Here's a little list of dating software and white label dating service providers for those who are considering starting their own dating site or switching services.
Dating Software - Aewebworks, Asp.net Dating, DateApp, Datetopia, Dating.lt, Datingsoft, Datingpro, DatingSoftware.biz, E-classifieds, Emeeting, Silver, Skadate, Vldpersonals, Wazzum, Webscribble
White Label Dating Services - Dating Beyond, Dating Central, Dating Factory, DZOIC (powers cancermatch.com), Infinity Personals, Social Engine, Spring Street Networks (owned by Friendfinder), Vintacom / Relationship Exchange, White Label Dating, World Dating Partners
If you want to Build Your Own Social Network, check this list of providers out.
In general I recommend against using software for starting a dating service. There are a lot of hidden costs. It may well be possible to get a dating service up and running for under $1000, but that's only 1% of your costs. Then it needs supporting, bug fixes, and most importantly, you need to build the service to critical mass.
Think of a dating service as a shop. Someone walks into your freshly built dating shop and they look around. Well, it's a nice shop, but what's on your shelves. They can IM, they can select and gather prospective matches and do a compatibility test... Great! But, um, where's the people. They look at your shelves and see the profiles are covered in cobwebs. The people you have on your shelves are unresponsive because you stocked your shop with old stock. People who have been married for three years, people who have moved onto other dating sites... You bought the starter database online. Nice profiles, but they are dud profiles. Consequently, the person who just walked into your shop is not impressed. Great site, nice graphics, cool name, but wtf. All your profiles are dud and noone ever responds. They might stick around, and they might even spend one months membership, but in general, they will run quickly once they find your site has no responsive people on it.
I recommend starting with a white label dating service. If you have it in your mind that you want to eventually start your own service, you should negotiate with them up front about the terms for eventually pulling a copy of the profiles of the members you generate into the network, away for yourself. They will allow you to take a copy, so you'll have live profiles, but they won't let you take their profile, and their membership income. On the whole, when you look at the amount of money it costs to set up customer service and deal with keeping a site cutting edge, the white label dating services generally offer a great alternative to software.
Your main concerns are in getting the best % cut possible, both on initial orders, recurring orders and renewals. Be careful on that one. Some services will pay you on renewals, but not reorders, or may pay you a lower cut of reorders, or not be very effective at tracking orders. Here's the difference between reorders and renewals. If someone joins your site as a paying member, they pay a fee. That's the initial order. They will probably opt to pay on a monthly basis. Those fees are the renewals. They will probably quit their membership after three months of paying dues. Then several months later, if you provided a great service to them the first time round, they might come back for another round of membership. Those fees collected are counted as reorders.
- Mark Brooks