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Review of SkaDate dating software

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-

[tags]skadate review,dating site software[/tags]

93 thoughts on “Review of SkaDate dating software

  1. Irene I says:

    Dear Dan,

    My name is Irene. I represent SkaDate dating software company.

    First of all, I would like to thank you for taking time to post this SkaDate review. I must say that we agree with a lot of your key points.

    We do realize that getting into SkaDate site management system may be complicated at the start. That is why, as one of the steps towards making we are now offering one month of individual ticket support (regular cost – $95) to our new customers for free. We believe this will help them master the Admin Panel interface (including membership types, features, profile fields setup) and site management tips a lot faster.

    We are also providing video tutorials for better explanation of the troublesome, or essential configuration aspects. These tutorials are available both to existing and potential SkaDate customers.

    As to security issues – unfortunately, they do occur. Whenever that happens (and that doesn’t happen often), we immediately make a hot fix, and notify our customers about the issue. Just like any software company.

    For SSH access – it is required for examining and solving the issues with video (FFMPEG), Cron, and during the site update. However, since SkaDate dating software source code is 100% open, our customers always have an option to perform any fixes and troubleshooting by themselves under the guidance of our support team. This allows them to keep all the server access details private.

    Again, let us thank you for bringing these important details to our attention through this post. We appreciate your feedback, and keep working to make our product better.

    For any questions feel free to contact us 24/7 at

    Kind regards,
    Irene I

  2. moore says:

    Hi Irene,

    Thanks for your feedback, and explanation of some of the issues. A couple of points:

    * I was not notified of the security fix, but once I found out about it (via my client, actually, browsing the security forums) the fix was relatively easy to install. I understand it’s unreasonable to expect software to be bug free.

    * That’s great to hear about the included one month of support! You might want to update to include that.


  3. dating software says:

    Thank you for the review – I’m new to the world of dating software and so far it has been very difficult to know what to believe in terms of different companies and their software. Most of the reviews I’ve read so far aren’t really reviews so much as they are commenter’s and posters going on and on about why another companies software is not recommended – instead of actually reviewing anything. I am on a bit of a budget (and really, who isn’t these days?) and between this and aspnetdating I think I can make an educated choice as to who to go with.


  4. moore says:


    Thanks for the kind words, and letting people who find this note know about another option.

  5. Makeda says:

    All that sounds good but I’m a paying customer and I’ve yet to see a good review of Skadate from a paying customer. They offer no support and everything they advertise for free is a lie (24/7 support) free uploads all lies. We have lost so much money dealing with Skadate

  6. moore says:

    Hi Makeda,

    I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with SkaDate. I was a paying customer (or represented one) and did get support from SkaDate when we needed it. It’s not perfect, though.

    If you could speak to the specific functionality you find lacking, that would probably be helpful for everyone who reads this post.


  7. Sarasmile says:

    Makeda, it sounds like the company isn’t worth dealing with and is totally unethical. I hope you get it all worked out. Good Luck.

  8. Irene I says:

    Dear Makeda,

    Thank you for your feedback. Despite being negative, it’s important to us.

    But let me disagree with you on some of the aspects.

    We do offer customer support, but it’s not 24/7. And we do not advertise providing 24/7 customer support anywhere on the site. We abandoned practicing 24/7 support a year ago, simultaneously with changing our price policy.

    Now we offer customer support from 9 am to 6 pm (GMT +6). And as I mentioned in one of the above posts, we provide one month of free individual ticket support for free to all the new SkaDate customers.

    Of course, we understand that paid ticket support cannot be the best option for everybody, and should not be the only option offered by a company. This is why we opened a free customer support forum, which is a 24/7 knowledge base with a great lot of answers to various questions (from Admin Panel configuration tips to fixes and basic code modifications). The forum is regularly moderated by a competent support operator, so you are free to ask your own questions (if the available answers are not what you’re looking for) – they will be addressed to in a timely manner.

    Also, I am not quite sure what you mean by non-existent free uploads. We do offer all the software builds and versions, manuals, tutorials, template .psd files, languages for free download in your Customer Area. We also provide free picture and logo upload (for those who want to customize the design) within the individual ticket support. All we ask is to provide us with pictures and logos that meet the selected template dimension requirements. You can find detailed information at

    To sum up, I would like to repeat that we need and appreciate your feedback, because it helps us be a better company, provide better service, and develop a better product.

    Kind regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager

  9. Amazing Grace Publishing says:

    Dear Dan and Future SkaDate customers:

    Although most of what you stated seemed like spanish to me…lol. I can only comment on the present SkaDate and it’s Version 8. There is truth to the pluses and minuses that you listed. Unfortunately this remains the same:

    “Intricate object and data model: lots of indirection, and because it is PHP, no IDE to help you unravel it.”

    “Secretive nature,” as documents are not provided in a userss manual, you must ask for every direction. I guess that policy is in place that customers do not become too dependent that they do not pay for the support.

    $95/month is extreemly high and I am dreading when my free month runs out. I have been working around the clock to tie all the loose ends before I have to pay.

    But lets deal with the pros:

    1. Excellent software features for the price, if you need an uncomplicated site with useful features that your customers will enjoy, and you are not strained with a start up cost-use SkaDate.
    2. You have total controle over your material in the FTP-no secrets, so you can move it anytime to whatever sever you choose. Unlike other dating software they contole everything and do not know where your files are located.
    3. You have access to the admin area.
    4. I liked that the features were turned-on and I can tweak them myself. Before you purchase a dating site software register with a few free ones and get to the features important to cutomers in the niche, so you can customize your software.
    5. Free customer support for the first month…I am glad for that because you will need it.
    6. Excellent customer service!!! Very helpful, respectful and fast in responce. You just have to make yourself available when they are open.
    7. No monthy service for your dating site-they don’t make a money from your customers membership.
    8. You choose your own hosting company they don’t host and have controle over your software and customers (members).
    9. The new mobile edition is great! And They had a special in Christmas so I got it free.

    I see doing business with them as I grow, so can the features of my dating site. They are still a young company and are on the right track of growing.

    Visit my site for yourself and see. A Free Christian Dating Social Site On a Shoe String Budget!

    Michelle Andrea

  10. Oscar says:

    Awesome review of skadate

  11. Randal says:

    Good review. Thanks for taking the time. There are indeed few SkaDate reviews that look to be impartial despite this program being one of the more feature-laden out there.

    I have been leaning toward skadate while hoping that the programming is legitimate and not terribly mangled. I looked at the demo a couple years ago. At that time the forum portion amounted to no more than what looked like a rather awful guest comment function instead of an actual forum script. Reading this morning that they have added file attachment capability leaves me hope that other aspects of the area have been drastically improved. I was on my way to have a look in addition to seeking perhaps if a review existed since the last time I searched. Thankfully, I found yours.

  12. Xanthe says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thank you for your review. Just to share, our website is using SkaDate. We have paid for some customization of our website. However, it is way past the due date that they promised to deliver (which they agree to complete the upgrading in 2-3 weeks time). When we last checked with them, they told us that everything was completed which was not true.

    We have been expediting but only less than half the work was done and seems like they have stopped working on our site. No updates were provided to us on the improvements. When we expedite again, they only told us that they will let us know when it is done. We needed the upgrades to be done urgent and are getting very upset over this.

    We thought of expediting one last time and escalating this matter if nothing is done within 2 weeks.

    Would like to seek your opinion or that of current SkaDate users, if we were to escalate, do you know who will be the best person to address our concerns?


  13. moore says:

    Hi Xanthe,

    Sorry, don’t have any insight into the best person at Skadate to help you out.


  14. Xanthe says:

    Hi Dan

    No problem, we will see what we can do, we hoped that the ‘Best Dating Software Provider’ will live up to their name though…

    Signing off as Disappointed Client, lol

  15. Jimbob says:

    Thanks for the real review – after much research i’ve narrowed down my options to SkaDate and PG Dating Pro, and i’m leaning towards SkaDate.

    Does anybody have any more info about either product to help push me over the edge in either direction?

    Thanks much

  16. Xanthe says:

    Hi Dan,

    Just to keep you updated, our customisation was done! Finally! ‘Best Dating Software Provider’ really live up to their name.. haha!


  17. Irene I says:

    Dear Xanthe,

    I am sorry I have stumbled upon your posts so late, and haven’t been able to assist you on the issue earlier. The modification has been finished now.

    We apologize for the delay and inconveniences this may have caused. Our technicians were temporarily overloaded with work because of the software update. That’s why it took us longer to complete your modification.

    To compensate for the inconveniences, we have activated a month of personal ticket support for you.

    If you face any more problems with support service quality – feel free to email me directly to I will be glad to assist you the best way I can.

    Dear Jimbob,

    I believe, you are seeking an impartial software review. Being the SkaDate company representative, I cannot provide one 🙂 Still, if you have any questions about SkaDate Dating Software, and need honest and detailed answers – you can contact our pre-sale team 24/7 at

    You can also take a look at general comparison of SkaDate against most dating software products available on the market:

    And whatever product you choose, I wish you every success in your online dating venture!

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager

  18. Jeff says:

    Thank you for starting this thread. I have been researching for about 2 months in regards to dating websites. I have read some many reviews but nothing as in depth or unbiased as this. So many reviews of dating sites seem like promos for, or negativity from competitors or has been extremely out of date. This has been an interesting and current read.
    I am starting an online biz that will be a “dating” site but with some major differences and modifications. I have been talking with CS and sales from Skadate, e-marvl, ABK and a few others as well as attempting to have a site built in Boonex. Skadate has moved to the front of the line for me. I have worked out major modifications and features that will be different from the standard platform. I will update as time goes, as I feel it is important to have an open feedback and review, as many people out there are in the same position as I, and our looking to spend their money wisely.
    In regards to dating software and companies. It seems many people think that buying a <$1,000 program they should get the Lexus of the industry. Lets be real, I have had custom from scratch sites quoted based on my specs by using as well as many website builders. The low quotes came in at $3,500 and was informed that it would take 4-6 weeks as well as another 4 weeks to work out the bugs. Right now I can not afford this kind of capital outlay. So in searching the alternatives their are many companies out there. I have researched several, talked to several, chatted with several and had lengthy correspondence with these companies. I would say that initial CS, Sales and Technical information from SkaDate has been very good. Responses are rapid and informative. They have not left me in the dark on anything I have asked for. I do believe that people in search of a website software need to be realistic when critiquing the product. If they are paying 10% or even less of what would be the Lexus. If you are buying a Kia don't expect it to perform like a Lexus. Don't expect the Kia technician to be a Lexus master tech. I know in buying a software product under $500 there are going to be some kinks and some downfalls, whether it be Pro Dating, ABK, E-Marvel, Skadate VLD, or any other.

    Thanks Dan, I hope you keep this thread going as it may be beneficial to many, even ones who do not post a thank you!


  19. moore says:


    Glad to help. I do custom software and know that rebuilding Skadate’s functionality would take a good bit of money.


  20. Karoline says:

    I have spent almost 4 hours browsing the internet trying to find the best dating template to go with. I am really impressed with this article and also the way Irene has spent the time to address all the issues on here.

    Earlier on I was leaning towards PG Dating Pro and Abledating but I was finding either too many very good or very bad reviews – clearly forum manipilators who think we cannot read their plot – and was getting really confused.

    Thanks Moore for making things a lot clearer. Lets hope I am making the right choice going with Skadate


  21. Billy says:

    Hey Karoline,
    Can you list the Cons and Pros that you considered while choosing SkaDate over others?
    I’m doing research myself and for now PG Dating seem to be more advanced in almost everything (besides inviting friends through Facebook – they use the buggy OpenInviter platform while Skadate implemented a cleaner, working method).
    For example, PG has market of real products, image gallery that not just opens the original picture in a blank page like SkaDate, they have Google Maps integrated (at least in their PG Real estate package, so I guess it’s pretty easy to port), they have the profile pop-up feature and a nice shoutbox. They also integrate the 3rd party mobile billing providers into the admin panel and they work with 3 of them (not 2 like SkaDate).
    So the only serious drawbacks that I see for now is that:
    1. They are Russian (but so are Skadate)
    2. Their cost is license-based

  22. Graeme says:

    Really good thread for anyone who is investigating the world of dating/social networking software. This thread has been required for some time and I ( a potential Skadate contender ) am very grateful to Dan for starting it.

    The thread has been saved to my favorites so that I can see it grow and add some feedback once I make the decision.

    FYI I used PG many years ago when I was toying with this and to be honest for the $ there customer service was exceptional. They would even do minor graphic tweaks free of charge. Response was always a matter of hours and not days. My attention drifted from the venture at some point 4 years ago and 2 PC,s later I cant find the software.

    I contacted them 3 days ago with the information I used originally to purchase the item but they claimed my info was incorrect. This left me a bit pissed as it was accurate and I felt that I was being squeezed for another payment.

    I am looking again at them but am leaning towards SD as a front runner due to the interface mostly. I am not so concerned about cost for development rather the functions for the end user.



  23. Billy says:

    Can anyone tell me what functionality SkaDate has that PG lacks?
    Please feel free to email me on billmondei at

  24. Paul says:

    I am doing a venture with a friend of mine and am looking into skadate. I googled reviews on ska and found your site. Really liked the write up here. Refreshing to see the smoke and mirrors set to the side.

    I emailed ska and asked them to call. Some outsourced person (I suppose) called in a thick accent which I couldn’t decipher. I emailed Irene directly and am in hopes she or her staff will call.

    That said, I think you did a nice job presenting the post and found it really helpful; not just the post, but the comments from others as well.

    Have a happy and safe 4th!

  25. moore says:

    Glad I (and everyone else) could help, Paul.

  26. Sara Malamud says:

    I have been cheated by Skadate. I bought the site, they recommended Arvixe as a host. ARvixe lost my files and skadate wants more money to ”fix” some of the problem. The bottom line, I lost my site and my business. Stay away from Skadate!!!

  27. Cindy says:

    Boonex was recommended to me as the best program available today. Can anyone comment on the newest Boonex program.

  28. paul says:

    Boonex is fine, however, you need to put your time in to get it working the way you want it to work. The right host is a must for Boonex and new versions need at least a vps to work properly.
    The good thing is that you can test it and get it working the way you want before buying a licence to remove their adds.
    My main problem is that many of these scripts have a lot of things I
    don’t want to use but I’m not going to buy them to find out they are
    totally unfixable without spending 1000’s of $.
    Boonex, like the others, seems to suffer from bugs but at least the community is free to read even though you cant post in some forums until you buy a licence .
    skadate for me has some pluses but more minuses on the functionality I require whereas Boonex offers this functionality with a bit of tweaking. It is all down to what you prefer I suppose!
    Unless you buy a custom system you will never be happy with any of these pre built systems and you will be forever finding things you don’t like or don’t work just the way you want them to!
    This blog is refreshing in the fact that it gives honest opinions without attempting to trash every piece of software out there; all of which will suit certain people and annoy many more. It is wise to remember that they are all complicated systems and can appear very daunting to the non technically minded end user, however, if you don’t know how to ask the right questions you will not get the right answers.

  29. Micky says:

    A problem that users will face with skadate is performance.
    There is an upper limit for how big server you could have, but the script will have issues coping with more than 50 simultaneous/online users.

    I think they should skip thses parts in a dating script: Gaming, Blog, Virtual Gifts, heaving flash chat apps.

    The development team should make performance their main priority.

  30. Paul says:

    it seems you are not allowed to state dolphin is ok in this blog!

  31. Irene I says:

    Dear Sara,

    As we have noted in our direct communication exchange, we are deeply sorry for the loss of your time and efforts.

    It is true that Arvixe is our recommended hosting provider, but only because throughout our history their service was considered best suited for our software. None of our clients ever experienced any problems with Arvixe before. At the same time, we are not affiliated with them and obviously cannot guarantee against human error (especially in another company).

    The only reason our support team mentioned the additional payment is because we could have attempted to restore the lost database, and the procedure would require the employment of additional programmers. Unfortunately by that time you already opted to be fully refunded instead.

    Once again, we are terribly sorry for any inconvenience this situation might have caused, and hope that you will never encounter similar troubles with your future projects.

    Dear Micky,

    SkaDate software itself will have no problem with handling the increased simultaneous user activity. The decreased performance could only stem from the poor server productivity. Once the site becomes more popular (like it has more than 50 simultaneous online users), its owner should always consider switching to a dedicated optimized server to avoid any possible troubles along the way.

    We fully understand that the speed of operation is always a priority for a dating site, but we also cannot ignore the needs of users on the site. Besides, SkaDate is highly flexible in this regard and all the additional features (like games, blogs, gifts, etc.) can be turned off in the Admin Panel.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager

  32. Alex says:

    I took one year of web design… fairly basic information I might add. I’ve been researching dating software for about 4 months when I came across Skadate.

    Things that are winning me over with Skadate includes:
    1. The fact that the Customer Service Manager herself actually responds to both clients & potential clients alike. Responses are intellegent, professional and proves that they want their script to work just as much as their customers desires it. I’ve come across forums where the owners are actually cursing out the customers. SICK!

    2. Their cost is awesome being that it’s all inclusive. The worst thing to come across is a software with 5 prices, defined with terminologies that you have to google.

    3. SD offers 1 month of FREE technical support. PG offers 8 hours.

    4. They not only have many appealing templates to choose from; but (if I understand correctly); you can change your template at anytime to promote a new look to your site if needs be. And the templates are free. PG charges for theirs and you get only one.

    5. Their demos on youtube are excellent.

    6. Some sites charge for installation. SD doesn’t.

    7. Some charge for the full source code. SD includes that in their price.

    8. The fact that they even have a phone contact. In my search, I have found that many sites only have email contact. I’ve emailed some companies 4 questions and they’ll answer 2. I’m like, what the **** happenned to the other 2 questions. Did you NOT see them? Or do you think if you don’t answer them, I’ll forget that I have asked them. HUGE PET PEEVE lol…

    Obviously, I really like what I see. When I actually purchase this product, I’ll make sure to voice my opinions here and get some feedbacks from you lovely folks.

    Thanks for this mature and professional forum guys

  33. Shane says:

    I have been searching for well over a week for the best dating software for my needs and requirements, and I must have tried every demo going and spent ages trawling through posts about each company.

    From early on skadate was my at the top of my list, it has nearly every feature I require (may have them all) though the concerns I have were not entirely answered when I asked pre sales support for advice, I was just left more confused than before.

    I asked how easy it would be to direct my own homepage to the members area but they said it would need coding and that the main homepage can be modified via admin which I don’t really like the sound of as it sounds like it may limit the amount of customisation I can do.

    So still looking at possibilities, trying not to take too much notice of all the bad reviews on the net but still trying to work out if I can do what I need to.
    The only other nagative is that I have to pay extra for the webcam features.

  34. Irene I says:

    Dear Shane,

    Thank you for your interest in SkaDate.

    I am sorry to hear our pre-sale team were not able to provide you with explicit explanation. Let me come up with a bit more information on your question.

    The amount of customization you can do in SkaDate is limited only with your coding skills. SkaDate doesn’t have any licensed or encrypted files, so you get full access to the software source code. What the pre-sale operators meant to say is that besides having access to the homepage files on the server, you can also do customization right from the Admin Panel by ‘playing’ with CSS components. That is just to simplify the Index and Memberhome pages customization process.

    Best regards,
    Irene I
    Customer Service Department Manager

  35. ChadC says:

    My clients purchased this program about 2 days ago, and I have been dealing with the headache ever since. Somehow the system want to try and navigate all member page to an .html doc instead of the php. At first i figured OK it not that bad I will just make a change in the .htaccess file but nooo. No matter what I try the system refuses. I contacted support only to be told to submit a help ticket, Ok no problem. I submit a help ticket and who should awnser the help ticket but the same person that I called (really you could not save time and talk to me on the phone). I have worked with many systems over the last 15+ years, (WordPress, Drupal, Zen,……..) And this is by far the most ridiculous and un-finished product out there. To have the nerve to charge $350 for a half A** product. Shame on you.

  36. Johnny says:

    SKADATE IS SCAM!!! They state to be in the US BUT THIS IS TOTAL LIE. Nothing is easier than to check the whois:
    Administrative Contact:
    Sarnogoev, Emil
    Alamedin-1, d.19, kv.84
    Bishkek, 720083
    And if you need his photo, he himself has posted it on YouTube, he is sitting in his Kyrgizstan and laughing at us, taking our money and not fearing anything! And really, it is hard to get him in his Kyrgyzstan, he is right. But what we CAN do is AVOID sponsoring the international terrorism and scammers from SKADATE!
    Here is the video:
    Here is the photo:

  37. Sam Dubious says:

    I’m seriously unhappy that I decided to go ahead and purchase SkaDate EVEN AFTER reading all these terrible ratings. I am not one to be deterred by random disgruntled customer/black pr… thought since the “pre-sale” customer service was so good that I’d go ahead and buy it. anyway long story short – a day into buying the product i’ve already come across a hurdle. installation didn’t go through all the way (they blamed it on the hosting company – although i know from past experience and a quick call to my hosting company that it wasn’t a problem with hosting). they are so quick and dismissive once teh sale was done. Now i’m scrambling for help in the forum – trying to figure out all this problem with my site crashing randomly. I have NO CLUE and no help certainly… and the best part… when i ask for help through the support system – i get offered the wonderful $95/month plan to pay for support… YEAH RIGHT!! i pay for a product i cannot even customize even though they say it can be! moment you step into the backend to customize css, everything falls apart and no documentation to help us out! This is beyond illegal to scam customers into buying a bugged-out software, with very little to no support (and limited “unique” templates) and then have them scurrying to pay more just to fix YOUR software… we are the customers, we shouldn’t be fixing your errors. So if you cannot guarantee a bug-free product – then DON’T charge us for support!!!! I SINCERELY learned my lesson (although it cost me a grand $400 USD). Never buy from a company with real bad PR… there’s truth behind it (after all it cannot all be “fake comments”) and by the way, before you step on this message board telling me to come forward. I’d be glad to.. except i dont’ plan on releasing my personal information on the web. simply contact me (I’m unfortunately still stuck being your customer til I find a more reliable software). So reply back to me if you have a remedy for this ridiculous situation!

  38. Nelly Colle 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 2008. 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????

  39. moore says:

    Hi folks,

    I haven’t used skadate since I wrote this post, over 18 months ago.

    Given the amount of negative comments that are posted here (or have been emailed to me), I’d look long and hard at other solutions for dating websites.

    That said, if you don’t need much customization, skadate may be an alright answer. If you do choose skadate, find someone who has experience first–I get a lot of comments asking for skadate help and having trouble finding someone who can help them. (Please don’t ask me! I don’t have time nor inclination.)

  40. michael says:

    I have a quick question for all those following this thread. Has anyone heard of Dating Site Builder? I’m researching which company to go in creating a dating site and would appreciate it if someone could give me some concrete advice on which program they feel is absolutely the best dating software to use and if it is at all profitable in starting a dating site. Like I said I know about Skadate and PG but came across Dating Site Builder. Let me know your thoughts!

  41. Jaded says:

    I purchased Skadate right around June 2011. I am a completely non-techie person. I wanted some modifications done. What I had in mind was just something basic. Skadate insisted and recommended that I went with SOD Technologies (whom they are now using for their 24/7 support – scary!). Well, long story short, after losing loads of hair and what remained turned grey, SOD T finally delivered the completed product a month later than promised. I trusted their initial quote and made marketing campaigns to launch the site – HUGE lesson learned. SOD T has extremely limited familiarity with Skadate template. I had to email them the demo link which can easily be found on Skadate website to show them what the original template skin looked like (since they made a mess of everything and had to reverse engineer) and they were shocked and pleased that it existed. Really?! That gave me great confidence that everything was going to work out just fine. Not.

    Anyway, a few months into it now, I can tell you that I totally REGRET modifying the site. Sod T had made the scripts SUPER HEAVY according to the host company I used (again Skadate’s recommendation). If 3-5 people log in simultaneously, the site slows or hangs! Skadate and Arvixe (host company) agreed that 3-5 people is quite heavy for shared hosting. I felt deceived. So, for all of you out there who are on a BUDGET, take note – shared hosting won’t cut it! Shared hosting ($3/4 per months as advertised) is only sufficient to get you through the “set up” phase – meaning only “you” logging in and customising your site. Once the site goes life and you have any kind of traffic, expect poor performance on your site. Chat features will come to a halt, almost. I had to upgrade and transfer to VPS (just this week – more problems of course!) hosting for the site to run efficiently. So for anyone out there who thinks this can be a small budget project/investment, do think twice.

    As for bugs, yes. Loads. Every few weeks I find a bug. Contact support and they will tell you to upgrade. Great. And since I had my site modified, it’s now a more complicated upgrade. I am not a techie so I can’t do it myself. And if you ask support to help upgrade because there is a bug in the version you bought – there’s a fee. And if you modified your site, the fee is higher. However, if you beg (like I did) then they will help you, but don’t expect a quick turnaround.

    If I had to do it again, NEVER. But if someone holds a gun to my head and ask me to start a dating website, I’d say sure, use Skadate, but don’t modify and you better be a programmer who can fix problems yourself. Otherwise it’ll end up costing you some pennies!

  42. Brandon says:

    I’d like to see the free support expanded to the first 6 months. It’s a complicated piece of software and there is going to be a learning curve. It’s going to take you 6 months to figure everything out. A month is simply not enough time, which could be a reason why there are a lot of negative reviews. people will get frustrated.

  43. Cebuanas says:

    We’re thinking about going with Ska Date for one of our sites. It would be the first to use the Ska Dating platform but we’re a little concerned about getting only a single month of support so we might just stay with what we already been using.

  44. Irene I says:

    Hello, Jaded!

    Thank you for your feedback and for staying our client despite the reported issues.

    We cannot really speak for SOD Technologies, since it is another company, but we were very disappointed to find out about the problem. Note that we frequently communicate with SOD Tech’s Top Management, and we asked them to clarify the situation immediately after reading your post. Skipping all the details, the person who was in charge of your modification was eventually fired from the company, and they are sorry for the caused inconvenience. Apparently the situation was a fluke and is not likely to repeat.

    Regarding the hosting – we never deceive anyone about it; why would we? After all, we sell software, not hosting solutions. Moreover, our pre-sales operators always explain to all of our perspective clients how hosting a dating site works. We have also outlined this openly in our blog ( ). In essence, we recommend getting the basic shared hosting plan only to start the operation, and once the site grows, and starts to generate a lot of traffic, more advanced hosting options are required.

    Also, five simultaneous active users online is actually nothing to sneeze at, and any hosting company will tell you that this is an indication of active site growth. This number means that you might have hundreds of idle users registered, with five of them constantly active at any given time. What I’m saying is that at this point your site is simply too big for a budgeted solution, viable for most beginning site owners.

    We have checked all of our communication logs regarding the reported bugs and most of them appeared to be connected with your transfer to the new hoster, and more specifically, to their improper setup of Cron Job. Nevertheless, we have worked together to help you resolve these issues.

    It is true that sometimes our clients report to us about found bugs. But we never charge them for fixing said bugs, nor do we force anyone to upgrade our software for a fee. We might advise getting a new revision if it includes all the latest fixes already, but if a client prefers using an older version of the software, we always fix all of the bugs, of course, for free.

    The only way to be charged for an upgrade is to specifically ask our support team to install a new version of the software. But even here, we allow clients to use a backdoor and do this on their own, by providing free detailed Upgrade Manuals (soon to be Video Manuals). Most of our clients actually prefer doing exactly that, or hire their own engineers for that task.

    In closing, we want to thank you once again for feedback, and invite to one of our Google+ Hangouts, where you can talk directly to Skalfa CEO or SkaDate Product Manager and resolve all of the outstanding issues or miscommunication on the spot.

    We also want to thank Dan Moore for becoming a de facto moderator and hoster of SkaDate Discussion Board, for giving everyone a place to speak their mind, as well as for his honest and objective opinion. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  45. Mark says:

    In reading the different points of view, only one could be correct and one is a snow job. I know this review is for SkaDate, but it’s a perfect forum to talk about other software.
    Their are not allot of independent reviews for dating software. Most of the reviews are being fed by the companies that are trying to sell their own products or hammer their competition. Has anyone had any luck with other software dating programs in the last 6 months. If so, lets hear about it and post your web site address as well so we know it’s really a satisfied customer. If nothing else it will help your visitor count.

  46. josh says:

    After all of the comments and help from everybody here I have decided to switch to skadate. I am currently with dating site builder and for anyone even thinking about it you are crazy! I read alot of reviews about them and most of them were bad but I figured I would give them a shot. Every thing you read about them is true. Well all the bad stuff anyway. I had a hard time trying to find a good review, and I do mean A good review because there are none. So Skadate you have my vote and you seem to have everything I am looking for and I am looking forward to switching over. ill come back when everything is up and running. I am not promoting myself here but anyone is welcome to check out dating site builder at and you can check it out for yourself since they don’t let you before you buy it. Im sure it will take me at least a month to switch everything over.

  47. Enson says:

    where can i change terms, privacy, faq etc etc on skadate 9? somebody please help. Thanks

  48. Anthony Johnson says:

    Hi Everyone!

    After doing quite a bit of research I decided to purchase skadate late last night.

    Given all the positive and negative press on this product I thought it might be interesting to contribute to this blog by providing a blow-by-blow update on the purchased, installation and use of skadate.

    I’m not a developer and have no desire to become one. I’m a business person. I don’t have the skill set or time to be modifying code in scripts. I need a dating script that’s feature rich and easy to use after the initial learning curve. I’m willing to spend the time up front to learn the fundamentals. My point is I understand there are no silver bullets and there will be a learning curve.

    Nearly all the websites I run use WordPress. I primarily create informational sites for niche markets. WordPress is an obvious great fit for me because I can have a website up and running from domain purchase to full functionality within 24 hours normally.

    I use GoDaddy for my domain name purchases and Host Gator as my hosting provider. My hosting account with host gator allows me to create and manage all of my websites in one place.

    I use a product called Market Samurai for my niche market keyword research. I also use a WordPress development framework called PageLines.

    It’s a drag-and-drop environment for WordPress which helps me build sites using drag-and-drop functionality. I can’t say enough good things about PageLines. If there’re other WordPress users out there you should check this product out.

    Initially I was hoping to find a WordPress dating plug-in and simply create a new WordPress site. Unfortunately there was only one viable plug-in for dating that I could find from a company called Dating Solutions.

    I purchased their dating plug-in and after playing around with it the for a week I decided it just simply didn’t meet my requirements. It’s extremely bare-bones from a functionality perspective and the UI is frankly terrible.

    At that point I decided to abandon a WordPress approach and go with the professional dating site software script. I won’t spend much time on all the options that were available but suffice it to say at one point my head felt like it was going to spin off into outer-space.

    I narrowed my search down to three products. SkaDate was by far the most expensive but also very feature-rich. There were two factors that led to my final decision to purchase. I watched all the skadate training videos on YouTube and was very impressed with what I saw from a functionality perspective.

    Second and probably most important were Irene’s comments on this blog. I was extremely impressed with her professionalism in the way that she responded to all negative comments. She methodically addressed/answered all the issues raised. That told me that the company has integrity and cares about their customers and their reputation in the marketplace.

    I would go so far as to say that in my case the negative reviewers comments, which I believe to be mostly unfounded and/or false, had the opposite effect of what was intended.

    The reviewer opened the door and provided Irene an opportunity to respond to his claims. It’s Irene’s response that ultimately helped me make my decision and take the plunge to purchase skadate.

    So on to my purchase. I placed my order late in the evening yesterday. However, before doing that I decided to go ahead and secure my hosting. I decided not to use my Host Gator account but rather use one of their recommended hosting providers. I chose Arvixe.

    Setting up hosting services with Arvixe was pretty straightforward and only took a few minutes. They’re hosting fees are very low.

    I chose them primarily because they were recommended by skadate and as such there shouldn’t be be any difficulty from a server configuration and script installation perspective.

    After setting up hosting and receiving my DNS server names from Arivxe I logged into Go Daddy and pointed the DNS server for my domain to the correct location.

    I then placed my order with skadate. I purchased both the dating script and the mobile script. (Just as a side note I’m a huge believer that if you don’t have some sort of mobile approach to serving content to your customers you’re going to be left behind.).

    I received an email almost immediately from the skadate support support team requesting I confirm my purchase which I did.

    I then received an email questionnaire required to do the installation and setup. By accident I had initiated a chat session with their support team. This actually turned out quite beneficial as I was able to ask a number of questions via chat as we were exchanging emails back and forth on the set up. This exchange ended around 1 AM eastern. My initial impression of skadate support was quite positive.

    On the questionnaire I had indicated skadate do the install. At approximately 1:30 AM Eastern time I received an email from support indicating there was a problem with my server set up and that they would like me to request the hosting provider move my account to a different server.

    The skadate support rep and the Arivex support rep had apparently chatted online and agreed to this course of action. Unfortunately the request to move my account had to be
    initiated by me personally. I didn’t see the request until 6:30 AM Eastern this morning at which time I sent an email requesting a change as requested.

    So far I haven’t heard anything more from either company but it’s been less than three hours since I made the request. I will post updates as the day develops so stay tuned…



  49. Anthony Johnson says:

    Hello again everyone. I wish I could say my site was up and running but unfortunately yesterday was not a good day for my install. It didn’t happen.

    As I indicated in my posting yesterday the Skadate support rep who was doing my install requested that I have my hosting provider change my account to a different server. I made this request to Arvixe yesterday at 6:30 AM Eastern time here in the US via a support ticket.

    I then patiently waited for the next eight hours to get a response to my request. After eight hours without a response I decided that was long enough and opened up a chat session with Arvixe support.

    I was in their support que holding for about 10 minutes when for whatever reason the session completed with a message saying that someone would get back to me. I figure their support team was very busy so I let it go for the time being.

    After another hour passed and still not having heard anything I initiated another chat session with their support team. This time I was able to chat with a rep. I inquired about the status of my account transfer request to another server. He looked up a support ticket number and told me they
    would be back in touch with me.

    After all this time I wasn’t willing to let Avrixe off the hook. The chat started to get a little heated when I insisted on knowing the status update on my request. I was then asked why the change in servers was being requested. I told him I did not have the details but that this request came from the technical support rep at Skadate who was doing my install.

    He then informed me that all of their servers are configured the same and then moving from one server to another would in all likelihood have no effect on whatever problem the installer was having.

    At this point I insisted on knowing the status of my original request to have the account moved to another server. It was starting to appear they weren’t taking this request seriously and it was pushed to the bottom of their activity

    I was been told and I’m paraphrasing; that there were other customers with more serious issues that they were trying to address and that my request was a lower priority.

    As you might imagine this didn’t sit well with me and at that point I asked to have the situation escalated to someone that could actually help me. To my surprise they did actually escalate the issue. Within just a few short minutes I received an email from someone in their technical support management chain.

    The email indicated they could certainly make the change but that once again all their servers were configured the same and therefore the problem, whatever it might be, that the installer was having might very well end up being duplicated on the new server as well.

    I have to admit I did see the logic in their argument. It was at that point that I initiated a chat session with the support team at Skadate.

    The Skadate rep entered a chat session with me almost immediately. When I explained the situation/history he asked me what the problem was that changing servers was supposed to solve. I immediately responded with I have no idea since it was never explained to me by their installer and that I had only received the request to have Avrixe change servers.

    At this point I’m thinking why doesn’t he know why the request was made and what the technical difficulty was. Hasn’t this been logged into their support ticket system by the rep that worked on the problem?

    He then asked me to go back to Avrixe and 1) ask them what the problem was and 2) to review the systems configuration requirements with them.

    I basically said no I’m not going to do that. I told him I’m using your recommended hosting provider. I chose this provider because they’re supposed to have expertise to configuring the server correctly for use by Skadate.

    I also told him Avrixe doesn’t know what the problem is since Skadate is the one that requested the change be made. Avrixe is simply trying to figure out what the problem is also. To them it doesn’t make any sense to switch servers unless there is some real quantifiable problem that’s been identified.

    Is your head spinning yet from reading us? Imagine how I was feeling at this point.

    I will say it was about this time when the Skadate rep really jumped into action. I think from the nature of the conversation the rep could tell things were going baddly and I was very unhappy. He stepped up to take personal responsibility for getting everything rescallated and resolved.

    After doing a little more research he came back and said he had no idea why they’re rep doing the install the night before had made that request to change servers. It appeared there was no record captured in their support system of what was really wrong.

    The rep did discover that they were unable to access my URL and were therefore unable to login to the Cpanel. We tested it on my end and it worked fine. The problem seems to be on their side. He tried accesing my site from another PC in their office but to no success.

    At this point because I knew the rep was working the problem as best he could I eased up a bit. I was getting what I wanted which was action to get the problem solved and the software installed.

    After trying everything the rep could think of including having me run a phpinfo.php report and send it to him it was decided we were going to have to wait until their senior technical guys comes in. Unfortunately for me that wasn’t going to be for another seven hours.

    So that’s where we left things. That’s been 14 or 15 hours ago. I still haven’t heard anything from their team and it’s going on 10:00 AM Eastern here in the US. That means they pretty much had an entire day over in Europe to work the problem.

    If I don’t hear something within the next two hours I guess I’ll be the squeaky wheel again.

    I hope the management team at Skadate are reading this and taking notes…:) Stay tuned….

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