Overview of Christian Buddies
Christianbuddies.net is a Christian dating site designed to bring religious singles together. This website advertises that they understand Christian Dating Principles and can help Christians meet and date in a safe and wholesome environment. You can choose from several denominations and belief groups if you want to find someone who shares your specific religion. This site centers around chat and video chat to get to know people all over the world, but also has local search features to find local dates or long-term relationships.
The best feature on Christian Buddies is the Smart Match Tool they use to make the Matches relevant for users. You can search the site for something as specific as “local single Christians” or broaden your search to a denomination, profession, height, age, and more. Smart Match uses your search history within the dating site, your site activity, and the personal details you add to your profile to show matches that are compatible and fit your needs. This means that if you are really only want to date local Catholic women, and you search versions of that or view those profiles, the matching feature recognizes the pattern and continues to show you more of the same. You can still search for matches outside your normal preferences by using the Search functions. If your wants and needs change, so does what you see on the site. That’s why this is my favorite feature – it makes it simple to find what you want without going through tons of profiles that aren’t relevant.
The biggest critique I have for this site is that it is not a fully free dating site. If you buy a three-month or six-month membership you get better access to the site, but you still have to add a VIP upgrade to get full access to all the best features. I’d also like to see them add a Status Update feature or some version of public chat or profile interaction on the site to make it more social. Some of my favorite dating sites have these kinds of social media tools and I found connecting and interacting a lot easier when there’s a way to break the ice.
Features and Activities
ChristianBuddies offers its members many ways to interact. This is a bigger deal than you might think – I don’t see a lot of sites getting both the tech and the social aspects right. It’s often one or the other, and sometimes neither. This site manages to bring together great tech (Smart Match) and active social features (Flirt and Video Chat) to make it productive and fun.
- Home – You’ll see this page after you log in. It has the activities you’ll use all the time. This is where you can find your Notifications, Messages, Chats, Activity, other Members, Flirts, and Your New Matches. You can get to basic site features like the Help Desk and Privacy Policies from the very bottom of the page.
- Inbox – There’s a large envelope icon on the screen that will tell you when you have a new message.
- New Members – See who’s new on the site.
- Your New Matches – These are matches ChristianBuddies suggests for you based on your likes, searches, and activity. This is where the Smart Match Tool I talked about in the Overview comes into play.
- Browse – Browse members by category or see people you’ve connected with. Pick from the buttons on your dashboard to see people who are:
- New – Shows new members.
- Online – Shows people who are Online Now and not hidden. You can choose to remain Offline if you’d like to search the site without interruption.
- Matches – Shows people the ChristianBuddies suggests for you.
- VIP – Shows VIP Members. You can see many of these members, but can only connect with them if you have a VIP Membership, in addition to a Paid Membership. If you aren’t a VIP, consider this area a preview to get you to Upgrade.
- Admirers – People who’ve Liked your profile.
- Favorites – People you’ve Liked and who have Liked you, too.
- Visitors – Members who have visited your full Profile to learn more about you.
- Blocked – Use the Block feature for any member who is making you uneasy or for any other reason. For example, you might want to block people you know in real life if you are a private person. This is a tool all sites should have. I love meeting new people online, but there are people I don’t want to interact with more than once… or ever. If you change your mind later, you can Unblock people at any time.
- Profile – View your profile information to edit and add to it as you like. The more often you update your profile, the higher you’ll rank in Search. The details you provide help the site find you compatible Matches. Even if you’re just using the site to Video Chat or talk to other religious singles, you’ll want a full profile so your Searches are more relevant.
- Chat – Chat and Video Chat with others. You can only Chat if you’ve paid for a membership. You can only connect with VIP Members if you’re a VIP, too. This is where they convince you to buy the Gold Membership and VIP Package. This site is fun and busy, but if you can’t chat or interact, it makes the site pointless.
- Flirt – This is a social feature and shows you members to Flirt with. The site keeps tabs on the Top Flirts of the Week – the people who’ve Flirted the most.
The “Free Christian Dating Site with No Hidden Fees” is sadly a fairytale. Not just on this site, and not just with Christian Singles Sites, but all over the web. Dating sites usually let you join free, which is much different than using the site for free. Once you get to the site and signed up, they ask you to upgrade so you can Message and Chat. ChristianBuddies is no exception. The Free Membership gives you access to the most basic tools, like search, browsing, and accepting incoming messages – just enough to get you interested in the site and the members. If you want to use the best features of the site, you must pay for a Membership and Upgrade. The Membership Options on this site are a little more complicated than some others I have reviewed.
There are 3 Basic Upgrade Options, Plus the Add-On:
1-month membership at $39.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $54.89
- Total due at signup = $54.89
3-month membership at $29.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $44.89
- Total due at signup = $134.67
- Saves $10/month or $30 total
6-month membership at $24.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $39.89
- Total due at sign-up = $239.34
- Saves $15/month or $90 total
If you plan to join the site as a Paid Member, it’s best to just suck it up and buy the VIP add-on with one of the monthly plans. There are some great features on here that you can’t use if you don’t upgrade to a full VIP Membership. Upgrading without also buying the VIP is a waste of money, as odd as that seems (even to me).
The six-month Gold Plan is the best value, and even adding the VIP Plan to it makes it less per month than the monthly recurring plan. The flip side is that while it saves a huge amount of money to buy the longer plans, they are billed at the time of sign-up for the whole term, so it ends up being a higher upfront cost.
ChristianBuddies.net is one of the best Christian Dating Sites I have reviewed. It’s got a lot of members, a decent price, and some great features. They have a good system for reviewing and validating profiles, great security, and the members are active (this matters because it’s not fun to hang out on a dead site).
The winning features of this particular site are the Search Function and the Smart Match, for sure. The way they work together to show compatible matches and learn your preferences makes it easier and faster to find what you want.
The worst thing about the site is the Membership Package + VIP Add-On. I don’t even think the price is outrageous – it is what other sites are charging. It’s also not alone in using the Add-On as a separate option. I guess I just prefer to make things as easy as possible, and this seems to be opposite of that.
Adding more social media features would also be a positive thing for this site. These kinds of communication tools give dating websites a community feel. You can get to know other members before checking out the profiles and interact through conversations and replies. I’d like to see them add that. I think it’s especially important on niche dating sites where it’s nice to gauge how people behave before interacting.
Overall, ChristianBuddies.net is designed well. I like the layout and theme. It isn’t scammy or glitchy, has a lot of members, makes good use of technology, and has fun social features. It’s worth the price for the membership if you purchase the VIP, too. If the VIP add-on isn’t in your budget, I’d suggest starting with a one-month membership to see if you like the site, even with the limited benefits.