Social media is a foundation of this modern culture we live in – with selfies, Tweets, and Stories telling the happenings of our day-to-day lives. When it comes to information, the internet is chock full of our personal details, our aspirations and accomplishments, and our connections across the world.
In the same way, but with more power to personalize, a memorial website is a great online place to honor the memory of your loved one. Because while you can scroll through someone’s Instagram history after they’re gone, an IG feed doesn’t really give you an option to share memories or stories. Likewise, with Facebook and other platforms, you may have less control over what others can post. So we think learning how to build a memorial website is an essential step to creating a digital tribute to a special friend or family member. And don’t worry, it’s not hard, even if you’re not too techy!
What is a Memorial Website?
A memorial website is a central online location where friends and families can share memories, stories, photos, and more. This digital platform is more than a place to post an update. A well-designed memorial website focuses on community – giving loved ones a place to grieve, celebrate, and comfort one another.
It’s not easy to lose a loved one. But this experience can be an important step in connecting with other family members. The purpose of a memorial website is to design a safe and lovely place to celebrate a life well-lived. You might think of it as a kind of digital monument that can stand the test of time. Not only does this customized space provide a glimpse into the personality and accomplishments of an individual, but it’s also an interactive hub that can be a point of connection for distant relatives and friends.
Most memorial websites include photos and videos of the person being honored. Usually there are also public areas where people can share things like text, photos, links, and more.
Benefits of Creating a Memorial Website
Before you start skimming the search results for memorializing a loved one, we’d advise that you choose an intention for this project. Is it worth the time and effort to create memorials for loved ones? Yes! Here are some of the reasons why digital memorials are gaining in popularity:
- Affordability: Depending on how you approach it, creating a digital platform to honor your loved one can actually be very economical. You can of course build a website from scratch using Squarespace, Wix, or any other online tool, but we’ve made it easy, beautiful and free to use our memorial website builder. So save your money for more important things, such as details to personalize the celebration of their life. Connection: Of course you’ll want to provide your loved ones with a place to connect. Sharing stories and memories can be an important step in the grieving and healing process. A well-designed memorial website is where family and friends gather virtually to collaborate and highlight the memories of a person’s life--their milestones, their passions, their accomplishments, their gifts--through many perspectives.
- Storytelling: The main goal of a funeral and/or online memorial is to tell the story of a person’s life. Using a memorial website is a great way to prioritize storytelling, using media and heartfelt messages to lift up and celebrate the uniqueness of your loved one.
- Access: Some family and friends may not be able to travel long distances to participate in a funeral or memorial. But they don’t need to feel left out if they can’t attend in person. A digital memorial gives people instant and intimate access through their computer or smartphone. It opens up the possibility for more of the people who were touched by your loved one’s life to be able to pay their respects in a way that can feel very meaningful.
- Donations: It’s becoming more and more common for guests to offer financial contributions to help cover the costs of a funeral or memorial. If you’ll accept donations for funeral services, or if you’ll direct donations to a preferred charity, a memorial website can be a simple, efficient way to communicate your needs and wishes and to direct or collect donations.
- Privacy: Social media can be a bit dicey in terms of privacy. A memorial website can offer more control. Our tools let you manage your memorial website page by controlling whether the site is searchable. It also lets you decide which photos and stories will stay on the site.
- Protection: Technology failure, moving to another location, and other life circumstances can result in the loss of videos and photos that you hold dear. Protect these memories by keeping them in the cloud – where you can access the media forever.
How to Build a Memorial Website
No need to sign up for a website design course at the local university. Starting an online memorial website is simple… grab your laptop and a cup of coffee, and set aside a bit of time to pick a template and design the site.
At Farewelling, we’ve made it easier--and more beautiful--than ever with our innovative memorial website tool. Follow these steps as you learn how to make a memorial website to collect memories in style:
- Choose a Tool: Using a memorial website design tool eliminates the need to create a site from scratch. Our tool is free and simple to use, giving you a streamlined way to celebrate your loved one’s life without having a degree in computer programming.
- Pick a Template: We offer a variety of lovely design templates, with your choice of colors and motifs to honor your loved one’s style and personality. Your template provides the overall structure for the rest of the memorial website design. You’ll just fill in the info and upload photos and stories as you like, and those you share it with can add photos and stories approved by you.
- Personalized Details: Personalization is one of the most important factors when learning how to create a memorial website. When you’re choosing a theme, think of the person. Were they elegant, down to earth, or more spiritual? Did they have a fun, bubbly personality? Choose fonts, colors, and categories that will say, “That’s so her.” Integrate Features: A memorial website can be more than a digital billboard where you share pictures and stories. You can build other features into the site, such as virtual memorial services, an interactive guestbook, and real-time updates. For example, these event updates provide information about donations, gifts, accommodations, travel, and more.
- Invite Others: The most successful memorial websites are those where friends and family are engaging by posting stories and pictures. Share the link and encourage others to participate in the conversation. Don’t forget to post the link on social media, or send it via text and email for easy access.
- Future Memories: Your digital platform is a great place to hold these memories, but you might want a gift copy in your home as well. Consider downloading photos and stories so you can create the perfect keepsake for the future.
The person you’re celebrating was one of a kind, right? Their online tribute should be, too.. The best way to memorialize them is by honoring their substance and their style, along with their preferences and their contributions in the world. Choose the colors, designs, photos, and layout to spark the emotions that feel just right.
Even if you’re not technical, starting a memorial website can be easy, we promise! Also, the process of gathering photos, writing about the person, choosing a theme and sharing it with others can bring comfort and community in a time when both are needed more than ever.
If you’re planning a funeral or memorial now and you’d like a lot more guidance, support, and inspiration, check out our Farewelling PlanningToolkit. It was created and curated by our team of experts and editors, with helpful tips, customizable checklists, suggested event programs, a budget tool, ideas for music and readings, and answers when you need them from our angels in customer service.