Choosing Between the Two for the Best Dating Possibilities

In the early 2000s, the major rift in the online dating world was between paid and free sites. While some required a monthly fee for access, others got by on advertising revenue and offered users free platforms.

Today, the rift is not between free and paid, but local and general. From city-specific sites to country-based domains and localized versions of major websites, the online dating industry seems to be moving away from generalized dating websites and focusing its efforts on capturing local markets.

Comparing the Benefits of Local Online Dating Websites to General Ones

Local online dating websites seem like great prospects. There, single people are closer together, much more interested in meeting one-another, and generally dislike the prospect of having to drive 300 miles to see their date. However, there is always a lack of selection that comes with ultra-local dating websites and region-specific dating access.

For single people who live in a relatively small city, the number of choices that are open to them is much smaller than for those living in major population centers and urban zones. Whereas one website might provide access to thousands of potential dates, others could be limited to hundreds of dates, and only tens of potential partners. After all, isn't love something that knows no geographical bounds?

While going for local certainly wins in terms of convenience, the limiting factors make it a difficult choice for some to make. Part of relationships, particularly online connections, is contrast and difference, and sometimes a difference in location is something that can lead to a greater connection and more personal experience.

From multi-country romances to coast-to-coast travel relationships, the world of online dating websites is full of stories about couples meeting from all across the world and all around the country. Part of what makes ultra-local dating websites so popular (and also ultra-niche interest dating websites) is the level of connection that they can provide.

Most dating websites are relatively general – it is a requirement to achieve the size they need for profitability – and this generality and size makes it difficult to find matches that are specific. While single people can search by interests and by location, the ability to isolate certain features and interests is more difficult than on a smaller, more local website.

Deciding Between General vs. Local Online Dating Websites

With many large online dating websites featuring local sections, and sometimes even localized spin-offs for certain areas, the competition between the two types of websites is becoming more dynamic. Even the biggest dating websites are beginning to offer ultra-specific targeting options, making the gap between local-by-design dating websites and those that are able to be localized even thinner.

So, which is best? In the end, it comes down to what single people want from an online dating website. For those who do not have time to run targeted searches on a major online dating website, the local option will almost always be the better one. However, for those who value selection possibilities and don't mind spending time searching online, general dating sites might provide more value.