I recently helped a client move an existing dating site from a custom ASP/MS-SQL system to an off the shelf PHP/mysql platform.

The off the shelf software we ended up choosing was SkaDate.  I haven’t really found a good review of SkaDate out there, so I asked Max Chadwick to collaborate with me on a review.  (Max provided some design, system configuration and project management, and I focused on back end system setup and data migration.)  Updated 4/2: We used SkaDate 7.5, versions 1485 and 1550.

Note that we had a challenge not present for a typical SkaDate installation: migrating ~1100 user accounts (and mail messages) from one unknown system to another.  I had to learn two very different data models and map from one to the other.  On a fixed bid project.  Whoops.

Oh well, live and learn.

Skadate pluses:

  • Price: this is a big one.  You get a lot of features for only $350.
  • Technology: it is built on the LAMP stack, so there are a lot of developers out there who can help you extend the platform.
  • Support: they have a client site with some useful PDF documentation.
  • Had a defined and documented upgrade procedure (even though it was a hassle).
  • Changing look and feel was relatively easy; we went with one of the many predefined templates and only had to hack a little bit of CSS and a couple of images.
  • Caching: SkaDate caches of php files and css.  Performance was reasonably snappy on a shared hosting account.
  • You get the source code.
  • Version control support: it wasn’t hard to find out which files/directories to pull into version control.
  • Support for 5-6 languages out of the box.  We didn’t use this, though.
  • Geographic features: SkaDate knows a lot about cities and where they are located, around the world.

SkaDate Minuses:

  • Support: they charged $90/hour $95/month for support; I didn’t end up asking them for much help, but the times I did, they immediately wanted ssh access to the server (which tweaked me out).  I’m guessing that SkaDate might be a loss leader for ‘support services’.
  • In general the administrative interface was unintuitive and could use some work.
  • Intricate object and data model: lots of indirection, and because it is PHP, no IDE to help you unravel it.  I discovered this when asked to turn off a particular feature (that didn’t have an admin setting)–I’d have to hunt through 3-4 files to find out where a UI element was set up.
  • Secretive nature: they don’t really give you any documentation until you pay for it; however, they do provide a demo and when I emailed them and explained the situation (“I’m a developer and want enough information to do a bid for a project”) they responded with some of the documentation.
  • They had a new release midway through the project, and then a user found several of the php files had been hacked.  Not exactly confidence inspiring.
  • Initial configuration of the site was complicated: all the site features were turned on and the site was pre-configured with specific payment/membership options. The tricky part was not just turning off features, but figuring out that not only did the feature need to be turned off, but that the navigation needed to be disabled for that same feature on another section of the admin area.
  • Setting up custom dating fields was cumbersome partly because of the poor interface but also because there were a number of dating fields already set up that needed to be removed.
  • The software uses dollar signs ($) in some of the automated directories.  This caused an issue with mod_security on one of the hosts we tried to use; go with one of their suggested hosting providers.

I think SkaDate is a good choice for a basic dating site; if you need just the features in the demo and you’re willing to spend some time unraveling the administration UI and you are on a tight budget. Expect some bugs and frustrations, but hey, you only paid $350!
I would hesitate to use it as a platform for a more fully featured dating site until I’d reviewed the alternatives.

Final grade: B-

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93 thoughts on “Review of SkaDate dating software

  1. Anthony Johnson says:

    It’s now 2:40 PM Eastern and still no update from Skadate support. Their support chat portal has been unmanned all afternoon saying we will get back to you.

    So much for the promises. Even if Skadate hasn’t been able to fix the problem, whtever it is, I expected some sort of update.

    I’m very disapointed.

  2. Anthony Johnson says:

    It’s now 630 PM and I just tried another chat session with Skadate. Still no support reps online.

    The message I get is:

    “There are no operators available at the moment. If you would like to leave a message, please type it in the input field below and click “Send” button. We’ll get back to you shortly.”

    I’ve already left messages twice today so I’m not sending any more.

    I did notice the status of my support ticket went from “On-Hold” to “Open”.

    Maybe there’s still hope.

  3. Anthony Johnson says:

    Well folks the saga continues. I received the email below from Skadate at 2:31 AM. Please read it and my response to them directly below that. I would say this is now the worst support experience I’ve ever had with a software company. (Please note I edited out my email address and the support Ticket ID).

    —–Original Message—–
    From: SkaDate, a Skalfa eCommerce company Pre-Sales
    To: Anthony Johnson; support
    Sent: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 2:31 am
    Subject: [Ticket ID: ] ORDER inquiry/Questionnaire/Installation

    Dear Anthony,

    Thank you for re-sending the letter to Arvixe.
    We’ll be contacting them by ourselves.
    Once they move your account to a different server, we’ll proceed with the installation.

    Kind Regards,
    Andrew
    Sales Operator
    SkaDate.com
    ———————————————-
    Ticket ID: #
    Subject: ORDER inquiry/Questionnaire/Installation
    Status: On Hold
    ———————————————-
    What is the reason for your request to change servers? Arvixe has requested an explanation. They say all their servers are configured the same and the sr technical management is resistant to making a change for fear the same problem will occur on a new server as well.

    Jack from your support team took over working this issue in your absence a day and a half ago. He promised me he would escalate to your technical team. That was a day and a half ago. This is the first message I have received from Skadate in 36 hours and you’ve basically said nothing has been done.

    You should coordinate with Jack to find out what he has done.

    Also, I would like Irene’s contact information sent to me.

    Thanks,

    Anthony

  4. Anthony Johnson says:

    Hello again everyone.

    It’s been a few days since I posted last. The latest update – Arvixe is out! I terminated my service with them. They suffered from what I would call a breakdown in internal communications.

    It turned out the support rep at Skadate had provided them with the information they needed to justify the server change from the very beginning. He provided me with the email and support ticket documentation to prove it. It’s just wasn’t properly communicated internally at Arvixe.

    You know what they say about idle hands….. During those days while I was waiting for Arvixe to get the server moved I started doing research on alternate hosting providers and guess what I found several.

    My new “dedicated” server is being setup as I write this.

    I’m also setting up a new blog where I will copy all these posting. I will post the URL once its up and going.

    Thanks,

    Anthony

  5. J Dawg says:

    What a psycho. If you emailed and chatted with me every 2 hours I’d ignore you too.

  6. Irene I says:

    Dear Anthony,

    Thank you for your feedback. As you’ve said, the problem occurred due to the mishandling of information by Arvixe. Instead of moving you to a new server right after our very first communication with them (just as the first SkaDate support operator correctly figured), the issue traveled several hands inside and outside the company, and was eventually lost in the mix.

    We really regret you had to suffer through this ordeal and hope this will never happen again. We have also contacted Arvixe management and alerted them of the situation. Although we have no way of directly affecting communication within another company, rest assured we will do everything in our power to prevent similar incidents from happening again. After all Arvixe is indeed our recommended hosting provider and works perfectly fine for the vast majority of our clients.

    If you have any further questions or concerns about customer support quality – don’t hesitate to contact me at any time at irene.i@skadate.com.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  7. Manuel Antonio Bazan says:

    We would like to express our warmest thanks to Linda and the support team from Skadate; without their fantastic help, our progress would be almost nil.
    We have sent their way several questions and have received the answers promptly and directly. I know, for the type of questions and help I have requested, that the support team, via Linda, have gone over and above the call of duty, or as the proverbial saying goes: “they have gone the extra mile”.

    We recommend this software and the support that goes with it without reservation.

    Thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts! keep it up!

    Warm Regards,
    Manuel & Leda.

  8. Anthony Johnson says:

    Irene,

    Thanks for your message. The software was installed on Wednesday and is working as described. Many thanks to your team.

    Having spent the last 25 years in the software business (12 years at Oracle, 6 at BMC and with three different startups) I understand and appreciate some the customer support challenges you face.

    In a customers eyes the lines of responsibility can often become blurred when problems occur. All they know is they want the problem solved and don’t really care that a third party may have caused the problem in the first place.

    Looking back I know your team did all it could to expedite the installation process given the circumstances.

    Kind regards,

    Anthony

  9. Leda says:

    Hi, I feel the need to add a few words to the comment that my partner, Manuel Bazan, left on february 9th. I have read a few of the comments left by others and I realize most of you are pros and experts in web design. I am just a simple person, with no degree in computing, with a huge dream which is having a dating site and making it different in many ways from all the others out there. I have to confess I thought it would be impossible to achieve, and there were times I felt we would have to say “no more” and quit. But it was at that time, that the Skadate Team (especially one of their team members, Linda) stepped in and have been our rock and supporting us ever since.
    Let’s face it everyone, there are other places where after you give them your money, they turn their backs on you and I have read TERRIFYING reviews about them. But Skadate, besides providing you with an AMAZING software, they also stand by you on and on!! They really want all of us to make it, people!
    I have also read a few of you complaining about a few things that are not going quite right. To all of you, I feel the need to tell you that it is very rare to find, anywhere, a flawless software. I bet all of you, that even the $3,000 software is imperfect! Heck people! Life is imperfect! But the Skadate team is the closest I have found to perfection. They are there for all of us; they do not abandon us and to me, that is PRICELESS! thanx Skadate… thanx team….thanx Linda 🙂

  10. Manuel Antonio Bazan says:

    Dear Team

    I had posted a very thankful message to Linda and the support team on Thursday, 02.09, however when I came back to this site, there was nothing of my message..? wanted to make sure you had received our commentaries.

    Kind Regards,

    Manuel & Leda
    kissafewfrogs@hotmail.com

  11. moore says:

    Manuel,

    I moderate comments on this site, so that’s why your comment didn’t appear until just now.

  12. humanistar says:

    Hi

    About skadate software.
    How will the softeware run at the internet if there some day are going to be 10.000 users or 1 mio. profils.

    Is that going to be a big problem for the page to run normaly?

  13. Jano says:

    Skadate is amazing. They have the best support team ever, they installed it for me and even guided me through everything else i needed to do. Truly an impressive software and customer support staff.

  14. Marco says:

    Hi Dan,

    interesting post here!

    You mention at some point that Skadate is good for a ‘basic dating site’, do you have some suggestions with regards to something not-so-basic?
    I have a site with roughly 130K members that I MUST move away from Dolphin (the short version is that it sucks , the more detailed includes it being a resources hog, being assembled by different people so if you fix one part then you create a hole elsewhere, the fact that the mobile app does NOT work (click on menu item 2, are taken to display for item 1 and so on, etc etc etc) and have been looking at different options, from VLD to Skadate, AbleDating, VLD, phpfox and socialengine..
    But can’t make up my mind, any suggestions here?

    thx

    Marco

  15. Temple says:

    I would like to document my entire process of going about choosing a software and posting allmy correspondence with their representatives here.

    This is a very important websites for select students of my university – moore, do I have your good will?

    What an awesome thread this is, one wonders how many reviews here are crafted with delicacy and how many are real? Ha ha!!

  16. Jes_Ab says:

    Hello Irene –

    Thanks for coming to this forum and contributing.
    I’m also emailing you directly.
    We are trying to get something together for Temple and another community we are a member of. Im wiling to give Skadate a go – though I have after – 11 days of intense research heard some unsubstantiated claims that I dont trust – about the software being a bit heavy.

    I have the 4 specific pointed questions as the gentleman above me, guess Michael also had – I request your answers to them:

    1. I use Hostgator for all my websites and I only want to use Hostgator with Skadate and nothing else. Would you help set up on Hostgator?

    2. Can I use the same license on both communities? Im not sure whats meant by one database – all my sites have separate databii.

    3. Can I buy mobile edition later (Im assuming for the same price)?

    4. How easy it is to change templates – is it like WP themes to change?

    I look forward to your reply before I pay.

    Thanks,
    J. S.

  17. moore says:

    Hi Marco, I don’t have any other software to suggest. Sorry. Dan

  18. Irene I says:

    Hello everyone!

    First of all, I would like to thank you guys for taking time to post about your SkaDate experience, whether it’s positive or negative. Your feedback is very important.

    And as always, I’ll be glad to answer your questions.

    2humanistar:
    Site performance during high traffic loads involves two aspects: the software architecture and the server capacity and optimization.
    There are some features in the dating software that are likely to slow down the site operation to some extent when its database numbers thousands of members. I’m talking about features like advanced search, chat, shoutbox. But we can’t imagine a good dating site without these features, can we? (although, if you prefer higher load speed to diversity of features – you can always disable unwanted functionality in the Admin Panel). So, that’s where the server part steps in. For proper load-intensive site performance you will need a dedicated server – that’s fair for any standalone software you could think of. Basic shared hosting plans are only good for startups, where you have a maximum of 5-10 members online simultaneously (not to confuse online members with a total number of site users).
    And when we talk about a really serious project with hundreds to thousands simultaneous online connections (online members), you need to consider server optimization, such as installing additional server software (nginx, memcache, eAccelerator), and probably hosting database, static and dynamic content on different servers.
    I apologize for making it a bit too technical, but I hope this will give you a general idea about website scalability.

    2Jes_Ab:
    Let me answer your questions one by one.
    1. Yes, we will be able to install SkaDate to a Hostgator server. We have clients hosting with this company. But in case you have a dedicated or a VPS server, make sure its settings fully comply with our system requirements: http://www.skadate.com/server_requirements.php

    2. Unfortunately, you cannot use one SkaDate license for two or more sites with different member databases.

    3. You can buy the Mobile Edition at any time convenient for you. And for the very same price.

    4. That depends on what you mean by “changing”. If you’re talking about switching from one theme to another – that can be easily done via the Admin Panel tools, with just one click of a button. And if you are talking about design customization – you will need knowledge of CSS and Photoshop to modify templates.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  19. mosted says:

    so what is the point ???skadate is the big scam or not?? i still reviews about skadate before i’ll get to buy skadate and hostgator as the hosting

  20. Dennis says:

    I do not understand how Skadate can sell their product 35% cheaper for 7 day, brag about it. It seems kind of rude to know if you knew about the sale you could get a great deal but if not you must pay the full price $350. Who wants to pay the full price knowing at anytime it could be $100. cheaper?

  21. Erin says:

    Is Skadate even a real company? We bought their software and have had nothing but issues getting it installed. They keep trying to blame it on godaddy so that they can sell us to one of their hosting companies. Did you know that Skadate IS hosted on Godaddy!!!

    They told me they were having trouble installing it for some reason, because they did not have the access. Again, rather than trying…just blaming it on godaddy. I read the skadate installation instructions, changed the setting of one file (as noted in their instructions) and it worked fine. WHY DIDN”T THEY READ THEIR OWN INSTRUCTIONS?

    So, it was working fine. Then I asked them to install mobile. And, it stopped working. They refuse to troubleshoot, and againg, tried to sell us on one of their hosting sites.

    My question is. Is this a real company, or are they just trying to scam us out of money? Is anyone else on Godaddy that can help us? Why is THEIR software working fine on Godaddy. Are they just trying to get people to use their servers so they can make more money?

  22. Skippy says:

    Let’s put this to rest once and for all. I know first hand that the people posting positive reviews here are not who you think they are. They are just SkaDate people/employees posting them to circumvent the negative reviews.

    Personally I do not own SkaDate but what I do know is this. They claim to be in Salem Oregon but the address they use is just a registered address. I do know that they are not located in America. They are Russian based and located in Eastern Europe somewhere. Pretending to be in America is just stupid but hey, I suppose you can’t blame them for wanting to be in the best country in the world! 🙂

    Another thing I do know is that in the hay days of Skadate, they actually stole copyrighted text from another dating software provider and put on their site. This was in the early 2000’s. When asked why they did it, they just said they didn’t but considering I knew the copyrighted text site owner, I could verify this but that was a long time ago.

    So, in closing, keep this in mind. No one posts good reviews about dating software. Jez, all you have to do is check out DatingSoftwareReviews.com and you’ll see that it promotes one product and that product is from a known scammer dating software provider called ABK-Soft.com. They are notorious for scamming people.

    Bottom line is you can’t trust any of these guys at their word. Do your homework before dropping $350 dollars. Contact the BBB to see how they handle complaints.

  23. Irene I says:

    Hello everyone,

    I’d like to start off with saying that NO, SkaDate is not scam. We’ve recently won the runner-up position as the best dating software provider at the iDate Awards, an industry-wide event, sort of like Online Dating Oscars. Saying SkaDate is scam is like saying iDate Awards, and the industry as a whole is scam. So, no, we are not.

    Dennis,

    This is what we call a seasonal promotion. We tend to hold those a couple of times per year. If you are patient enough and don’t need SkaDate software immediately, you can wait for the next round and get the discount. Unfortunately, we cannot reveal when the next round will be held, because it will not be fair to other customers.

    Erin,

    We stated in our hosting recommendations (http://www.skadate.com/hosting.php) that GoDaddy should be avoided at all costs, because we are aware of potential issues when clients chose their service. The problems we encountered usring the site and Mobile Edition installations occurred because of permissions issue on GoDaddy servers. To make the long story short, the problem was fixed after the change of the hosting provider, and we are happy to see your website up and running.

    Now, it is true that on our site we list a few companies as recommended hosting providers. We do that in order to ease the choice for our customers, and refer them to the companies whose servers meet all of our system requirements and are known to work best for 90% of the clients.

    Finally, SkaDate is not (and has never been) hosted on GoDaddy servers. Just to let everyone know, as many other software providers these days, SkaDate is hosted on cloud services.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  24. Irene I says:

    Hello Skippy,

    Comments like yours are nothing new for us or visitors of this site. As a small independent company we’ve been bombarded with similar accusations for years. Nevertheless, these unfair competition practices don’t seem to work, when the real product we put on the market is recognized as one of the best in the industry.

    Regarding the fake comment accusation: the simple truth is that we don’t have to post positive comments on this site, since it is not even affiliated with us. We only use this opportunity to communicate with dissatisfied clients, who chose Dan’s platform for one reason or another. I am the only representative from Skalfa or SkaDate on this site is.

    Also, all of your concerns (about Skalfa’s location, the company’s Russian origins, the amicable split between the creators of the original software code, etc.) have been addressed many times before, and most recently during a Live Google Plus Hangout hosted by Skalfa CEO and attended by SkaDate customers.

    Personally, I agree that anyone has to do homework before purchasing anything, and luckily, at this point there is a lot of information about our product out there. Of course, as with any software, some customers are bound to encounter occasional issues. Fortunately, we’ve advanced quite a lot since first entering the market and right now the rate of satisfied clients vs those compelled to ask for refunds is extremely low.

    I also want to draw your attention to the fact that there hasn’t been a single client that was left with an unresolved issue or wasn’t refunded due to the software faults, which contradicts all scam accusations.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  25. Alex Boon says:

    I am sorry Skadate. I think it’s time to post my own personal experience on this. I bought the software about a year and a half ago, end of 2010. Why I don’t have it live yet? well, scared like there is no tomorrow. All for the same reasons that everyone stated above. Of course, I got slammed with $800, which was before they went on sale 50% off. The fact that they even went 50% off, made me wonder. The software is buggy. Once you purchase it, and encounter any problems you are asked to pay for support. My argument with them has always been, I would be more than happy to pay support if it was a customization that I need you to work with. But why do I pay support for you to fix your own product????

  26. Highwinder says:

    I remember back in the old days when BBS’s ruled. One product stood out, and that was what became WorldGroup, a true multi-user web site engine capable of up to 255 users at a time, and had every feature under the sun that even today is considered “new” in the web and facebook world. Since then (mid 90s), all these web scripts that have come about have proven to basically be a bunch of junk by way of comparison, mostly because of the crappy, unstable, convoluted, “use the force” installations required by these junkware LAMP stacks they all sit on – every single one of them.

    But one thing needs to be said about the whole dating script industry:

    Through my research, I have come to know that SkaDate is pretty much the only vendor out there who isn’t slamming all the competition with a bunch of lies. I’m finding it very disturbing that nearly every dating software vendor out there that I’ve investigated is nothing more than a bunch of juvenile PHP script hacks, evidenced by how none of them have anything good to say about their competition in the desperate attempt at generating business for themselves. It’s sad to see the dating software industry is replete with liars and con artists who fill their own web sites with fake testimonials about their own software, but that’s the way it is – and it just sucks to be someone wanting to create a great web site, because you have to wade through all of this crap.

    So far, SkaDate is the only vendor I’ve seen who doesn’t engage in this practice, and earns its keep. I’ve been doing lots of research on which products are out there, which ones have good support. I hate all of them. But SkaDate, to me, is the only one that puts the two together in one single acceptable standalone package. This is critical to me, because I own my own dedicated servers. SkaDate is, in my opinion, the only real choice I have simply due to the fact that I will be getting the support that is advertized and they’ve been around long enough for all the major bugs to be worked out. Perfect? Probably not, an unrealistic expectation. But certainly the lesser of all evils in the industry, which will just have to do.

    Based on all my findings, I will soon be purchasing SkaDate, but I do so wishing there was even better out there because I’ve been spoiled with much better in the past in my BBS days. SkaDate will have to do until I find the time to crank up my dev studio products and write my own complete, inclusive, dedicated, compiled, double-click self-installable dating web site product that doesn’t have to sit on all this weak, unstable, out-of-control LAMP stack junkware.

    Why do I write in such a serious manner? Because I’m serious about my online presence, and I hate trusting it to inferior products and technologies, especially when it’s all that is available out there.

  27. Mitch says:

    Skalfa (skadate)

    Crooks and criminals! and that will be a mild description.

    Everything will be undertaken now, to take these people offline, to save the public from more these criminals.

    No? I’m wrong? Well then watch out for the news! Watch out to read why GoDaddy suspended their hosting of these criminals. Watch out for the news why they will be wanted in the US. Watch out for more news!

    They stepped on a wrong foot this time and that will be their last time!

  28. Zima S says:

    Hi Dan and all the board visitors,

    I am Zima S, and I will be gradually taking over from Irene, who’s done an exceptionally great job of communicating with the community here.

    Alex, I am very sorry to hear you have encountered issues with your copy of SkaDate. The vast majority of SkaDate sites go live within days of license purchase. The time frame you indicated means you’ve likely bought SkaDate 7, and our software (currently v.9) has come a long way since then, as indicated by the iDate Awards at the end of last year. Unfortunately we were not able to find you in our support database (to see the communication with the staff or problems reported), to elaborate on specific issues at hand.

    In any case, it has never been our practice to charge customers for fixing reported bugs. In fact, in 2011 we changed our system to provide one full month of ticket support for free, which is usually sufficient to solve all of the immediate problems. Subsequently we do charge $95 per month (optional), but only for support that requires site configuration and other similar things, not for bug fixing. Also, when we release bi-annual iterations of SkaDate, we fix all reported bugs to date. The updates can be done using our manuals, also free to all SkaDate customers.

    As to why we’ve reduced the product price to $350 per base copy, (and $200 for Mobile Edition), it was a simple strategic decision, which allowed us to assume leading position on the market of dating software. Feel free to contact us directly if you still have any questions.

    Zima S
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  29. Silver says:

    Pls Email us if you need the full version Skadate 9.0.2555 + cometchat + Location + all langs. We can help you also to install the files on your server.

  30. Umer says:

    HEY Everyone,
    Why have there not been any new Post’s since May 05, 2012? It is July 28, 2012 now. Have there been no new purchases or comments and issues since May 2012 for Skadate?
    I am seriously thinking of purchasing this product but am still a bit ‘iffy’ about it.

    Umer

  31. Dean says:

    I do not own a Dating Site at this time but I’m very interested. I have been involved in website design for about 20 years now and I do know this: you must get a list of server requirements from the software company then look at your server (your exact server – the cpanel & support faq) and be sure that that server can run that product. This sounds obvious, but reading folks rage at Irene it seems it may not be clear.

    Oh by the way, if you want to save a few pennies by using GoDaddy or HostGator be careful. GoDaddy is a big company and you may be on a new server that will work well, or you may be on an older server nearing end of life with older software. ANY software that has many features may – or may not run. Hosting is so cheap, why are you basing your entire business on junk servers?

    I have learned another thing over the years, script intensive software is fragile. You fool with it and you can break it. I’m not anyone’s expert, but I will suggest that you just start with a template and a few graphic changes. Then, make changes later, one at a time (take notes) so you can un-do things that didn’t work.

    If you are used to using software made by Apple or Microsoft, you are accustomed to titles made by hundreds of engineers that cost millions to produce. This software was probably written by two or three guys and they have only sold a couple thousand copies. When you get into this end of the industry; you need to adjust your expectations. If you cannot, that’s OK too, expect to pay a team 20k and wait a year.

    By the way, this has little to do with SkaDate, I just know the above from years of fooling around. The product may or may not be good, but it should be judged on its own terms. It’s not Mac OSX and will not run like it. Obviously, Irene cannot say this but its true.

  32. moore says:

    Hi Umer,

    To control spam on this blog, every comment is moderated. Therefore, sometimes when my life gets busy, I don’t approve comments as quickly as I should.

    I’ve approved a whole batch of them tonight, so that should help you make your decision.

  33. Umer says:

    @Dean from Aug 16, 2012:

    Hi Dean,
    You said that you are interested and have never owned Dating Site at this time. Would you like to look into this venture together???
    If so, email me and we can talk.

    thanks,
    Umer

  34. Harry says:

    Hello,

    could someone please comment on SocialGo, ASP.NET Dating and ABK-Soft? We have heard a lot on Skadate, and I would like to know more about these other options. Thank you all for your input.

  35. MaxGeek says:

    Hi!
    I started a datingsite using SkaDate. It took some time to get familiar with the admin-panel. As someone mentioned earlier, if you try to turn off a feature – it doesn’t work, because you’ll have to disable another function somewhere else…. It really takes time to figure it out… But all in all, I was satisfied with it the first 6 months. It worked like a dream, once you figured it out…

    But as the number of registered users was growing, I had to spend every waking minute reviewing new profiles, pictures, spam-map, groups, and mass-mailing… At first I set it all to automatic, but after a while I drowned in spam – fake profiles (advertisers), pornpictures and blogposts with advertisers and Nigeria-scams… I managed to sort out a lot of them with Bad Words-filter, but still – I had to switch it over to manually review. In my case, one out of twelve registered profiles were fake. They could create a perfectly ok profile – leave it for a couple of weeks – and BOOOM, they tried to bomb all registered users and blogposts with spam… (Be aware of profiles with a “perfect” profilepicture (taken in a studio), and model-like pictures… Also be aware of profiles of people with good jobs (doctors, vets, judges, officers, soldiers etc), and people that “have it all”… Most of my fake profiles are the “perfect” ones…)
    This is not a SkaDate problem, but a hazzle all datingsites has to deal with. But my trouble with Skadate in this matter, was the lack of control and features when using automatic settings.

    Finally… I got 6.700 registered users to my site during the first 8-9 months. And that’s almost the limit for what I can handle in my spare time when i’m not at my 8-16 job… At the end I spent 4-5 hours every day of the week just reviewing profiles, pictures, blogposts, groups, massmailing, reports and messages that was held back with my bad words-filter… If I had reached 8-10.000 members I would most likely have to hire someone to help me review everything… Not an easy task with an empty pocket… So… SkaDate works well up to 6-7.000 members, but the lack of control over the automatic settings – and advanced settings – is a real set-back if your plans are to create a new Facebook-site 🙂

    Because of this – and the notification that I had to start paying for a dedicated mailserver (because of all the mails members sent to each other), i let the site slowly die. I realized that my SkaDate-site wouldnt become as big as I wanted it to be…

    I didn’t pay for SkaDate-support, so I was running everything by myself. But I didn’t get any notifications from SkaDate conserning updates, bugs or patches.

    And yes, you can switch between different goodlooking templates… It works well with just a click. But choose one when starting your site, and then forget about it… Once you’ve got thousands of pictures and profiles DO NOT CHANGE OR TRY OUT DIFFERENT TEMPLATES!!!! The root-system changes, and your preferred settings will be set back to default! Leaving you with dead links and menu-choices that doesn’t work ( You will not loose anything, just dead links and non-working menu-choices)… You will pull out your hair in desperation!!!

    But all in all, SkaDate is a great (the best?) and good looking choice for small sites/business… If your hoping to take control of the entire dating-industry, then you’ll have to modify the site, make your own site, or find another script/template…

    (I’m in search for something with great automatic features, but can’t find any that fits my usage… I need something like Skadate, but the members have to be able to activate count-downs… An auction-like feature, with maps, ranking and a searchfunction for people that live in your area – no matter where they live… Anyone have any ideas or suggestions/tips for a site like this? And of course – I’m planning on taking control of the entire singles-market out there, so it has to be able to handle millions of users without any hazzle ;-D )

    Thanks 🙂

  36. Teemoor says:

    Hi Dan, Hi Everyone,

    Just to say that this is funny how similar (not to say identical) are those two negative comments posted 6 month away one from each 😉
    That my friends is some serious Spam trashing… such a shame…

    “Nelly Colle said,
    November 15, 2011 at 7:02 am
    I am sorry Skadate. I think it’s time to post… etc… ”

    “Alex Boon said,
    May 5, 2012 at 8:54 am
    I am sorry Skadate. I think it’s time to post… etc… ”

    Anyway, thank you for those who plays by the rule and made this thread so interesting.

    So, after a few days of research, reading carefully this entire thread and even if I am a bit nervous, I think I am going to give Skadate a shot. Irene here and the Pre-sell Rep on chat on there website have given me the feeling that it is possible to achieve my project with there platform. Even if it seems not to be a perfect piece of software, I don’t have a year, $20k and a team of developer to built my own piece so I still believe it will be a bargain to have a base to start working on for about $500 (website & mobile app !!!).

    I’ll keep posting to share my experience.

    T.

  37. Matthew says:

    I used SkaDate and received terrible customer service since the very beginning. First of all, we were working under deadlines with our company and SkaDate took DAYS to respond to help tickets, and when they did it was limited, tight-lipped assistance which never actually resolved our issues. The only recourse? Submit another help ticket and wait a few more days. Absolutely unacceptable. When we requested a refund, they summarily rejected the idea. The website looks ancient and outdated, the customer service is poor, and you have no recourse for complaints with this company. You will get no justice. I don’t generally post reviews for things but I am *PASSIONATELY* against SkaDate. NEVER buy from them.

  38. Brett Sauerland says:

    I am thinking about purchasing the SkaDate software and I love the comments on this blog. I don’t realllly want it as a traditional dating site, more of a directory/social network of a specific group of people who have specific things in common.

    I will be modifying the layout of the template using my Dreamweaver CS3, but only the background image, logo and some other small changes. Has anyone done this and is it easy to manipulate? I need the site up and running within the month, and I am really excited about SkaDate.

    My main thing is server up time and loading. My last website I ran was hosted by a company in Australia and within the first 30 mins of going live I shut down the server, and all other sites on the server. I moved to a dedicated server and within an hour I had shut that one down due to traffic and data downloads. I really DON’T want this to happen again. I am thinking about trying this one on the Skadate site, has anyone tried them and is it stable? My last site was an adult oriented website, and I learned a lot about what NOT to do. I just want a good server to match the SkaDate software and compatability.

  39. Zima S says:

    Hi everyone!

    First of all, regarding the offer from Silver up there, note that Skalfa LLC is the only authorized SkaDate dating software vendor, so the only place to purchase SkaDate legally is SkaDate website (www.skadate.com). All other vendors are simply pirates, and based on our experience we strongly recommend not doing so, since buying our solution illegally leads to all sorts of issues unresolvable without our support.

    MaxGeek,

    Thank you very much for this constructive feedback, and congratulation on successfully building such an active online dating site. We are currently working hard on several features that will tackle issues you mentioned – improved spam control, location emphasis, and general optimization overhaul. I’ll make sure to drop a note here when we’ll be ready to present the next version. The way things are progressing, it should turn out great, and we all are quite excited about it.

    Teemoor,

    Thanks for noticing the repeated copy/paste attacks. Yeah, we do encounter them from time to time, and treat them like part of the trade. We do know that most of the extreme comments come from the same source, since we always manage to find solutions for reported issues coming from real clients. Thanks for showing interest in our product!

    Matthew,

    After speaking with the support team and going through your tickets it appears that support was provided to you in timely manner during hours indicated on our site (Mon – Fri, 9 AM – 6 PM GMT +6, 3 hours guaranteed response time). It only took days after a request to communicate directly with the company’s SEO, which, I think, is quite understandable. Also, I believe you have been offered three solutions to deal with encountered issues, including getting a full refund. Please contact our support department head or SkaDate product manager if you have any additional questions. As this page shows, we never leave an issue unresolved and are trying to satisfy every single client.

    Brett,

    Our software allows running both, online dating sites and general community/social networks. For the latter, all you have to do is disable dating features in the admin area. All the modifications you mentioned can be easily done, and our support team will provide you with all the details and instructions necessary. Concerning the server issue, we tend to recommend shared server at the beginning, and then upgrading and switching to VPS as the site grows. You can contact our pre-sales team online or send us an email if you have any other questions.

    Zima S
    Customer Service Department Manager
    http://www.skadate.com

  40. Tim says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I thought I would chime in here, I have been using Skadate software for a couple of years now and all I can say is that the product and the people are exceptional! Whenever I am stuck with a problem the support team always get me through it. I can honestly when it comes to Skadate they are top notch!

    Tim Martin
    http://www.heartpool.com

  41. JM says:

    this comment is for : “MaxGeek”

    You had over 6,000 users???? and still kept your day job??

    no offense to this please…

    BUT what is the point if you cant make money off 6k users

    am i missing something here? if you have the users then you can get paid & upgrade to the right hosting & whatever else you need

    i mean whats the point of building a dating community

    I hope skadate works up to 2,000 users!!! thats al!!!

    if you can manage to get that many paying users then you can make any freakin custom program or website you want

    my 2 cents

    thats all folks 🙂

  42. Toby says:

    Well, I have 1,6 million users and still kept my day job 😉

    What i find a bit weird is, that skadate offers fake profiles as an additional “feature”…not a very good reputation.

     

    My worries would be (with any ready-made dating script):

     

    – security – who guarantuees hackers have no chance? If you go through all the code, you can also write the code

    – disabling features you don’t need & adding new features without having to “merge” your code evry time there is an update

    – being able to implement your own design / user interface 1:1 (i.e. exact html/css as agencies like psd2html would produce from PSD files) – there might be restrictions and “DIVs” or class names hard-coded somewhere in the guts of the code

     

     

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