YMCA’s Cloud Hosting Service
YMCA’s Cloud Hosting Service is the overall digital services that delivers optimal solutions to YMCAs by providing a secure, cost-effective, plug-and-play, pay-as-you-go digital platform that focuses on the member experience.
- Virtual Experience Platform: A hosted, Website Service based website, allowing YMCAs to provided gated on demand video, streaming video, and other digital content to their members.
- Mobile Experience Platform: A Mobile Experience Platform that will allow YMCA members from across the movement to access their association's mobile app through a single, universal app available in their device's app store.
- Association Websites: Utilizing Website Service technologies, Cloud Hosting Service may host an association's website leveraging all the offerings currently available in the Website Service platform.
The YMCA’s Digital Services is constantly and rapidly evolving. Currently Cloud Hosting Service supports hosting association Virtual Experience Platform websites and Association websites. Virtual Experience Platform websites provide gated on demand video, streaming video, and other digital content to their members. Association websites built upon Website Service serve as an association's main website with all the information typically found, such as branch location information, program schedules, and membership pricing.
If you are interested in the Cloud Hosting Service hosting your Virtual Experience Platform website, please fill out our intake form.
YMCA’s Virtual Experience Platform
YMCA’s Virtual Experience Platform is a digital space to provide content, programming, and resources to your members in a gated, secure area.
- Available to all YMCAs as a stand alone website.
- Easily connects to your main website.
- Access to content is granted for authorized users.
- Supports Live Streams, On-Demand Video, Virtual Events, and Written Content.
- YMCAs control their website and content.
- The Cloud Hosting Service team provides the platform and hosting of Virtual Experience Platform.
Wonderful! To start your Cloud Hosting Service journey with a Virtual Experience Platform website, please fill out the Cloud Hosting Service intake form. This will trigger the work flow to get your association setup with Virtual Experience Platform.
Click here to start!
The process is simple. The Cloud Hosting Service team will take care all the technical setup, hosting, and support of the site allowing your association to focus on content setup. The overall setup process from the Cloud Hosting Service team's point of view can typically be completed within 5 business days. Generally speaking the entire process can be completed within a couple of calendar weeks, schedules permitting. The timeline is ultimately up to what works for your association.
The general process to setup the Virtual Experience Platform site with Cloud Hosting Service is as follows
- The association indicates intent to utilize Cloud Hosting Service for their Virtual Experience Platform site by filling out the simple intake form found here.
- The Cloud Hosting Service team gets to work on building out your base site. This will take no longer than 2 to 3 business days.
- The Cloud Hosting Service team shares onboarding materials with the association to review.
- The association meets with the Cloud Hosting Service team to discuss questions they may have, review expectations, and walk through their configured Virtual Experience Platform site.
- At this time the association is clear to configure their site to their expectation, load content, etc.
- The Cloud Hosting Service team will then work with the association to finalize the setup of gated content.
- Finally, when ready, the Cloud Hosting Service team will assist your association to bring your site live for your members.
Not long! The Cloud Hosting Service team can turn around a new Virtual Experience Platform website in a few business days. As such, we are able to move as quickly as fits your schedule.
Typically, a new setup will take place over the course of one to two calendar weeks. During this time the Cloud Hosting Service team will perform onboarding meetings to answer any questions you have, build out you association's Virtual Experience Platform site, perform a hand-off of the built out website, and work with you to implement one of the gated content options available.
The Cloud Hosting Service team provides the below items as part of the basic offering.
- Standalone web site hosted in the Cloud Hosting Service. Cloud Hosting Service will take care of the hardware, software, infrastructure, etc.
- Universal user experience optimized for any device
- Ability to use a custom Virtual Experience Platform sub-domain to access the site
- Ability to create and edit content pages ranging from landing pages, to those supporting the digital content shared with members
- Ability to create digital content taxonomy. Associations may specify levels, categories, and equipment required to fully realize the virtual experience.
- Ability to add videos, live streams, links to meetings, and blog content for members to utilize
- Ability to track site usage with Google Analytics
- Maintenance and support for the Virtual Experience Platform site
- Feature sets will be kept current with base offerings from the Website Service distribution
- Security updates will be kept current with base offerings from Website Service and the underlying Drupal platform
- Regular and routine backups of the website and database
- Training sessions and post-launch support
Additionally, the Cloud Hosting Service team provides the following configurations at no additional cost
- Assistance configuring gated access including
- Uploading member lists for access and optionally requiring member email confirmation
- Integration with supported CRMs for member logins. Current supported Custom Management Systems: Personify and Daxko. Daxko supports a sign in option or bar code validation.
- Setting Google Analytics reporting up inside the Virtual Experience Platform site
- Configuring one of 3 standard themes: Carnation, Lily, or Rose
- Configuring one of 5 standard color schemes, if the Lily or Rose theme was selected
- Setting up initial landing pages, general branding, and menu items
- Creating initial categories and taxonomy for digital content shared with members
The Cloud Hosting Service team is happy to assist with additional items outside the above scope for an additional fee.
The associations are expected to provide the following
- The images, copy, and content to load and be shared with members.
- Licenses and technologies necessary to leverage streaming features or meetings, if desired.
- Setup and maintenance of blog content.
- Creation of on demand videos loaded to a video hosting provider such as Vimeo or YouTube.
- A Google Analytics ID for analytic tracking.
- Updates to marketing materials, the association website, etc. to link to or embed the Virtual Experience Platform site, as necessary.
The Virtual Experience Platform roadmap, as maintained by the Website Service team, may be viewed here: https://trello.com/b/0mogmd7N/virtual-ymca-product-roadmap
The options available to associations to gate their content is dependent on their Customer Management System. Currently the following options may be used to gate content within the Virtual Experience Platform website.
- Personify (1 option)
- Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the Personify CRM system.
- Daxko (2 options)
- Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the Daxko CRM system.
- Note, Daxko API access is required. Daxko charges an API usage fee.
- Barcode Validation:You may require members to enter their bar code before accessing the site. Virtual Experience Platform will validate the barcode with Daxko prior to granting access.
- More information may be found here.
- Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the Daxko CRM system.
- ReClique (1 option)
- Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the ReClique CORE CRM system.
- CSV File Uploads (2 options)
- CSV Upload without email verification: An association may upload a membership CSV file indicating what members may access the gated content. Members provide their email address and the Virtual Experience Platform site will validate a match before granting access.
- CSV Upload with email verification: An association may upload a membership CSV file indicating what members may access the gated content. Members provide their email address and the Virtual Experience Platform site will require members access their email and click a link to gain access to the gated content.
Yes! Virtual Experience Platform supports Google Analytics. Site usage may be recorded and sent to your Google Analytics account.
Virtual Experience Platform also captures user activity within the site. A log is available in the Virtual Experience Platform site that allows you to see what content a user views, with timestamps. This log may be filtered and sorted by user, content type and specific video. Virtual Experience Platform currently does not monitor duration spent on a page.
Virtual Experience Platform supports the following platforms
- YouTube: hosted and livestreams
- Vimeo: hosted and livestream
- Note, for livestreaming via Vimeo the Premium Level is required.
- Zoom: livestream
- Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams: video conferencing
- Blogs: Content managed within Virtual Experience Platform
There are two providers we recommend: Vimeo or You Tube.
Vimeo is our top choice as it provides domain-level privacy. You may setup your account to only allow videos to be streamed from your Virtual Experience Platform website. This ensures your content is protected.
Vimeo has 4 pricing levels with various features available in each. Any level is compatible with Virtual Experience Platform, but please note only the top level supports live streaming. More information may be viewed on the Vimeo site https://vimeo.com/upgrade
YouTube is also a recommended option. It is free to use, however it is not as secure. Within YouTube you may set your videos to be unlisted. This will prevent the videos from being discoverable online. However, anyone with a direct link to the video may still view it.
Yes. Zoom embed integration allows for both livestream and virtual meetings to be pulled directly into the Virtual Experience Platform site through an iframe. The Zoom menu header will show when members first login. For a more seamless experience the individual may change the view to full screen mode to suppress the menu from displaying.
Yes! The wonderful folks at Website Service have put together a great knowledge base and set of frequently asked questions to help out. Please see all the great information below.
Yes! A recent release of the Virtual Experience platform has added the ability to share content between YMCAs. Read more about it in this Website Service post.
The Cloud Hosting Service team will be pulling this feature into our hosted Virtual Experience Platform sites in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, licensing is not s simple solution. Currently the licensing offered through Y-USA does not cover distributed or streaming videos such as those that would be used by Virtual Experience Platform.
If you have experience in this area and can provide insights, please let us know and we’ll help disseminate the information. You may email us at [email protected] or fill out the contact form located here.
The Website Service community is robust and full of support, whether it be directly from the Website Service team, the Cloud Hosting Service team, or other associations utilizing Website Service technologies.
Website Service Basics
- The Website Service Website
- Information about the Website Service community
- Website Service Platform Updates
- Website Service Roadmap
- Virtual Experience Platform Roadmap
Guides and Documentation
The Cloud Hosting Service team strives to keep the latest and greatest feature set available. Therefore, we target a platform update to occur approximately every two weeks.
The Cloud Hosting Service team will curate features specific to Cloud Hosting Service as well as those supported by the Website Service team.
Updates will occur during off hours so as not to disrupt your Virtual Experience Platform site and will be communicated to you ahead of time. You may stay current on happenings within Cloud Hosting Service by visiting the announcements page.
Virtual Experience Platform works with many image sizes and generally attempts to display the image as best as possible for its usage. As such, there is not a true specific image dimension or size requirement within the Virtual Experience Platform site.
That being said, not all images work the best depending on the situation. Therefore please keep the the following in mind:
- Use high quality images, but try not to exceed 2 MB in size.
- Landscape images work best. Attempt to maintain a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio depending on usage. For example, category thumbnails and header images respectively
- Please try to center faces or the focal point of the image in the vertical center
You can read a bit more about guidance here.