SkaDate Dating Software Review
SkaDate is the most elite dating script on the market. Created by Skalfa LLC and originally released in 2005. SkaDate provides a reliable platform for building both a dating site as well as social networks. The most recent version of SkaDate’s full featured script is SkaDate Master II.
The installation of SkaDate is very simple. Once purchased, you can download the SkaDate script from the members area. All you need to do to install the SkaDate dating software is upload the extracted script to your web server. Once uploaded, you will need to create a database for SkaDate to use. This is typically done through your web server’s hosting control panel (cPanel, Plesk, etc). Once the files have been uploaded and a database has been created all you need to do is launch the installation wizard and follow the on screen directions. After the normal installation is complete you will want to establish a cron task to run every minute on your site. This can typically be done in your hosting control panel as well. Once the installation is complete you are ready to being using your new dating site!
II. SkaDate built in features
SkaDate comes with a ton of features that are extremely beneficial to any dating or social networking site. This review will first cover the included benefits and then we will move on to third party add-ons. SkaDate is sold with two types of licenses, SkaDate Master, which is the full product and SkaDate Lite which is scaled back on its feature set. Both SkaDate Master and Lite come with the following:
- User proximity search – This allows users to find other people who are in the same geographic area using such items as distance from a specific zip code.
- Matchmaking – What dating site would be complete without the ability to utilize what users have entered into their profile and send matches via email to users based on what others have entered into their own profiles. This is one of the most effective tools for monetizing your dating or social networking site with the SkaDate software.
- Profile cover gallery – This is an amazing looking photo album for your user’s profile page. This feature tends to get users to focus on designing a nice and complete profile for themselves.
- Private messaging – Another great way to monetize your site is to enable private messaging for paid subscribers.
- Google Maps – Users can enter locations like city and state and the data will be pulled from Google Maps and displayed on the site to assist others in determining what geographic area people live in easily.
- Automatic SPAM protection – One of the biggest problems with dating and social networking sites is the amount of spammers that attempt to clog up your network. SkaDate uses a sophisticated algorithm to filter out automated spambot registration. Per SkaDate you will never see those accounts on your website.
- Advertising – Using the built in advertising module you can easily place ads into a rotation system on your website. You can even target users by location.
- Virtual Gifts – SkaDate has a ton of virtual items users can send to one another.
- Facebook Connect Integration – Who doesn’t have a Facebook account now days? With over 1 billion users, let your users sign up directly with their Facebook account.
- Payment Gateways – Using PayPal or CCBill you can charge for membership to your site by creating different types of account membership. This will definitely help no matter what type of dating or social networking site you decide to run.
- Content Moderation – Admins and moderators can review content that was flagged by users, or you can force profiles to also go through a mandatory review process before going live.
While both versions of the script have the above features SkaData Master also has the following:
- Games – single and multiplayer games can be played directly on your site. This increases engagement and introduced users to one another.
- Who viewed my profile – This is a huge feature as when someone views a profile, the person who owns the profile viewed tends to check those people out. This increases interaction and time spend on site which is huge these days from a search engine ranking point of view.
- Groups – People can join groups created by other users or by the site administrator. Groups can be public or private and people can engage with everyone within the group.
- Music and Video sharing – Users can share music and videos by embedding content from sites like YouTube and MetaCafe.
- Events – Allows member to post events with photos and a description for other members to see.
- Forums – A great way to let users interact is in the forums. You can create forum categories and users can post threads and have others respond.
- Profile builder – A drag and drop interface allows your users to easily build a custom profile page. Easily add, move, or remove profile page components without the need for knowing how to program.
Some of the 3rd party options that will greatly add value to your site include:
- Video Instant Messenger – Using chuPPo messenger or 123 Web Messenger add-ons you can allow your users to chat directly with one another on your site. The chuPPo messenger is something that SkaDate provides as an additional service for a fee.
- Video Chat – This allows users to chat in chat rooms using their web cams. The options to enable this within SkaDate are to use chuPPo Chat addon or 123 FlashChat addon.
- Facebook Style chat – By integrating your SkaDate site with another add-on provided by CometChat, you can have a messenger bar at the bottom of your site that allows users to easily chat with each other via instant messages similar to Facebook.
The number of features within SkaDate master is huge. For a full breakdown take a look at the features page at the SkaDate website.
III. SkaDate Administration
SkaDate has tons of configurable features within the administration area. The administration area is separated into two sections, Management and Configuration. The management section gives you access to things such as member profiles, monetization information, mail settings, administrators, addons, SEO, and referrals. The configuration area allows you to control the settings for your entire site. Some examples of the configuration area include forcing members to have verified email addresses, enabling captchas, blocking users based on location, modifying site layouts and templates. You can also configure features such as the forum, groups, classified, video, chat and much more from within the configuration menu. The SkaDate site has very detailed guides on how to utilize all of the features within the administration area. Check the images out below for just some of what can be done within the administration area.
IV. Final Overview
Whether you are looking to build the next big dating site or niche social network SkaDate can be a great asset in your success. While SkaDate does not provide much information for 3rd party developers, SkaDate does provide customization services directly. You can also go out and locate people who can develop custom code for your site as well. The amount of functionality built into SkaDate is very impressive. If you wanted to use SkaDate as a social networking site all you would need to do is disable certain dating features of the script. Another great aspect of SkaDate is the ability for license holders to suggest features for future editions of the script. The developers review the requests and those with high votes are considered for future builds of the dating script. SkaDate Master sells for $399.00 and the scaled back SkaDate Lite retails for $199.00.
Version upgrades of SkaDate are free and license holders get access to a public community support forum. The SkaDate Master license comes with 1 month of premium ticket based support. After that month elapses, you can purchase ticket support for $95.00 per month. The fees for premium support and 3rd party addons are the only real drawbacks from using SkaDate. While the public forum is moderated by SkaDate support staff, getting an answer to a critical issue might not occur in the forum. The premium addons provided by third parties were created to alleviate load from your server as they run as a Software as a Service. They integrate with your website but live on another server. By doing things this way you do pay a fee to use the services but you do end up saving some critical bandwidth if your host limits the amount of traffic you can have each month. This also makes installation easier as you do not need to worry about setting up Red5 or Flash Media Service on your web server.
All in all SkaDate is a great platform for hosting a dating or social networking site. While you do pay a one time fee for the license, their is the potential for recurring fees if you want to implement some of the better 3rd party addons to add video chat and messaging to your site.