The GoodHuge memberbase • Lots of active profiles • Lots of search features • Very few fake profiles • Lets you know if your message has been read • Free to use
The BadSmall/Low quality profile images • No recent activity date • Somewhat limited search options • Can't tell if you've messaged somebody before • All messages are automatically deleted after a month
Plenty of Fish was started in 2003 and has been one of the top online dating sites ever since. The most appealing part of Plenty of Fish is that it is both one of the most active dating websites on the Internet and that it is entirely free. Plenty of Fish offers all the options and features you would expect to find in an online dating site: you can create fully customizable profiles, upload images, message other users and buy them gifts.
While many people claim that Plenty of Fish is barely 1 step up from MySpace, such a claim is hardly substantiated. While there are lots of people on the site that aren't necessarily looking for "dating" or "serious relationships", these hardly get in the way as it entirely possible to only browse through people who are looking for the type of relationship you are. There are still "plenty of quality fish" on the website, you just have to utilize the site features to only search for these types of people.
Plenty of Fish is a fully functional online dating website that is 100% free. With the free membership virtually all of the site's features are unlocked. However, they do offer a paid service for members that are more serious, or at least want to appear that way. This service is $9.80 per month and basically makes your profile stand out a bit more than other profiles. Despite becoming a premium member, free members are still able to communicate and message these premium members, so it really doesn't treat you any different other than making you stand out a bit more and show others that you are serious enough to pay money.
For a free dating site Plenty of Fish offers a wide range of features. Some of these features include in-site messaging, profile images, customizable profile information, search by interests, ethnicity and lots of other features.
A nice feature that Plenty of Fish offers that many other dating sites do not is the ability for you to check if your messages have been read or not. After you send a message to somebody you are able to see if they read your message, if they read and deleted your message or if they deleted your message without even reading it. This type of feedback is helpful while trying out different types of messages.
Something that can be both good and bad with Plenty of Fish is the profile images. For some strange reason profile images are terribly small and low quality. Many times it is hard to make out who you are looking at and really pick up on the subtleties of their appearance. For some people this could obviously be a good thing, but for others it could be a bad thing. For such an important part of a dating site, however, you would think that this would be one of the best parts of the site. But sadly, images on Plenty of Fish is definitely not a strong point.
Another missing feature is knowing if you've messaged somebody before. On many other dating sites (OkCupid in particular) you know when and if you've messaged somebody or not. There is no indicator on their profile or way for you to know if you have messaged somebody other than going through your sent messages section and looking for that particular person. This is fine and all, however...
...All your messages are deleted after a month. So this means that if you have messaged somebody a couple months back you won't know it, or be able to see what you said. This can be a big problem if you are looking to see if you have talked to this person in the past, and if so, what you said.
The search options on Plenty of Fish are pretty good. You are able to refine the search by location, age, ethnicity, height and lots of other features. As a whole searching through Plenty of Fish is pretty straightforward, however, if there had to be a frustration with searching it would have to be the keyword search.
The keyword search feature only will search through profiles that have an interest with the exact word you search for. So if you want to find somebody who is into "Tennis" if they were to put "Playing Tennis" as an interest on their profile they would not come up in your keyword search of "Tennis" even though they obviously enjoy tennis. The keyword search feature will not search through words on the actual profile, so in this regard it is kind of weak.
Aside from this minor problem, browsing your way through Plenty of Fish is pretty straightforward and easy.
Overall I think Plenty of Fish is a good site. The best free dating site? I'm not sure, but definitely one of them. I think it gets a lot of bad heat because it is so popular and it isn't really managed as well as it could be. Yes, it has some advertisements and could use some larger profile images, but these aren't super large problems. People are obviously still using the site on a steady basis and it continues to be one of the largest free dating sites online. It has to be doing something right. With Plenty of Fish you get exactly what you would expect: a free dating sites with lots of members and good activity. I'd say give it a go if you're looking to get your feet wet in the online dating world.