The best dating sites know user interface matters most. They want to make sure their site feels open and easy to use. Their menus are simple to find so that members can search for people to date without hassle. Good sites aren't bogged down with bright, flashy ads that distract from the content.
When a site looks as shabby as WellHello did, it means the owners either don't care about their customers, or they don't know how to make a pleasing online experience. Neither of these scenarios fills me with hope.
Using the WellHello App
For most sites these days we evaluate both the website as well as the app. For many, either the site or the app is significantly better and worth talking about. In this case, we couldn't even try out the WellHello app because they don't have one!
If you're a site this small and don't even have an app you're not even really trying anymore. This is a major red flag.
As I perused WellHello, everything I did led me to account upgrade pages. Logging in did it, as did trying to respond to messages. It was quite frustrating. When a site advertises that they're “free,” you should be able to expect some basic functionality with your membership. Browsing member profiles and sending messages should be included, at the very least.
Paid memberships are usually reserved for special features, like getting your profile to show up first in the search results. There are too many good, actually free dating sites to spend money on the unknown.
Our experience communicating with other members
Adding to the chaos was the deluge of messages I was receiving. As soon as I signed up, WellHello inundated me with inquiries from the profiles of beautiful women. “Hey there” said one. “Were you trying to message me on snapchat?”
I don't really know what that one was supposed to mean. How would I have messaged a woman I don't know on Snapchat?
Another WellHello message demanded, “add more pictures! u r close 2 me – i just got divorced and want uncomplicated fun Grrrrrrrrrrr.” This was followed by another from another user. And another. They were coming on strong; too strong.
Any guy who has spent some time on an online dating site knows that getting messages takes work. To start even one conversation with a beautiful woman can take hours of searching and crafting the perfect message. The fact that I was getting so many messages right away (without even putting up a profile picture) made me suspicious.
As I figured would happen, when I tried to respond to the messages, the WellHello site informed me I needed to upgrade to a paid account. This is a common tactic among sketchy sites. They send you a bunch of fake messages from fake profiles with attractive women to encourage you to sign up for a paid account. Once you do, you never hear back. A huge red flag.
Who is actually using this site (profiles)
All of these unprompted messages from beautiful women got me wondering who was behind the profiles. I clicked on a few of them but there wasn't much information available. Most of the women didn't even have a basic self-description. So, I turned to an old trick that has helped me a lot in the past: I used Google's reverse image search function on their pictures.
What I found was unsurprisingly not good. There were a bunch of matches on a few of the profile pictures. One photo was featured on trashy sites (it's what you'd expect).