Creating a Memorial Website
A memorial website offers an easily accessible, central location for loved ones to celebrate the life of someone who has passed and provide support for those in mourning. From simple condolence guest books to virtual end-of-life events, online memorials are increasingly popular ways to bring people together, no matter where they are physically located. While you can create your own independent memorial website, there are several well-designed services that can help even the least tech-inclined person build an online remembrance that reflects the life and impact of the departed.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Memorial Website?
- Work With A Funeral Home
- Memorialize A Facebook Page
- Create An Independent Memorial Website
- Use An Established Memorial Website Service
- What Are The Most Popular Memorial Website Services?
What is a Memorial Website?
A memorial website is an online resource for family, friends, and colleagues to honor and remember the life of someone who has died. Not everyone has the means or the ability to attend a funeral, and online memorials are a great way to include as many people as possible in end-of-life celebrations. Your online tribute can be created to be a repository for an official obituary and stories that you may want to share about the deceased, as well as a home for photos, videos, musical odes, and audio messages. Visitors to the website can leave condolences and show support to others who are grieving. Some memorial websites also allow mourners to donate to the departed’s preferred charities, send flowers to the family or funeral home, or contribute to crowdfunding campaigns to help defray the funeral costs. Depending on how the memorial website is designed (or what package you buy), you can create an online memorial that is active for a specified amount of time or forever.
Work with a Funeral Home
Many funeral homes now offer to host and create memorial website pages in conjunction with traditional funeral services. When you approach a funeral home to plan end-of-life celebrations or enact an existing plan, discuss the process of creating an online tribute for your loved one. Often, the funeral home will include an obituary that can also be sent to the local papers, details about the visitation, service information, and any public direction regarding the interment. They may offer a memory wall where people can share stories about the deceased and offer condolences. Photos and videos may also be part of the package. Many funeral homes also provide a direct link from the memorial page to easily send flowers to the visitation, service, or burial site. The costs of the online memorial service can vary, as does the amount of information that can be added, so be sure to ask for those specifics when discussing arrangements with the funeral home director.
Memorialize a Facebook Page
If your loved one was active on Facebook, you could memorialize their page. When this is done, all the content your loved one posted to their page will continue to be shared with anyone who visits. If the existing privacy setting allows it, friends that followed that page can share condolences, stories, videos, and photos for as long as the page is memorialized. However, for those who want to administer the page, unless you are named as the legacy contact before the page is memorialized, the account itself cannot be changed.
Create an Independent Memorial Website
If you are particularly tech-savvy or have a family member who is, you can create an independent memorial website that will allow you to provide an online gathering place for those looking to celebrate the departed. You can try a free version through services like Blogger, WordPress, or Wix. Many feature website builders that will get your site up quickly while also providing significant opportunities for personalization. If you decide to create your own online memorial, be sure to include details about viewings and funeral services, as well as the official obituary. From there, whatever you want to share can be added as you like, and the website or blog can stay up for as long as you want it to be active. Of course, if your loved one was an active blogger, and you have the login information, you can effectively memorialize their blog and use the space to share public details about their passing.
Use an Established Memorial Website Service
There are a number of popular and well-respected memorial website services that may answer your desire to add an easily accessible online component to your loved one’s end-of-life celebrations. Many offer both free versions and paid versions (with greater capacity and personalization options).
What are the Most Popular Memorial Website Services?
Keeper and the Keeper Plus service help clients create memorial websites through a relatively easy-to-use interface. It considers itself to be an interactive memorial site that allows people to visit and offer support beyond the in-person events. The website provides a place for you to share images and videos, a biography and obituary, life milestones, a family tree, donation links for crowdfunding sites or charities, service locations, and a guest book and tribute center. You can choose an add-on service that allows you to send out invitations and track RSVPs to in-person and virtual events. The paid service (Keeper Plus) provides the same options, but you have an unlimited number of uploads and storage space, and it allows for multiple administrators for a one-time payment of $74.99.
Ever Loved makes starting an online memorial easy. You can begin the process by answering some basic questions about the departed, as well as the visitation, funeral, and burial services. It offers assistance in the funeral planning process, provides access to funeral resources, makes issuing funeral service invitations easy, and tracks service RSVPs. The sharing features also allow for no-hassle uploads of photos and videos. Donation features are also included in the standard site. The pricing is contingent on the services you need and the length of time you would like to have the memorial active. The standard service is free, and then you can choose to upgrade the service for $49.95 for the first month, following a 7-day free trial. After the first month, there is a small additional monthly maintenance fee for the premium service.
Forever Missed offers a monthly or yearly paid service that creates memorial pages which feature biographical information, background music, videos, and photos. The minimalist look puts the emphasis on the tributes themselves, with guests having a simple way to share stories (including illustrated stories) or comments on the page directly. Depending on the level of service you purchase, the memorial can also be fully integrated with Facebook profiles and YouTube accounts. There are no ads on the memorial pages, no matter which package you buy. If you do want to create a memorial website that will be hosted forever, they also offer a single-payment lifetime membership.
InMemori is a free website service the creates memorials with a simple interface in a soothing style. The guest book is easy for you or a trusted family member or friend to manage and presents a streamlined way for mourners to offer condolences. The site does not appear in search engines, so you do not need to worry about adding layers of security if you want to keep the details of the funeral private. While the website itself does not host virtual events, it does allow you to link out to streaming events, including those that have been necessary during the pandemic.
Memories strives to create a memorial space that loved ones can connect to, via desktop or on mobile, for years to come. A “Memory Page” can be kept private or shared publicly. It is free to create and allows for up to 1GB of storage for video files and photo galleries. Their interface also allows for things like slideshows. Its guest book style is elegant, and the website itself is easy to navigate. While they do not offer virtual event hosting, they do feature an array of funeral resources. After the initial memorial page creation, you can opt to pay a one-off fee to keep the site published forever.
We Remember was developed by the creators of Ancestry.com. The service is free, and it can be linked to an Ancestry account if you have one. While other memorial websites (like Keeper) do offer family tree options, Ancestry’s access is unique. The guest book’s scrapbook style is easy to maintain and is intuitively organized. They also have a significant trove of resources to help those coping with grief and mourning. The memorial page’s tribute section can be found via search engines, but some stricter privacy settings are available to you when you create the memorial page.
Never Gone is a free service that offers standard functions in a welcoming online space. The memorial page you create can allow for photos, stories, videos, and tributes, as well as guest book condolences and virtual candles. This memorial website is easy to navigate, features a comforting and inviting look, and provides clients with several customization options.
Tributes and Legacy.com
Many people are familiar with Legacy.com because it partners with regional and local newspapers to host and archive online obituaries. At one time, you could upload more detailed tributes, pay for services like memorial tree plantings, and send flowers to funeral or burial services. The older site does have ads and can be searched for in any search engine. A few years ago, Tributes took over the memorial section from Legacy.com (you can no longer host a new memorial page through Legacy). Tributes built on the Legacy archive and platform, which offers the same basic templates, links to gifts and flowers, and funeral location maps, as well as new and evolving grief assistance resources. Currently, Tributes has a two-tiered pricing plan – one for a basic death notice and a slightly more expensive option for the premium eternal tribute.
The memorial websites listed above are just a few of the most popular options available for online tributes today. This list is for information purposes only and should not be considered an endorsement of any one particular service.