly popular and that it can easily beat a service you pay for, isn’t that right? Apparently, it isn’t POF scores 3.5 million visits per months. It has much more members, but many of them are inactive.
To contrast with its competitor, Match boasts 35 million monthly visit. Still a 3 and a 5, but with no dot to separate them.
Match is so popular not only because of its age. It has plenty of success stories behind it. Many couples declare to have found true love on Match, and that’s what singles are typically looking for.
POF brags with some success stories, too, but it seems that the paid platform inspires more trust. An important requisite if you want to have success in the online dating world.
|Match||35 million||Read review|
|POF||3.5 million||Read review|
When it comes to signing up, POF outweighs Match and claims a point of its own, thanks to its no-frills registration.
You need nothing to become an active member on Plenty of Fish. Just input your details, select a username and password, fill in the short questionnaire, and you’re good to go in about 15 minutes. As soon as you registered, you can start messaging the members and look for a date.
Match is much more complex. The registration alone takes up to 60 minutes. Sure, the platform uses your answers to find you a perfect match, but still. The questionnaire might be annoying, and when you’re done, you have to go through a manual verification process that can take up to 72 hours.
While the quality of matches is higher on Match, you might still prefer the speedy registration POF offers. So POF scores a point.
|Match||60 minutes||Read review|
|POF||10-15 minutes||Read review|
Moving on with our head-to-head contest, Match reclaims its position and impresses with a wide variety of features POF can only dream of.
Since it’s a paid site, Match has to attract users somehow. And it does it with a complete plethora of features designed to help you find the one.
Perhaps the most attractive feature is the Match one that sends you daily matches selected just for you. Every day, you’ll get about 10 daily matches directly into your inbox, so you can find your true love easier.
The website also has an attractive hot-or-not kind of game and a variety of search options you can use to find a partner based on the most thorough criteria.
Furthermore, you can even join live events to seek your soul mate in real life rather than online.
POF, on the other hand, has the usual messaging features you’d expect from a dating site, but nothing fancy. Even the paid version is scarce in features, and I would strongly advise against paying for this website.
|Match||Wide variety of features||Read review|
|POF||Multiple features||Read review|
Quality of Matches
There is little to discuss here. Match has a higher member quality, as the ones who’re not really serious about their game will hardly pay for a subscription. The website caters to singles from all walks of life and sexual orientation and is very welcoming for both straight and LGBT community.
POF has lots of members, but some of them may be scams or people not interested in something serious. Moreover, the website is not exactly LGBT-friendly.
|Website||Quality of Matches||Link|
Aesthetics and Interface
From an aesthetic point of view, Match simply stands out. It’s made for the desktop but comes with a fresh, contemporary aesthetics that make it worthy of a design prize. In comparison, POF looks a little outdated.
However, keep in mind that Match is a bit harder to navigate. Not because of its design, but because of the multiple features it offers, which might create some confusion. I still like Match’s aesthetics better than POF; thus, Match claims this round too.
|Website||Aesthetics and Interface||Link|
|Match||Beautiful visuals||Read review|
|POF||Intuitive interface||Read review|
It is rather unfair to compare a free website with a paid service. However, POF has a premium membership too.
If you try to decide between Match and the upgraded version of POF, the latter is cheaper. The price difference is not substantial if you opt for the minimum period, but if you want to save a buck, POF is the way to go.
|Match||Subscription length||Price/month||POF||Subscription length||Price/month|
|Read review||Three months||$19.99||Read review||Two months||$19.35|
|Six months||$16.99||Four months||$12.75|
|12 months||$15.99||Eight months||$10.18|
Who Is It For?
Both dating sites address straight as well as LGBT individuals – at least in theory. When it comes to the facts, POF is little inviting for the LGBT community. The website didn’t update its subscription option and did nothing during the past years to make lesbians, gay, and people with different sexual views feel comfortable here.
Match also defines sexes as men and women only, but it’s a lot friendlier towards the community than POF.
|Website||Who Is It For||Link|
|Match||Straight men and women + LGBT individuals||Read review|
|POF||Straight men and women||Read review|
And The Winner Is…
In case you didn’t figure it out already, the golden crown goes to Match. This dating site has it all. It’s more popular, covers more countries, it has a host of interesting features, higher quality members, and is friendly to the LGBT community.
POF, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired in these sectors. It does have lower prices, but paying for a premium membership is really not worth it.
In the end, though, the final decision is down to you.
Would you go for a paid service or try the free website first?
Tell me in a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.
And before you go, don’t forget to share this article with your single friends. They might like it too.