An obituary is a notice of death that traditionally was published in a newspaper. In the past, obituaries were a way to spread a death announcement around a community before the rise of technology. Nowadays, obituary websites have largely replaced traditional newspaper obituaries as a way to memorialize someone’s legacy online.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s an Obituary Website?
- What Are Features to Look For in an Obituary Website?
- Popular Free Obituary Websites
- Popular Subscription or Fee-Based Obituary Websites
Obituary websites specialize in memorials, death tributes, and even add-on features like guest books or photo albums. It’s never been easier to find a free or low-cost obituary website, and this is a great way to capture your loved one’s digital legacy. Online memorial sites offer everything you need to honor your loved one, and they’re easy to share on social media, via email, and so on.
What are the most popular free or low-cost obituary websites? In this guide, we explore not only how to choose an obituary website but also the best picks available today. With so much obituary etiquette to consider, this isn’t a decision you want to take lightly.
What’s an Obituary Website?
First, what even is an obituary website? This is a type of online platform designed to house digital obituaries. An obituary is a public death notice. It’s often a highlight reel of someone’s life, sharing their key moments, achievements, and milestones. Traditionally, obituaries were published in local newspapers as a way to inform the community of a loss. Today, these notices have transitioned online to suit our new digital space.
An obituary website is a place where these obituaries or death notices can live for years to come. Unlike a newspaper, they aren’t forgotten and discarded in a week. Because cyberspace is forever, so are these obituaries. They’re also easy to share digitally with loved ones via social media or email.
As obituary websites become more popular, some platforms continue to add new features. These are designed to help grieving families through this difficult time, bringing people together no matter where they are in the world. With add-on features like guestbooks, video tributes, and collaborative photo albums, these obituary websites do a great job of sharing someone’s true legacy.
What Are Features to Look For in an Obituary Website?
When choosing an obituary website, there are a lot of different features to consider. Not all obituary websites are created equal. Some offer special add-ons and extras to help users create the perfect obituary for their loved ones.
While you might not need every feature, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what’s offered. Here are some of the most common features found on obituary websites:
- Public obituary: First, most obituary websites make it possible to publish a formal obituary. This is a text-based obituary, and there are usually no character limits like you might find in a newspaper.
- Privacy: That being said, most online obituaries have some privacy settings. For example, you might make your obituary only accessible via a specific link.
- Guestbook: Many obituaries online also have a guestbook so users can share stories, condolences, and messages for the family.
- Photo and video albums: Traditionally, a photo is published with the obituary. With online obituaries, you have the ability to upload as many photos or videos as you’d like.
- Custom URL: Though this is usually an add-on upgrade, adding a custom URL makes it easier for people to find your loved one’s obituary.
- Family tree: A new feature found on many memorial websites is the ability to create and build a family tree, connecting your obituary with the larger narrative of your family story.
- Cemetery directions: For those buried in a cemetery, you can also share clear cemetery directions to find your loved one’s grave for years to come.
- Virtual funerals: It’s also more common for online obituary websites to have extra features for those looking to hold a virtual funeral or hybrid funeral online.
- Donation: If your family would prefer a donation in lieu of flowers, it’s possible to add a donation link direction to your memorial page.
- Customizable design: Last but not least, many online obituary websites offer customizable designs and templates to honor your loved one fully with your digital creation.
As you might imagine, you likely won’t need all of the features above. However, having the ability to create something remarkable online to honor your loved one is a source of peace and comfort in a time of loss.
Popular Free Obituary Websites
To begin, let’s highlight some of the most popular free obituary websites. While you might need to pay extra for add-on services and features, all of these obituary websites below offer a free basic option. This is a great choice if you want something simple to share with friends and family.
At Keeper, you become the author of your loved one’s story. Everyone’s memory can stay alive forever with some love from their family and friends. By creating a free memorial page with Keeper, you can easily upload images and videos, create a guestbook, add a donation link, build a family tree, and customize the theme.
For add-on features, you will need to upgrade to a Plus membership, but the basic has more than enough options for most. Keeper also specializes in virtual or hybrid funeral services, making it a great choice for those considering this type of service.
Features: Obituary, photo album, guest book, tribute page, donation link, family tree, and customizable design
2. Never Gone
Never Gone is one of the only 100% free forever online memorial websites. One of the benefits of Never Gone is its commitment to offering premium features without any price tag. You get unlimited photos, videos, music, tributes, and more.
Never Gone offers basic yet customizable memorial pages, and these extra features make it a stand-out choice. However, because it’s free, you don’t have the ability to customize the URL or get rid of the Never Gone promotional banner.
Features: Obituary, photos, videos, guest book, virtual candles, customizable design, and friends and family list
Remembered describes itself as a social media website for remembrance. Their goal is to build something user-friendly and easy for everyone to use and share. Based in Utah, Remembered is always free to use. Their Starter plan never costs anything, and it includes the majority of their features.
However, it’s important to note that Remembered has very basic memorial pages. There are no options when it comes to design or customization. This means it’s very simple to get started, but it’s likely not a good fit for someone who wants more design flexibility.
Features: Obituary, guestbook, custom URL, up to 100 photos, and digital candles
Farewelling is a design-forward option for online obituaries. Through their easy-to-use platform, you can create a free, personalized memorial website to celebrate your loved one’s memory. With thoughtful design templates available free of charge, it’s easy to personalize the fonts, colors, and so much more.
Farewelling currently only offers a free plan, though this might change in the future. They allow free users to create virtual memorials, interactive guestbooks, and comprehensive obituaries about their loved ones all in a beautiful package.
Features: Obituary, gorgeous design templates, guestbooks, and virtual memorial service
5. Ever Loved
Ever Loved is designed to make a difficult time a little bit easier. With free memorial websites for all, Ever Loved lets families focus on togetherness in their time of need. You can share as little or as much information about your loved one as you wish, crafting a truly unique memorial. The website becomes fully collaborative, letting all of your friends and family post their own memories, photos, and more.
Through Ever Loved, you can access premium features for an additional one-time fee of $149.99. This includes greater privacy settings and features, but all basic features are available 100% for free.
Features: Obituary, funeral information, funeral RSVPs, funeral donations, life timeline, custom color scheme, and thank you notes
Popular Subscription or Fee-Based Obituary Websites
Though all of the above obituary websites are available for free, they might not have all of the features you’re looking for. These subscription or fee-based websites below offer richer features and options, allowing you full control of your loved one’s legacy.
Memories is about capturing what’s important to you. Though you can use Memories to post an obituary online, it’s also a way to share travel updates, family memories, and special events. There is a free membership available, but it has very limited features so it’s recommended you upgrade. You have the option of paying a monthly subscription fee or a one-time rate.
Memories is a way to create your story on a visual timeline. You can even upload future messages, creating a virtual time capsule for your loved ones. Memories is unique because it has an easy-to-use app, making it possible to bring your memorial on the go.
Features: 1GB free app storage, obituary, virtual timeline, collaborative messages, future messages, and privacy settings
Cost: Starting at $6.99 per month or $199 lifetime fee
7. Our Beloved
Our Beloved is a platform for creating eye-catching tribute websites. With an easy setup wizard, it’s designed for all, no matter how tech-savvy you are. Upload photos, a slideshow, key links, a biography, and service information all in one place. Created to be shareable, each tribute site on Our Beloved even has its own QR code to use on print materials.
It’s free to get started with Our Beloved. The platform offers a 30-day risk-free trial. From there, you can cancel or upgrade to their basic package. You will need to pay a monthly or yearly fee to keep your memorial website active.
Features: Obituary, customizable background image, memorial slideshow, up to 60 photos, QR code, collaborative guestbook, and privacy settings
Cost: Starting at $39 for 3 months
8. Eternal Tribute
At Eternal Tribute, every story deserves to be told and preserved. This online source for obituaries and legacy stories also allows users to publish their own tributes, creating an alternative to traditional newspaper publications. If you published your loved one’s obituary through a partner newspaper, it might already be found on Eternal Tribute. Otherwise, you can make one and customize it yourself.
There are several tribute options. You can publish a basic death notice which never expires, allowing you to publish a complete obituary with a guestbook. Otherwise, you can add even more with an online obituary or military obituary.
Features: Obituary, service information, guestbook, background themes, social features, and video integration
Cost: Starting at $20 for a death notice
Next, Kudoboard makes it easy to create an online memorial in minutes. This platform has a lot of uses, but it also helps families create meaningful memorials that last a lifetime. You can access their free features without needing to share any payment information, but there are also upgraded premium tools that are worth the investment.
Every Kudoboard has the ability to add text and photos, and there are never any advertisements. You can also access the website on mobile or desktop, making this a flexible choice for all types of memorials.
Features: Obituary, text and photos, easy URL, printable, no adds, and privacy settings
Cost: $99 one-time charge
10. Infinite Humanity
Lastly, Infinite Humanity is an interactive story creation platform. Easily share a variety of multimedia like photos, videos, writings, and audio recordings to create a unique memorial experience. Keep all of your loved one’s memories secure in one place on your phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
Infinite Humanity’s digital vaults are designed with all different types of memorials in mind. Created with privacy and security at the forefront, this is an up-and-coming, trusted way to create an online obituary.
Features: Custom multimedia upload, interactive guest book and tributes, and privacy settings
Cost: Basic plan starts at $1.00 per month
Tell Your Loved One’s Story
Everyone deserves to have their story told. While learning how to write an obituary in a newspaper is a great first step, it’s not the only way to memorialize your loved one forever. These online obituary tools above are perfect for designing a modern, interactive, and collaborative tale of life and legacy.
Have you recently lost someone? It’s not always easy to know what comes next. Use our free post-loss checklist to make sure you’re on the right track. From creating an online obituary to sharing your loved one’s legacy, this is the best way forward.