PROS / The Color Code offers important insights about your personality that can help you in your dating life. It is also shorter than some of the personality tests on competing sites.
CONS / You cannot filter your searches by keyword.
VERDICT / Spark excels in the most important areas, with lots of search tools and detailed profiles for help finding a true match.
You cannot engineer chemistry in a relationship, but you can predict basic compatibility, at least to some degree. Spark does a good job of that, landing it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. Spark Networks has a lot of practice in matching people. The company owns ChristianMingle, JDate, LDSSingles, SilverSingles and many other dating websites. Spark is the most general property, matching singles from all belief systems. This site stands out for all of its communication options and great customer service.
Profiles & Matching
It's easy to get started and set up a profile, though this is one of the strictest sites for photo requirements. You cannot log in fully without a photo that fits specific size and composition requirements. Lots of sites do not require photos of any kind, though most have recommendations. Spark bars your full participation until you have an approved photo.
Once you’ve got at least one photo that meets requirements and you've posted your profile, you can easily track responses to it. You can correspond through instant messages, send and receive e-cards and see “flirts” to get a better sense of the dating pool. But you’ll have to pay the membership fee to read, write and respond to email.
Spark bases a lot of its dating direction on a classic color quiz. Taking the quiz is a quick and simple process compared to many other sites' primary personality tests. The quiz asks you questions about your personality and how you acted when you were a child. It then sorts you into a color personality. You can read about your primary personality traits – whether you belong to red, yellow, blue or white. You can also learn how your personality type will mix with other personality types.
You'll find a perfect correlation between profile and search criteria. You can be as broad or as specific as you like as you look for great dates. There is a quick search and a customizable search option. You can view your results as a photo gallery or in a list, and you can sort the results by newest, most active, closest to you or most popular. You have a lot of filters available for each search. You can designate ethnicity, smoking, body type, religion, education level and many more.
Like all of the best online dating sites, Spark will send you regular emails with potential matches based on your profile, and you can see these matches on Spark by following the links.
Spark offers five ways to communicate: instant message, chat, email, message boards and e-cards. You may also use the “Do we click?” function to find out if another member shares your interest. There are the yes, maybe, and no buttons found on each profile to select your level of interest. If there is mutual interest, it will be indicated on your results lists like the Members Who’ve Viewed You. This list will show you a photo and some basic information on each member who has viewed your profile. Spark has a long list of icons to represent actions like you flirting with another member, that member flirting with you or you flirting with each other.
Spark also has chat rooms and a message boards covering a wide variety of topics for members. If you need a break from scanning profiles, you can try Cupid’s Quest, a quick game where you’ll collect hearts and avoid love bombs.
Help & Support
The site includes helpful tips such as the idea to sort potential matches into categories like: "have potential," "within a 50-mile radius," "great but long distance," "like the same music," "can’t wait to meet," "currently dating," or "just my style." You’ll also find a FAQs page and can contact Spark by email or telephone.
Spark is very picky about photo choice but offers a lot of flexibility in almost everything else, especially in methods of communication. You can chat, email, send cards and more. You get flexibility on personality testing too. Some sites rely on them too much and some do not have any testing at all. Spark has a nice balance. You can make your own matches but the Spark personality testing helps you predict whether you will be compatible with your choices. With all of Spark's flexibility you have the tools necessary to meet a special someone.