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Newspaper Obituary vs. Online Obituary: Which is Right for You?

When someone passes away, it’s traditional to write an obituary honoring their life. Posting an obituary in the local newspaper used to be the primary way that people learned of another’s passing. Newspapers were relied on for relevant and recent news in their local communities.

However, with the advent of the internet, many have turned to social media and larger news organizations as their main source of information. While a newspaper obituary may be read locally, people throughout the country likely won’t have access to the printed obituary.

Posting an obituary in a newspaper

When you post an obituary, the common purposes are to alert the community that someone has passed away and to stand as a final record of that person’s life. It’s an important piece of funeral planning and isn’t one that should be overlooked.

Posting an obituary in a newspaper can alert the older, local community that is subscribed to the newspaper. Posting an obituary in a newspaper can also be seen as a tribute to a loved one so that the local community has written evidence of an obituary and passing. There are a few downsides to posting an obituary, solely in the newspaper:

  • Cost. Posting an obituary in the newspaper will usually start out around $200 for a few sentences and a photo. Condensing your loved one's life story into a few short lines is an incredibly difficult task, especially if you're including information about the services.
  • Visibility. If you choose to only post an obituary in the newspaper, as a method of alerting others to service information, you'll likely find that very few people will be alerted to the important services information. Even if you choose to pay for a printed obituary, you should still post an online obituary so that important information is easily and immediately accessible to those who don't read the newspaper.
  • No room for customization. Newspapers are extremely regimented and leave little to no room for customization. If you wanted to include multiple photos of your loved one, chances are it's either not allowed or impossible, depending on the paper.

Posting an obituary online

Posting an obituary online gives you the advantages of sharing the news more easily, quickly, and to a larger audience. On Ever Loved, you can easily post and share an obituary as soon as you create it. Sharing the link to the obituary allows you to reach a large audience and also allows others to come to the page and share their own memories and condolences. Here are some of the benefits of posting an online obituary:

  • Cost. While the older, local community might expect to see obituaries in their local paper, it’s also worth noting that a printed obituary is often much more expensive than people expect. Newspapers generally charge people by the line for obituaries and have a very limited amount of space to give individuals when they submit obituaries. It’s difficult to fit the entirety of one’s life story and accomplishments in the span of 4 sentences. This difficulty is magnified by the amount of money you’ll most likely be spending, which can sometimes go up to around $400 depending on the newspaper.

  • Visibility and accessibility. If you’re looking to share an obituary with your local community, but need to keep costs down and need to spread to obituary to a large audience, posting an obituary online is a good choice. Obituaries that are posted on Ever Loved are 100% free, shareable, and interactive. Families that post obituaries on our site will often receive comments, photos, and condolences from family members they haven’t been in contact with for a very long time.

  • Space. Not only is posting an online obituary free, but they often do not have character limits or space limits. An online obituary will also usually include a space for a photo and a space for additional notes or details about the person who has passed away. Creating an obituary on Ever Loved gives you the option to add a fundraiser, collect memories, add event details, collect RSVPs and specify whether you’d like to receive flowers.

Publish a free obituary

Even if you decide that you’d like to go the traditional, printed route and honor a loved one with a newspaper obituary, it’s recommended that you simultaneously post that obituary online. Many people have gone paperless and learn most of their news from online sources. It’s important to keep them in the loop, even if they don’t have access to the local paper. If you’re interested in creating an online obituary, you can get started here.

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Last updated April 13, 2023
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