Follow these steps

Set yourself up for success with Open Y by planning, previewing and collaborating with a partner that can help you transform the code into an amazing online experience.

Banner getting started

Step 1: Plan for it

Open Y is a very powerful tool, however, “free” is not a synonym for “easy.” Be prepared to invest time, energy and other resources to arrive at your desired digital vision.

Define Your Needs

Before jumping into a project to revamp your website with Open Y features, it’s important to have a sense of your goals and whether you’re ready for Open Y.

For a successful launch with Open Y, it’s best to have:

  • Website requirements established
  • Support from your Ys leadership and Board to move to Open Y
  • Budget allocated for a website redesign

Gather Your Team

To successfully use the Open Y platform, we encourage you to involve:

  • Content owners and subject-matter experts
  • A team member or volunteer who can lead the process and launch of a new website
  • External partner(s) for Open Y implementation, hosting and/or maintenance
Find a Partner

Explore Existing Options

Before you hire a partner to help tackle your next web project—make sure you understand what’s already available for free within Open Y.

Current and planned features for Open Y

View Demo

Step 2: Try it out

Demo Site

You’re encouraged to try Open Y before spending money on hosting or customizations. That way, you can understand how Open Y might meet your needs before investing resources.

Contact us to receive login credentials for the demo site (Sandbox) and try tasks like:

  • Changing the homepage
  • Creating a blog post
  • Adding some location pages

Tutorials & Sample Content

Open Y comes with sample content to help you see how to create and edit your site content. The Open Y video tutorials are a good starting point for people unfamiliar with Drupal 8, including this one on how to install Open Y.

If you need help installing, migrating to or using Open Y, consider engaging a partner already familiar with the platform.



Community Support

Whether you’re interested in learning more as you evaluate, or are already using Open Y and are ready to share your code or modules with the community, there’s a way to get involved at a variety of levels.

Step 3: Get the platform

Because of how powerful and feature-rich Open Y is, it can be difficult to maintain without access to technical resources. A partner can bring you through the process based on your needs and budget. 

Connecting with a partner is suggested

For the best results with Open Y we recommend selecting a partner that knows Open Y and Drupal 8. You might also connect with similar YMCAs using the Open Y platform to discuss their experience.

If you are a small association or single Y location, you are strongly encouraged to work with a partner. Some partners specialize in managing Open Y projects for smaller Ys.

The Open Y team is working with Y-USA to help build a platform to make it easier for Ys with smaller budgets to use Open Y. If this sounds like you, contact Y-USA to let them know you have limited resources and are interested in future options to be on Open Y.

Are you a web developer?

If yes, or if you have experience working with code—install Open Y to get started. Getting the platform includes downloading a web application that must be installed on a properly configured web server that has Linux/Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Once you (or your web developer) have downloaded Open Y, you are free to start using it.

Install Open Y

See how you can succeed

The vision behind Open Y is for YMCAs of all shapes and sizes to thrive in the digital environment.

Success Stories