Case Study

Youth Hostels Association

Two young people hiking a mountain range
200 %

increase in website traffic

30 %

increase in mobile traffic

60 %

decrease in bounce rate


The Client  

Founded in 1930, the Youth Hostels Association is a charitable organization that supports young people by providing shelter, friendship and fellowship. Reaching more than 1.1 million people in 2017, YHA connects young adults with affordable accommodations, school programs and volunteer experience.

The Situation

YHA’s mission is to motivate young people to discover and grow in the great outdoors by offering unique trips and affordable accommodations throughout England and Wales. However, a disjointed network of websites prevented YHA from curating an intuitive user experience. Group bookings were found on one website, while information for individuals and school trips were published on another.

Without a unified site, YHA not only struggled to manage multiple websites, but failed to provide customers and prospects alike with relevant information. To better support the needs of its users, YHA asked Acquia and digital agency Microserve to lead a migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8.

The Challenge

In addition to unifying all aspects of the YHA organization under platform, responsive design was also top of mind. YHA recognized that an abnormally high bounce rate for mobile users reflected a poor mobile experience. As if providing every user with the right experience on the right device wasn’t challenging enough, YHA also needed to complete the project in less than four months.  

The Solution

By leveraging its relationship with Acquia, Microserve helped YHA launch a responsive, Drupal 8 site on Acquia Cloud. As early adopters of Drupal 8, YHA put its trust in Microserve to deliver a site that was a much cleaner, faster, and provided a user-friendly experience for all visitors. Drupal 8 enabled YHA to jump-start project development by building a platform with readily available Drupal modules. This allowed Microserve to keep the project on track to deliver a new YHA site in less than four months.

The Results

Acquia helped YHA become a pioneer of Drupal 8 to better support its community and accelerate its mission.

  • Website traffic: Increased by 200 percent
  • Mobile traffic: Increased by 30 percent
  • Bounce Rate: Decreased by 60 percent
  • Year over year traffic: Increased by 7 percent  
  • The project was delivered in less than four months

“YHA is a great Drupal 8 success story. With a focused vision, a future-proof solution in Drupal 8, and the right partnership between Acquia and Microserve, we were able to deliver a seamless, mobile-optimised user experience that will help YHA connect with adventure-seekers far and wide.”  - David Lillington, head of strategy, Microserve

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