An increasing number of people choose to create an on-line memorial to which family and friends can add their own contributions. This type of memorial can be added to over time and visited whenever and as often as people feel the need. Often far more memories can be shared than is possible within the funeral ceremony and a gathering afterwards.
How to choose a memorial website
Here we have some suggestions of what to consider when choosing a site and questions you might want to ask yourself to help in making your decision.
Most memorial websites have a range of design templates to choose from and will allow you to create your equivalent of a 'home page' with a picture of the person who has died and some text about them. Will the site allow you to personalise your pages to look and feel appropriate to the person you are commemorating? Do you want to be able to add text, photos, songs and video clips? Some sites offer the option of virtual candles or stars that allow people to express sympathy even if they find it difficult to put their feelings into words.
What is the security on the site? Some sites give the option of password protection which allow you to limit who can see the site and also who can add material.
What will the cost of your site be? Some sites offer free set-up but there may be on-going costs related to the hosting of the site. Some sites are more generous than others about how much material you can upload to the site without paying a considerably higher rate. Linked with the cost is how long your memorial will be hosted for - is the company financially sound and able to reassure you on this point? Some sites help cover their costs by advertising links - have a look to check if you are comfortable with these? You may also want to ask if your email address will be used for marketing purposes?
A number of charities now offer memorial websites to enable you to fund raise for your nominated charity. MuchLoved is itself a charity that allows users to donate to any charity of their choosing.
Finally, there is now a voluntary code of conduct for memorial websites, The Memorial Code, created by some of the website providers themselves. We recommend you visit this to check that any site you plan to use meets these minimum standards.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jonathan Davies of MuchLoved for providing expert information for this page.