Online memorials and memorial websites allow friends and family to remember a loved one long after her death. These unique tributes feature pictures, memories and legacy updates by the site creator and visitors. Many online memorial companies offer free services for creating memorial pages to help those who are grieving to band together in their time of need.
Founded in 2013, Beautiful Tribute is a unique memorial website because it receives all funding from funeral home partners and donations. This means it's free to create and maintain with no advertising. All you need to build a stunning, professional-looking memorial is an email address and a few minutes. While you only get one format to customize with your loved one's information, the extra features make the site a great value. Not only can you upload an unlimited volume of pictures, videos and music, but there are also convenient buttons for sharing. You won't see a lot of pages on the memorial, but guests can leave messages and see the basics on the homepage.
Aside from the nonexistent price tag, the feature that sets this platform apart is the easy donation feature. Through a partnership with GoGetFunding, or the use of PayPal, hosts can add a prominent "donate" button to a memorial accompanied by an explanation of the charitable feature. Whether you've set up a trust fund for the children of the deceased or hope others will donate to her favorite charity, this feature allows guests to give money to a worthy cause in the name of their friend.
Featuring obituaries for celebrities and local citizens as reported by funeral homes, Tributes.com takes its services one step further by offering an online platform for individual memorials. Beneficiaries of the deceased have the option between two low-cost online tribute options for pets or people. The site is incredibly easy and inexpensive but does include some third-party advertising. One of the features unique to this site is the option to sign up for reminders of the anniversary of a loved one's death. You'll need an email address to get started and to comment on a site that's already been created. Guests can also connect with the memorial via Facebook.
Basic Death Notice
This memorial option costs about $20 for a webpage that never expires. The host can include a basic obituary, pictures and information on funeral services. Guests can share photos, written or recorded messages or "light a candle" for the deceased by pairing a short message with a candle illustration.
If you want a more customized look with more social options, this package costs about $50. As you create your memorial, choose from full-screen background themes, add background music and include an unlimited amount of photos. This site never expires and guests can check it out on their phones or tablets. A unique feature of this premium package is the "Life Stories" tab where guests participate in forum-style discussions about the deceased. Military families can customize the memorial using the military obituary format where special backgrounds and a timeline of service are included.
Started in 2004, MemoryOf gives your tribute a personalized internet address you choose. Typically, this includes the name of the deceased to make it easier for others to find. The company now boasts itself as a "center for healing" because they provide additional resources for guests like grief counselors and community forums. One person serves as the host and creates the pages using her email address and name. Creation and the first two weeks of web hosting are free for everyone. After that, you'll need to pay either about $5 per month, $50 per year, or $95 as a one-time permanent fee. There is one basic template for all memorials. Unique features include:
- 20 background themes
- Photo slideshow
- His/Her Legacy tab where you can share writings from the deceased
- Room for 300 captioned photos
- Family tree feature to show relatives
Once the site is set up friends and family members can leave messages and add to the memories.
Featuring three creation options, ilasting includes just the basics without a lot of extraneous options. All versions are free of ads so your memorial is all about your loved one. Choose from dozens of standard themes, make the site password protected if you want and choose the name for your unique website.
The free version of online memorials is always free with no hidden costs. While you'll only be able to put up basic info and five photos you can also include a song. Up to five guests can share stories about the deceased and five people can light virtual candles. If the deceased wasn't close to a lot of people or you simply wish to provide a place others can go to remember a loved one, the free version has everything you need.
The all premium version feature a 30-day money back guarantee. There is a $49 plan, which is good for one year and includes 100 photos, unlimited stories, videos, a timeline and a donation page. The $99 plan gives you a permanent online memorial with all the features of the other versions and the addition of a virtual display badge you can pin on your blog or website to share the tribute.
The memorial website from Legacy.com has arguably the most professional look of all the options and goes beyond basic design. Customization options like overall themes and the ability to move elements to different parts of the page give hosts ultimate personalization to create a truly original memorial. However, more options also mean it is more difficult and time-consuming to set up. Individual sites have a name or title created by the host and hold up to 150 photos and 30 audio or video files. One of the best features unique to the site is the journal section where hosts can blog on a regular basis. Another great feature is the ability to add an unlimited number of charity website links so guests can donate or volunteer with charities related to the deceased's death.
The first two weeks of hosting are free, then the site must be sponsored on an annual basis. First-year sponsorship costs just under $50 with an annual renewal rate of just under $20 per year. Memorial sites don't get dismantled when they're not sponsored, but they can't be viewed until a sponsorship is paid.
Memorial Matters considers itself a premium tribute website where you get a great variety of customization options for a fee. Started in 2009 this platform doesn't incorporate advertising and offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Basic features include room for up to 100 pictures, the addition of music to the background and a standard biography. The first two weeks and creation are free, after that, you pay either $5 per month, $50 per year or $95 for an everlasting memorial. Choose the password protection feature to keep the site private to those with the password. Unique features include:
- 50 templates in the categories of natural, religious, hobbies, sports, child, patriotic and simple colors
- Welcome message from site creator
- Print option
- Include video links to YouTube videos
- Send virtual flowers
- Organized sections featured on the homepage in a grid pattern
Love Lives On
Each person in the world touches the lives of many, whether it be friends and family members or complete strangers. Creating an online memorial gives all those touched lives the chance to share their experiences with the deceased in one convenient location.