Online dating is big business.
The most popular online dating website boasts 23.5 million users, and according to research from Badoo.com millennials spend an average of 10 hours every single week on dating applications.
If you have a great idea for a dating website, then you have a huge potential audience.
While there’s no shortage of dating websites for people to choose from, a newcomer with a great idea can still grab a huge chunk of the market. In 2018, 22-year old web developer Harry Dry launched a Kanye West-themed dating website, where lovelorn singles could search for a partner - but only if they appreciate “the genius Mr. Kanye West” and definitely not if they’re a fan of Taylor Swift.
This Yeezy Dating website caught the attention of popular news outlets, including The Guardian, The New York Post, Mashable and Vice. According to the site’s creator, the press attention alone saw Yeezy Dating gain 5,000 users in just a few days.
So, you have a great (or maybe just an amusing) idea for a dating app - in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to bring your idea to life without writing any code!
By the end of this article, you’ll have built a website where people can register, create a dating profile, browse a Member’s Directory of other singles, and send an instant message to anyone who catches their eye.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to quickly and easily create an online dating WordPress website where users can exchange messages in real time.
Online dating revolves around creating a profile and connecting with other users, so we need to give people a way to register with our website and manage their membership.
To provide this functionality, we’ll be creating the following webpages using WordPress, CometChat Go and the free Ultimate Member plugin:
We can quickly and easily generate all the above webpages, using the free Ultimate Member plugin for WordPress:
At this point, you have all the pages required to provide membership functionality, but depending on how your website is setup it may not currently be possible for users to navigate between these pages.
To ensure the Ultimate Member pages are always within easy reach, I’m going to add them to a menu that’ll appear along the top of my website.
You can help visitors navigate your WordPress website, by adding menus.
While building this menu, I’m also going to edit some of the pages’ navigational labels to better reflect their contents - specifically, I’m changing “User Profiles” to “My Profile,” and “Account” to “Settings.”
Ultimate Member generates the registration, login and profile editing forms automatically. By default these forums are pretty sparse, so you may want to add some extra fields.
Since we’re developing a dating site, you might add fields where the user can specify their birthday, geographical location, and provide some information about the kind of partner they’re looking for. For my website, I’ve added two custom fields to the profile editing form: one where the user can write a short bio, and another where they can answer the question “who is your dream dinner guest?”
You can add a wide range of custom fields to your Ultimate Member forms. I’m creating “Bio” and “Dinner guest” fields, which will appear when the user is editing their profile.
The process of creating fields will be largely the same, regardless of the kind of field you have in mind, so you can use the following instructions to create all kinds of custom forms:
Now, when the user is editing their profile they’ll have access to two new custom fields.
The best way to connect with a potential new partner is to strike up a conversation!
While your users could make a connection by exchanging messages or even emails, you can provide a much better user experience by letting them communicate in real-time.
You can quickly and easily add live chat to your dating website, using the CometChat Go plugin.
If you haven’t already purchased CometChat Go, then you can grab your license now, or they offer a free 7-day trial, so you can see exactly what the plugin has to offer, and then decide whether it’s right for you.
If you’ve just purchased CometChat Go, then the first step is uploading it to your WordPress website:
At this point, your website already has live chat functionality!
If you open any webpage, then you’ll see the CometChat Go popup in the bottom-right corner. Anyone who visits your dating website can now view a list of everyone who’s online, and send instant messages to any of these people in real-time.
However, this isn’t how people tend to use dating websites. The majority of your users will want to browse the Member’s Directory, and then send private messages to specific users - they’re unlikely to pick a random person from a list of everyone who’s currently online!
To provide a better user experience, I’m going to add a “Send me a message!” link to every user’s profile. Whenever someone clicks this link, it’ll launch a private CometChat Go session with this specific user, making it easy to reach out to someone after viewing their profile.
You can send any user a private message, by opening their profile and clicking the “Send me a message” link.
To deliver this functionality, we’ll need to add some code to the “User” page and the Ultimate Member plugin’s template - but I’ll be providing the exact code you need, so you can copy/paste it straight into your WordPress account.
Firstly, we need to add a docked CometChat Go window to the user profile page:
Every time someone clicks the “Send me a message” link, CometChat Go needs to identify the profile this person is currently viewing, and then launch a private chat session with this particular user.
In this section, we’re going to edit the Ultimate Member templates so that CometChat Go can dynamically retrieve the profile’s all-important user ID:
And that’s it! If you navigate to any user profile, then it should now feature a “Send me a message” link; click this link and CometChat Go will launch a new private chat window with this specific user.
In this tutorial, we built a dating website from scratch without writing any code.
If you’ve been following along, then users will now be able to register with your website, create a dating profile, browse a Member’s Directory and send private instant messages to other users in real-time, using CometChat Go.
Now the rest is up to you! Regardless of whether you have an idea for an innovative, cutting-edge feature that’s completely new to the world of online dating, or a gimmick to rival Yeezy Dating; you’ve laid the foundations for a successful dating website. Now it’s time to really bring your vision to life, and make your website stand out from the crowd.
If you do use this tutorial to kickstart your online dating project, then we’d love to see your creations! Why not Tweet @CometChat and @Makerpad so we can share your work.