What are Memorial Websites?
If you’re looking for a place to memorialize the life of someone you loved, share their story with others, and/or connect your community around the life of your loved one, a memorial website is a great place to start.
What is a memorial website?
A memorial website (which can be referred to as a funeral website, an online memorial site, or a virtual memorial) is a website dedicated to someone who has passed away. Online memorial websites are frequently used as a space to share the news that someone has passed away, publish an obituary, and collect condolences from those who choose to give them. Some families use online memorial websites as a place to simply publish an obituary, while others set them up primarily to get assistance with funeral expenses, but memorial websites have a wide range of uses and features.
Some features you’ll typically find on a memorial website include:
- A place to publish and edit an obituary
- A section dedicated to upcoming funeral / memorial events
- A section for visitors to read condolences and leave their own
- A section where visitors can donate to a charitable cause (and in some cases, a personal cause)
- A place for friends and family to share photos
On Ever Loved, you’d find all of the above features, plus some unique additional features that include:
- A section where you can let others know how they can best help out (request assistance with funeral planning, meal prep, chores, etc.)
- A section to list out some of your loved one’s favorite things
- A timeline of your loved one’s life, where you can upload photos from important dates
- A way to keep track of and keep in touch with RSVPs
- A place for you to list out family members (both surviving and predeceased)
- A way to send out funeral invitations
What is a virtual memorial?
A virtual memorial is sometimes used interchangeably with the term online memorial website or memorial website. That being said, a virtual memorial can also refer to an online memorial service. Virtual memorials became increasingly popular during COVID-19 due to the restrictions funeral homes had on gathering sizes and the inability for folks to travel while the pandemic was at its peak.
A virtual memorial service is usually hosted on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook, or other online meeting platforms.
Are online memorial sites free?
Many online memorial websites are free or offer a free version of their site to visitors that don’t want to pay for a website. The downside to free memorial websites is they’re usually inundated with ads and other distracting elements in order to allow the company to host these free websites. (Ever Loved does not rely on ads and other distracting elements, no need to worry!) If you’re looking for an online memorial website and are interested in the free version, be sure to check out an example website or browse their public sites to get an idea of what to expect.
The best online memorial websites that are also free are typically the ones that don’t run ads. Ads are invasive and can make people uncomfortable when they’re trying to read about the life of someone who has passed away. The best online memorial website will also be the one you find fits your needs most. Do you need to communicate with folks attending the funeral? Are you interested in collecting RSVPs? Do you just want a place where the obituary is shared? Do you have privacy concerns? These are some of the questions you’ll want to consider when comparing different memorial website platforms. If you answered yes to any of those questions, you should get started with a memorial website on Ever Loved. Ever Loved memorial websites are ad-free and come with tons of features that will help you connect with your community after losing a loved one.
Ever Loved is a free memorial website that doesn’t have ads on the memorial website itself. Ever Loved relies on tips from generous donors and other sources of revenue to provide free websites to those looking to start their own memorial website. This means your friends, family, and community can browse your loved one's memorial website without being distracted by annoying ads that may clutter up the space or take away from the importance of the memorial website itself.
Can I just set up my own memorial website?
Setting up your own memorial website is absolutely an option, but often not one most families have time or technical expertise to accomplish. If you know someone or have someone in your family that has this type of knowledge, they can set up their own site in honor of your loved one. If not, creating a site on a platform like Ever Loved takes a lot of the confusion and work out of the equation and allows you to focus on what matters.
What if I just want to publish an obituary?
Thousands of people use memorial websites for the sole purpose of publishing an obituary online (for free!) every day. Memorial websites are excellent tools, even if all you want to do is share an obituary. Simply include the obituary on your memorial website and share it with your friends, there’s no need to fill out each and every section of the memorial website, that’s entirely up to you.
I posted the obituary in a newspaper; should I still make a memorial website?
Memorial websites are excellent sources of information for anyone who visits them and should definitely be created, even if you’ve already posted an obituary in a newspaper. Most people get their news online and through social media these days, so relying on a newspaper as the sole place where an obituary is posted naturally restricts the amount of folks who will be able to view the obituary. You can always set up both a memorial website and an obituary you post in the newspaper, both are good to have.
You may also be publishing an obituary through a newspaper that offers an online version of the obituary. Even if this is the case, it’s still recommended that you set up a separate online memorial website instead of just relying on the online obituary. Here are some bonuses you get from an online memorial website that you don’t get with a newspaper’s online obituary:
- The ability to post memories, condolences, and photos
- The ability to host a fundraiser
- A place to see a visual timeline of your loved one’s life
- A place to share and keep track of funeral event information
- A place to watch the livestream of the funeral if there is one
- The ability to let folks know how they can best assist you
- Additional useful resources regarding funeral planning
- Printable resources and access to databases of hospices, cemeteries, funeral homes, death doulas, event spaces, and more
- A useful guide and checklist for handling someone's affairs after they pass away
How do people find my memorial website?
Once a memorial website has been created, it’s automatically listed on major search engines, making it easy for people to find if they happen to be searching the name of the person who passed away. It’s also recommended that you share the link to your memorial website with your friends, family, and community right after setting it up so they can have immediate access to the page.
Here are some other places you can share a memorial website to maximize exposure:
- Facebook and other social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter
- Via any community or religious organization’s websites (for example, you can reach out to your church and ask that they share the link to your loved one’s site if they were a part of the congregation)
- Through email or text to your work colleagues and other friends and family
- By including the link in your newspaper obituary
What should I include on my memorial website?
If you’ve just started a memorial website on Ever Loved and are looking for a memorial website template to inspire you, check out this example memorial page. It’s also important to keep in mind that every memorial website is different and should be customized to the person who passed away for greatest impact. There isn’t a single “right” way to set up a memorial website, but it’s best to try and fill in as much information as possible so that visitors can learn about the person who passed away.
If you’re running low on time (or just don’t have the mental bandwidth to fill out each section on a memorial website), here are some of the most important sections to fill out: Include primary photos -- photos help visitors feel connected to the person who passed away and helps them ensure they’re on the right page. Include important event information so that people can RSVP and start planning. Include an obituary. If you don’t have time to write an obituary or aren’t sure where to start, templates are provided on the site itself. Otherwise, feel free to read over some great example obituaries or to read through these obituary templates. Set up your fundraiser and connect a payout account. If you need help with funeral expenses, setting up the fundraiser should happen sooner rather than later. The whole process can be completed in under 10 minutes.
You can always come back to edit your memorial website on Ever Loved at any time.
Now that you know what a memorial website is, it’s time to set one up! Memorial websites are free to set up on Ever Loved, are ad-free, and are used by people every day to share the stories of their loved one.