All four of our top sites used some sort of algorithm to match you with people you should be compatible with and interested in — and keep those “automatic nos” out of your feed.

This is the real heart of online dating (anyone could sift through profiles on their own) and some sites do it better than others.

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But of course, without your voice, it’s hard for your personality to shine through in your profile.

The best sites strike a balance between both approaches.

Are you more likely to find a match using a site that serves up the most people, or one where everybody checks off at least one of your Dream Guy/Girl boxes?

The answer: You’re most likely to find a match using both.

It’s not the most important thing in the world for an online dating site to be intuitive and enjoyable to use, with an attractive visual design. Because none of our top four sites were exorbitantly priced, we didn’t take cost into account too heavily when ranking them.

That said, the fact that Ok Cupid is free definitely stands out.

We briefly touch on mobile-only dating apps below, but apps deserve a review that’s all their own (so stay tuned).

There are great city-specific services (Dating Ring is a perfect example — it’s currently in New York City, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston, and DC), but we only wanted ones that have a nationwide user base. The argument is as old as dating itself: quantity versus quality.

We turned to Alexa, a web-traffic analytics company, to better assess how many people are on each site clicking around, and culled those with below-average numbers: fewer than a million active users in the US. We can assume those numbers apply to most online dating sites.