YHA is the largest provider of budget travel accommodation in Australia, with a network of 80 hostels in every state and territory around the country. YHA is also part of the world's largest budget accommodation network, Hostelling International (HI), which has more than 3500 hostels in 60 countries. YHA partnered with Levo following a competitive pitch process to undertake the migration of their existing site from an aging Ektron CMS platform over to the Cloud within EPiserver DXC.
Whilst the brief was to simply migrate the site largely in an “as is” state, we felt that we could add value to YHA and their customers by utilising smarter design features and leveraging the technology available via Episerver DXC.
Existing content management processes were rigid, lacked workflow or the ability to share content across the site, leading to large amounts of duplication and auditing headaches. The end user experience was inconsistent, similar functions such as searching and refining to locate a tour, activity or an event, each had varying presentation formats and functions. Updates were slow and costly, requiring developer intervention, denying YHA the ability to rapidly cater for the changing needs of their customers. Nor did it allow them to be responsive to events and market changes across their network of hostels.
Levo re-engineered and re-architected the site from the ground up, providing YHA with a scalable digital platform that provides a wide range of new capabilities for content administrators and freedom for end users to search and locate information in the manner that best meets their needs.
The new site features consistency in design and functionality, new generic UI systems for search, filters, refiners and listing elements were produced to create familiarity throughout the user journey. Integrating Levo Content Hub™ to centrally located and manage content via metadata allows YHA to automate content distribution to multiple locations across the site. Critically we maintained high organic SEO through maintaining existing landing pages and URL structures whilst offering the end user varying methods to locate the same content
Advanced features include a new Enterprise API layer to seamlessly enable YHA to connect to their hostel bookings and channel management systems. Optimisation of cloud services caters for traffic spikes during high demand times of year. We managed a complex content migration process including four languages across 80 hostels, thousands of tours, activities and customer stories.
Utilising Episerver DXC, YHA and Levo have set the foundation for the creation of new YHA products and the ability to rapidly cater for market changes and events.