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Channel Islands YMCA

Fresh Open Y website boosts web traffic and revenue

Channel Islands YMCA has maintained eight replicated WordPress websites with its growth. The project's main goal was to consolidate all websites to one primary site with branch landing pages and create one-off pages from each landing page. Launched Open Y website simplified website navigation, enhanced content management experience increased website traffic, revenue, and streamlined user journeys.

The Channel Islands YMCA was started in 1887 in Santa Barbara and Ventura. The Channel Islands YMCA has grown to include six health and fitness facilities across two counties (spanning from Lompoc to Camarillo), a Youth and Family Services branch with four independent programs, and more than 20 child care locations.



Page views by session


Average session time


Lowered bounce rate

Through the growth, Channel Islands YMCA had maintained eight replicated WordPress websites. The main goal was to consolidate all websites to one primary site with branch landing pages and create one-off pages from each landing page, leading to simplified website navigation and an enhanced content management experience.

As the initial step, we performed a project discovery of www.ciymca.org. We conducted a preliminary assessment of the existing digital solutions in place, to learn how users use the web platform today. We reviewed site analytics and researched content and current search engine rankings. This step gave us a great picture of where design and development efforts will create optimal value for Channel Islands YMCA and target audiences. We identified the best Open Y template and how to provide design enhancements to achieve our goals.

Channel Islands YMCA WordPress websites

We created a digital concept and user journeys in a sitemap. This conceptual sitemap visually maps all the potential entities, user flows, content types, and interactions on a website. Whereas a traditional "sitemap" typically works to create an overview of a given site's information architecture. This process ensured that our initial focus was on the overall user experience that we are building.

Channel Islands YMCA

We also focused on building a website compliant with the YMCA of the USA brand guidelines and Section 508. We made sure that the site is fully responsive during the development, in all resolutions, and functional on all modern browsers. Also mobile responsive for phones and tablets with all the critical functions on the desktop, scaled appropriately so that it is viewable on all mobile phones and tablets.

Channel Islands YMCA

Once we polished the main Open Y features and pages for www.ciymca.org, we began work on the critical component - powerful program search/scheduling feature so that it is easy to see when and where our classes and programs are offered. We integrated Open Y schedules with GroupEx Pro and Program Registration with ACTIVE Net, and they became searchable with filters for branch, day, time, type of class, and instructor name. It minimized the number of clicks to find the desired information.

Then we enhanced search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities of www.ciymca.org. Our goal was to improve the amount of organic search traffic for www.ciymca.org. We've provided comprehensive guidance and optimization to match frequent searches for membership and program offerings as well as specific locations.


Consolidated fragmented websites
Made mobile-friendly website
Simplified navigation for members
Lowered bounce rate from 55% to 35%
Increased page views by session to 125%
Increased average session time to 120%

It was indeed an exciting time for the Channel Islands YMCA! Five Jars contributed to the successful evolution of the digital ecosystem. Successfully executed work and a satisfied client is a key to long-term relationships, so we're pleased to be the Open Y partner of the Channel Islands YMCA.


Schedule a meeting with AJ to learn how our digital solutions can help you cut costs and increase revenue.

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Amir (AJ) Elkamel

Strategic Business & Solutions Specialist