Learn how you can create and launch a totally niche dating site on WordPress with this incredible plugin.
If you’ve always been a natural matchmaker, you might want to launch your own dating site. There are plenty of hopeful singles looking for intimate connections, and this type of platform can bring the right couples together.
However, if you don’t have web design experience, you might not know where to start.
The good news is that creating a successful dating site and helping people find love can be simple. By limiting your singles pool to a specific niche, you can boost match rates.
And you can create and launch your dating site and customize memberships with MemberPress.
In this post, we’ll discuss why you might want to start a dating site. Then we’ll show you how to do this in five simple steps with MemberPress. Let’s get started!
Why You Might Want to Start a Dating Site
Try to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes – single and ready to mingle. What’s the first thing you do? Hop online to search for dating sites, of course! You might create accounts on Tinder, eHarmony, and OkCupid because you want to meet as many people as possible.
The problem is that about 44.2 million other people are doing the same thing. When you’re trying to find your special someone on a popular dating platform, you’ll likely have to weed through a LOT of bad matches.
Sounds terrible, right? Ultimately, general dating sites give singles too many options. However, you can create a super-specific platform where couples can meet based on a shared interest.
For instance, a site called Bristlr caters to singles who prefer their gentlemen a little wooly. If you have a fondness for facial hair (or have some yourself), this ultra-niche dating site might be right for you.
Choosing an ultra-specific niche can narrow the dating pool for your members and allow them to find more compatible matches. For example, single parents might sign up for SingleParentMeet to find a partner who understands their lifestyle:
The bottom line? From senior to vegan dating, there’s a growing demand for niche dating sites. Many people are tired of looking for love in all the usual places and are eager to find a website that’ll help them narrow things down a bit.
That means you really have unlimited options when it comes to the dating niche you can create. However, keep in mind that there are a ton of competing websites with dating services. So you’ll want to get as niche as you can. The more specific your criteria, the better your chances of success.
How to Start an Ultra Niche Dating Site (In 5 Steps)
Once you decide to put your matchmaking skills to good use, you’re ready to start your ultra-niche dating site. Here’s how to get started!
Step 1: Choose a Niche
To stand out from generic dating sites, you’ll need to define a very specific niche. This will encourage users to sign up for your website rather than resort to a popular service.
You might consider creating a dating site based on your personal interests. If you have specific requirements when it comes to your partners, there’s a good chance someone else does too.
Then, do your research. Look at other ultra-niche dating sites to see if you can provide a service that isn’t already out there. Many popular options focus on meeting people based on their hobbies or passions. Your best bet is to see if you can fill a void in the dating industry.
This is where you’ll really want to flex your creative muscle. Don’t be afraid to get super-niche! You can think of it like long-tail keywords: the more specific you are, the greater the chances your idea will fill a void.
For example, Geek2Geek is a dating service that completely forgoes swiping (right, left, or otherwise). Rather than focusing on a match’s pretty face, users hunt down dates based on similar nerdy interests (now that’s refreshing!).
Finally, consider whether there’s a market for your specific niche. You could take your research to social media and create polls to see if people are interested in your new dating site idea.
Step 2: Create a WordPress Website
After you’ve found a specific niche with a good amount of interest, it’s time to create your dating website. To get started, you’ll need to find a web hosting plan that meets your needs. This will provide you with the server space that allows your site to run.
We recommend using a WordPress-specific host such as WP Engine. That’s because working with an expert in this content management system (CMS) will help ensure that your site is always optimized for fast loading times and maximum security.
Plus, this type of hosting plan will typically allow you to register a domain name and auto-install WordPress, all in the same setup process.
When choosing a domain name, you want to make sure it aligns with your niche and informs visitors what your website is about. However, feel free to have fun with it. You can choose a quirky play on words, such as Plenty of Fish, as long as it still gives information about your specific niche.
After you install and log in to WordPress, you’ll need to choose a theme. It’s best to select one that’s lightweight and performance-optimized. That way, visitors won’t be deterred by slow-loading pages.
You’d also be wise to consider whether a certain theme matches the design goals of your dating site:
After that, you can use a website builder to personalize your pages. We recommend Elementor due to its responsive, front-end editing, and customizable features:
With Elementor, you can simply drag and drop widgets or pre-designed templates onto a page. This makes it one of the best plugins for designing custom membership sites.
Step 3: Set Up Membership Plans and Access Rules
When setting up your dating site, you’ll need to consider how to monetize it. Here are some business plan options to help you set up a profitable website:
- Paid: Charge a monthly subscription or a one-time registration fee for memberships.
- Free: Collect revenue from advertising rather than memberships.
- Freemium: Provide basic access to the site, but restrict certain features to paying members.
Usually, dating sites restrict access to registered users only. This ensures that personal profiles won’t be publicly accessible.
Regardless of the option you choose, you can create and manage restricted content with our MemberPress plugin. This enables you to set up memberships, create paywalled content, and even offer coupons:
After you download and activate MemberPress, start by creating a membership. You can do this by navigating to MemberPress > Memberships > Add New:
Then, give your membership a title and use the text box below to advertise the benefits of this specific membership. Next, set a price under Membership Terms on the right. You can choose whether users will pay a one-time fee or a recurring subscription:
For recurring billing, you can choose how often you will charge your customers. You can even set a free-trial period so users can test out your dating site before purchasing:
Then, scroll down to Membership Options. Here, you can customize the registration button text, payment options, and welcome email:
Finally, click on the Permissions tab. This will allow you to edit who can purchase your memberships:
We recommend setting subscription purchase rules to Everyone. However, you can also limit purchases to guests or members only. If you need to create restrictions on certain content, consider creating rules.
Step 4: Get the BuddyPress Addon
The key to running a successful dating site is allowing users to contact each other. This way, they can break the ice and arrange in-person dates without having to give out their phone numbers.
You can easily connect your users by way of the BuddyPress plugin. This is a flexible software designed for building online communities. That means it will allow your singles to create personal profiles and message other people.
Then, go to the MemberPress settings and find the BuddyPress tab. Here, select Enable BuddyPress integration. Then click on Update Options:
Now, registered users can go to their account pages, where they’ll see options to customize their profile. You can also configure BuddyPress to add groups and hide profiles from general visitors.
Step 5: Create a Blog Page
Finally, consider adding a blog to your ultra-niche dating site. This can be an effective way to connect with your audience. You can share dating tips, advice on how to use your site, or other informative (and even fun) content.
When you make a publicly accessible blog, it can help drive more organic traffic to your website. That’s because publishing blog posts can improve your search rankings, especially if you’re using high-performing keywords and earning backlinks.
Plus, you can easily share blog posts on social media. This can be one of the best ways to establish your brand, attract new users, and grow your clientele.
To start building your online presence, you can use Elementor to design a blog page. Then you can create content with the WordPress Block Editor. Also, if you want to make your blog exclusive to registered users, you can limit its access rules in MemberPress.
Lots of people have unique preferences that make them swipe left too often on general dating apps. By creating an ultra-niche dating site, you can help even out the odds for frustrated singles searching for that perfect someone.
Let’s quickly recap the five steps to setting up a niche dating site:
- Choose a niche.
- Create a website with WordPress and Elementor.
- Set up your dating membership plans and access rules with MemberPress.
- Get the BuddyPress addon to enable user communication.
- Create a blog page to grow your audience.
Do you have any questions about starting your own dating site? Ask us in the comments section below.
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