How Much Do Obituaries Cost?
Traditional obituaries that are posted in the newspaper are much more expensive than most people expect them to be. The average cost of an obituary is generally between $200-$500 and that usually does not include a photo. The size and reach of the newspaper can also determine how expensive the obituary may be. For example, the New York Times charges $236 for the first four lines and $50 per line after that. Each line is written in size 7 Serif font (a notoriously small font) and is only 28 characters long. For reference, a traditional obituary typically has around 700 characters in it, which can rack up the costs of a printed obituary real quick.
Because newspaper obituaries are so expensive and fewer people read a physical paper, more and more people are publishing obituaries online. Many newspapers still charge for this (generally around $50), but you can publish an obituary for free on Ever Loved.
The downside with some online obituaries is that many websites (including those hosted by newspapers) will clutter the obituary page with ads (something we do not do). Some of these websites even have pop-up ads that interrupt the reader as they read through an obituary. If you choose to post an online obituary, try to do some research before posting. Many sites allow you to browse memorials that have recently been posted which can give you a good idea for what yours will look like once it’s up.
Why are obituaries so expensive?
Traditionally, obituaries that were posted in the newspaper were often times the best way to spread the news that someone had passed. Local papers were essential, alerting everyone of important news and updates that affected the local community.
With the rise and everyday necessity of the internet, newspapers have slowly but surely been losing out on subscribers. According to journalism.org, the total number of circulating newspapers (online included) was 28.5 million in 2018, down from 62.5 million in 1986. Newspapers are forced to turn from traditional print to online methods as more and more people turn to digital outlets to get their news. In an effort to stay afloat, many newspapers charge by the line or word for any printed obituaries they publish. If they offer online obituaries, they might include ads or links to other news stories that they can generate revenue off of. In short, obituaries are often expensive due to the actual cost of printing and the fact that there used to be very few alternatives.
Online obituaries, such as the free ones you can create here on Ever Loved, can vary in price, but are generally much cheaper than printed obituaries.
Where are obituaries usually posted?
Obituaries were traditionally posted in the local newspaper as a way to alert the community of someone’s passing. Since newspapers were the way in which most people received any type of news, printing obituaries in the paper was also an extremely effective way to spread news before the internet. Now that social media is the way in which most people connect and communicate with their communities, printing a traditional obituary is no longer a necessity and is often times not as effective as sharing news online.
Things to consider when choosing an online option
Due to the average cost of a printed obituary being so high, many have turned to online sources as a place to post obituaries. There are a few things to consider when choosing which website you’d like to host your obituary. Here are some questions you might want to ask when looking for the right website:
What do the obituaries look like?
Some memorial websites allow you to browse through their memorials to get a better idea of what their obituaries look like. You can also reach out to the company directly for some examples. (If you're interested in what Ever Loved memorial websites look like, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for some examples.) It’s a good idea to check on these before posting one of your own to get an understanding of what you’re purchasing or signing up for.
What are the fees?
Depending on the website the obituary or memorial page can be absolutely free or cost a fee. Ever Loved is completely free and does not charge customers looking to create Memorial Pages. Some private websites charge around $35 for an obituary while newspapers tend to charge a little more due to their reputation and reach.
Are there ads?
If the website is letting you create a page for free, they most likely generate revenue from ads or partnerships. Check the existing pages and the signup information to see if there will be ads on your completed obituary page. Keep in mind that ads can detract from the experience of someone who wants to remember the person who has passed away. We do not use ads on Ever Loved and are run by tips from generous donors.
Can people post comments, photos, or memories?
If you’re interested in allowing others to actively participate in remembering a loved one, it’s important that the memorial page you choose allows people to share memories and photos. Check to see if your posted obituary is interactive and allows others to leave comments or share their own memories. If you’re interested in sharing a photo or memory on an existing Ever Loved Memorial Page, read our article on How to Post a Photo.
How long does the obituary stay up for?
Some online obituary sites have a time limit for the amount of time your obituary will stay posted on their site. You may also have the option to increase the length of time by paying additional hosting fees. Be sure to check how long the obituary will stay online for and if there are any associated fees with hosting the obituary.
Is there a character limit?
Obituaries posted on Ever Loved come with an unlimited amount of space for writing, but this may not be true for online obituaries hosted on other sites. If you have a lengthy obituary you're interested in posting, or simply don't want to be confined by a character limit, check with the company to see if there's a maximum amount that can be written.
Other Features to Consider
Setting up a Memorial Fund or Donating to Charity
Funerals are expensive and often times, completely unexpected, leaving most families at a complete loss. If you’re struggling with how to pay for a funeral, you can use your Memorial Page to accept donations to a cause of your choice. We offer the option to raise money for a personal cause of your choice, raise money that gets sent directly to the funeral home, or creating a fundraiser for a charity of your choice -- free of charge. Many people have found success when in raising money after creating a Memorial Page and sharing it with their friends, family, and community.
If you’re planning a funeral, you might also be planning a Celebration of Life, or have a few other events that you’d like people to be able to attend. Having Event Information and RSVP information readily available on the Memorial Page is a convenient way to alert others of upcoming events and to get an understanding for how many people you should be expecting at those events. You can place Event Information (and collect RSVPs) directly on your Memorial Page when you create one with Ever Loved.