A significant distinguishing factor between dating sites eHarmony and Match.com is that eHarmony is designed specifically to match single men and women for long-term relationships, while Match.com is open to casual, short-term, and long-term relationships, as well as to LGBT profiles. eHarmony does not support LGBT profiles.

Moreover, eHarmony does not allow members to browse for matches or communicate directly with each other. The site uses member preferences and an elaborate compatibility questionnaire to match candidates and only allows communication between profiles that match. Match.com is more like a social website; it does have its own search algorithm and suggestions, but it also allows members to browse through profiles and contact other members.

Comparison chart

Match.com versus eHarmony comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMatch.comeHarmony
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Introduction Match.com is an online dating service with for casual to long-term relationships. eHarmony is an online dating website designed specifically to match single men and women for long-term relationships.
Type of site Online dating service Online dating service
Website http://www.match.com/ http://www.eharmony.com/
Number of Members 21.5 million 15.5 million
Type of Relationship members seek Dating, casual hook-up, short-term, long term. Long-term.
LGBT Match.com is open to LGBTQ profiles. eHarmony is not open to LGBT profiles.
Matching Algorithm Based on profile matches and search criteria filled out by members. Members may browse and contact other members via "wink, " email or IM. "29 dimensions of compatibility" -- comprehensive questionnaire all users fill out Core traits – emotional temperament, social style, cognitive mode, physicality Vital attributes -- relationship skills, values and beliefs, key experiences.
Communication permissions Free to view matches, but must sign up to contact other members – may "wink" at other members for free, but contact stops there Allows blocking Free to view matches, but must sign up to contact other members Allows declining of match.
Pricing $35.99/month for basic; increases with plans with better features. Works out cheaper per month (as low as $17.99) with longer membership commitment. $59.99/month for basic; increases with plans with better features. Works out cheaper per month (as low as $19.99) with longer membership commitment.
Top User Age Group 35-44 (27%) 18-24 (30%)
Largest Ethnicity Caucasian (77%) Caucasian (77%)
Education 42% bachelor's; 17% graduate degree 45% bachelor's; 15% graduate degree
Dating Categories 50+ Dating, Black Dating, Single Parents, Christian Dating, Jewish Dating, Asian Dating, Gay Dating, Lesbian Dating Yahoo Personals, Personals, Asian Dating, Black Dating, Christian Dating, Senior Dating, Jewish Dating, Hispanic Dating, Compatible Partners, International Dating.
Available in U.S. + 60 countries U.S. + 120 countries
Commercial? Yes Yes
Registration Required Required
Launched 1995 2000
Alexa rank 373 (April 2013) 3,459 (February 2013)

Membership

Members on eHarmony are typically looking for long-term relationships. To join, users must fill out a comprehensive questionnaire. eHarmony conducts all searches for its members – users don't have the option of searching or browsing profiles themselves. Members communicate through the website. eHarmony generates matches based on a compatibility test and profile criteria that members fill out. The site sends email alerts when new matches are found.

Members on Match are looking for dates, hook-ups and long-term relationships. Match leaves the search up to the individual members. New users create a profile and enter search criteria. The site matches them to other members based on these criteria. However, members also have the option of conducting searches on their own based on search filters. For communication, members may "wink" at others, email or IM.

Profiles

eHarmony profiles include basics, such as age, height, hair color, eye color, body type and ethnicity. Profiles also include relationship history, whether the member has children, whether they smoke or drink and their location. Members may add up to 12 photos. Members also answer questions to show their personality, choose must-have values and choose activities and interests. eHarmony profiles also include information from their "29 Dimensions of Compatibility Test." While the main site is not open to the LGBT population, eHarmony refers them to a companion site, Compatible Partners.

Match is open to the LGBT community. Match profiles include basics, such as age, height, hair color, eye color, body type and ethnicity. Profiles also include sexual orientation, relationship status, whether the member has children, whether they smoke or drink, and their location. Members write an open-ended essay about themselves and their match. Profiles may include interests, exercise habits, hobbies, political views, education, faith, background values, and whether the member has or even likes pets. Users may add up to 26 photos and even import photos from Facebook.

Communication restrictions

While it is free for new users on eHarmony to view their matches, they must sign up for one of the paid plans to initiate contact wtih other members. Members have the potential to decline a match, meaning all contact stops.

Match.com also offers free viewing of matches, but new users must sign up for a paid plan to email or IM other members. They may "wink" at members, but even paying members may not contact them until they've signed up for a membership. Like eHarmony, Match allows members to block other members from contacting them.

Matching Algorithm

eHarmony uses what it calls "29 dimensions of compatibility" based on a compatibility test. The algorithm looks at core traits such as emotional temperament, social style, cognitive mode and physicality. It also looks at vital attributes such as relationship skills, values and beliefs and key experiences. eHarmony makes matches based on this compatibility test and profile criteria members fill out. The site sends email alerts when new matches are found.

Match also offers some services for matching but the search and browse features are more popular on Match.com. Members may conduct a quick search based on age, location, keywords found in profiles, photos and whether members are currently online. Their custom searches include many options, such as appearance, interests, background, values and lifestyle. Another feature is the Date Spark Search. Members come up with an idea for a date and search for others' date ideas. Match also has some other matching criteria:

Price and Operating Model

Both eHarmony and Match offer a number of pricing plans, and renewal is automatic. Members must cancel if they don't want to renew. With both, some members have complained of being auto-renewed even after canceling the membership.

eHarmony Pricing

eHarmony offers the most options for price and services with their Basic, Total Connect and Premium Plans. eHarmony members also have the option of purchasing a Basic Plan and adding other services. They can add other services to their subscription such as:

Basic Plan

The Basic Plan offers full access to the dating website plus the 29-point compatibility matching. Its pricing structure:

Total Connect Plan

The Total Connect Plan offers the same services as the Basic Plan plus a deeper analysis of users' personalities, the Secure Call feature which allows anonymous phone calling and the Rely ID feature which verifies name, and age for purposes of honesty.

Premier Plan

eHarmony's Premier Plan offers everything from the Total Connect Plan plus an "Ultimate Guarantee" that if users don't find a match in first year, they get another year free. The Premier Plan also includes personalized help from a profile advisor. Premier Plans are for 12 months at $41.95 a month or a single payment of $503.40.

Match.com

Match offers two plans: Standard and Best Value.

Standard Plan

Standard Plan users can view members, contact members and read email from members. The Standard Plan costs $35.99 a month, $19.99 a month with a three-month commitment and $17.99 a month with a six-month commitment.

Best Value Plan

Match's Best Value Plan offers the same features as the Standard Plan, plus a highlighted profile and "first impressions" services. The 6-month plan comes with the "Match.com Guarantee," meaning if users don't find someone in the first six months, the next six months are free. The Best Value Plan costs $23.99 a month with a three-month commitment and $19.99 a month with a six-month commitment.

Dating Categories Available

Both eHarmony and Match have several dating categories available. eHarmony allows users to specify according to the following within the site:

In addition to offering Yahoo Personals and Match Personals to its members, Match allows users to specify according to the following categories:

Statistics

Both eHarmony and Match offer their own statistics. eHarmony promotes that its site is responsible for 5 percent of all U.S. marriages. Of couples who met on a dating site then married, 25 percent met on eHarmony. Of marriages that started on a dating site, 3.86 percent of eHarmony's result in divorce, the lowest percentage of all sites.

Match promotes that one date in 1,369 leads to marriage. Of couples who met on a dating site, 30 percent met on Match. 42% of the matches result in dates, and 35% of the matches result in relationships of three or more months.

Member Demographics

By Age

eHarmony has 15,500,000 members, 47% men and 53% women. Concerning age range, the members fall into the following demographics:

Match has 21,575,000 members, 49% men and 51% women. Concerning age range, the members fall into the following demographics:

By Ethnicty

eHarmony members come from all 50 states and 150 countries. Concerning ethnicity, they fall into the following demographics:

Match members come from all 50 states and from 60 countries. The ethnicity demographics:

By Education

40% of eHarmony members have a high school diploma, 45% graduated with a bachelor's degree, and 15% have a graduate degree.

41% of Match.com members have high school diplomas, 42% have bachelor's degrees and 17% have graduate degrees.

Popularity

Traffic statistics for Match.com and eHarmony, as estimated by SimilarWeb.
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Traffic statistics for Match.com and eHarmony, as estimated by SimilarWeb.

References

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