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Google’s AMP Project – What You Need To Know

In order to improve the mobile user’s experience by making mobile pages faster, as well as to respond to Facebook’s Instant Articles initiative, Google has published a new project, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). In cooperation with publishers and technology companies, Google has decided to put content at the forefront of the mobile experience.

As with all new Google initiatives, there has been active discussion about AMP since its release, and it has elicited the usual love/hate reactions. Obviously, this new trend will affect the WordPress ecosystem as well. As a company that aims to make the Web faster, easier and better, we have been getting a lot of questions about AMP and how it affects WordPress sites and performance.

AMP is a great tool to help publishers create fast-loading mobile pages. Click To Tweet

What AMP Is

In plain English, AMP provides faster and lighter versions of your web pages delivered to mobile users that puts the primary focus on content, by eliminating all unnecessary scripts and elements. That means users will get very fast pages, pages that load instantly. On the other hand, the ability to control the functionality of AMP pages will be limited.

The AMP Project relies on AMP HTML, AMP JS and Google AMP Cache:

AMP HTML is a tailor-made version of HTML used for displaying AMP pages. It removes some standard HTML tags such as frame, frameset, object, param etc. Also, in AMP HTML some tags are replaced by specific AMP tags – img with amp-img, video with amp-video, audio with amp-audio etc. That’s not all, there is a full list of rules that should be followed in order to use AMP HTML properly.

AMP JS is library that provides built-in AMP Components used to load pages faster by managing loading of external resources, sandboxing of iframes, pre-calculation of layout, disabling slow CSS selectors etc.

Google AMP Cache is AMP’s CDN that ensures even faster delivery of content. It works as a proxy based CDN and uses HTTP 2.0 origin.

What AMP Is NOT

As we get a lot of different questions about this new project, it’s important to make a few things clear.

Can I use AMP as a mobile cache for my site?

If you are wondering whether you would be able to use AMP as a caching system for your site or not, the answer is – No. AMP is not a caching system. It doesn’t affect desktop versions of websites at all.

Can I use AMP as a mobile CDN?

It is not a CDN either. AMP can be considered as a new, custom-made technology for mobile devices rather than a caching or  CDN system/replacement.

Can I use AMP as a mobile theme for my site?

Another possible misunderstanding of this concept is identifying AMP as a mobile theme for your site. Here we have another “No”. AMP is not a mobile theme for your website.

AMP is NOT a mobile theme, CDN or cache system for your site. Click To Tweet

AMP and WordPress

In these days when WordPress powers 26% of websites, whenever there is a new development like this, the question on everybody’s lips, is of course, “is there a plugin for that?”
As is usually the case, the answer is  “yes!”

It will take little effort if you want to implement AMP on your WordPress-powered website. All you have to do is to install and run one of these plugins:

At this very moment, the easiest, most painless way would be to run Automattic’s AMP plugin. Although limited when we talk about freedom of customization, it focuses on delivering AMP version of your articles, and it does it well. PageFrog and Templatic AMP are built on top of Automattic’s plugin, and these give more customization options through the admin panel.

AMP and WP Rocket

Do I still need WP Rocket?

This is one of the most frequent questions we received. The answer is:

Yes! You still need a caching solution for your website even when you run AMP.

As of v2.6.16 of WP Rocket, we are 100% compatible with Automattic’s AMP plugin. Compatibility is built-in, you don’t need to configure any settings.

AMP Pros

AMP is a great tool that helps publishers create fast-loading mobile pages. Focusing on content is probably the most valuable feature delivered by AMP. Since it’s created by Google, there is a strong possibility it will affect your SEO rankings, although  this is still not confirmed. AMP stories are indicated as such in search results, which could influence click-throughs. Eliminating scripts and additional sites’ resources and focusing on page speed is also a very good decision for user experience.

Inside WordPress, there are no further steps required other than installing a plugin, so no technical knowledge is needed to make it work on your site.

AMP Cons

For now, the main weakness of AMP is the limited possibility for customisation and control. In case you need any extended functionality,this would be hard to accomplish.

Conclusion

Projects such as AMP could be considered as the right direction for the future of the web, because they focus on content and page speed as the most important factor of every website. Making things easier is a great step for a better, lighter and faster web.

Don’t hesitate to give us your opinion on this topic in the comments below.

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13 comments

Comment

The million dollar question is whether all themes are capable of displaying amp pages? I would love to try it but do not want to break my live site.

They aren’t pushing for this to be a standard across all sites – this standard is geared towards sites revolving around persistent content delivery. They are encouraging a special AMP view that contains very few server calls and runs only necessary javascript to give the native app feel to an article, or the “instant loading”. This wouldn’t be a standard enforced on any other web application, really only “blog” style sites.

Well written post about AMP. No w i understood completely about AMP. Thanks for this article..
regards,
rames

Some good content included here, might be tempted to give some of those plugins a go!

Can I use AMP and WP Rocket at the time…! Will it cause any issues in my site coding ? I started an new androidstrike.com

Can i use Marketo form with AMP Project?

Detailed post about AMP!
Believe it or not AMP websites and pages surely rank well in SERPs inviting a huge spike of traffic since audience loves faster loading speed and a recent data shows companies using AMP have generated more revenue.
To make it more evident I refer you to this post:
https://goo.gl/1QlJHi

Thanks for sharing this guide with us.

Great post. Thanks for detailed explanation.

While I think AMP pages are very interesting and will benefit SERPs, it really is yet another SEO play that many who use eCommerce sites won’t be able to use just yet. Since many upon many eCommerce sites don’t allow their customer’s 100% backend access or won’t support the AMP javascript since they would mean not offering the many features eCommerce sites have.

Why doesn’t google think of the eCommerce sites… Or better yet, not add to the proprietary code mess?

You have to use 100% of AMP js to even be considered to be used = sad panda.

Regards your point 1) AMP-enabled articles will rank higher in SERPs.

One of the biggest points of ambiguity for me right now is will AMP itself become a ranking factor – in the same way ‘Mobile Friendly’ is. I think your statement is a little misleading, since AMP articles rank higher right now by virtue of appearing in the New Pack, which appears at the top of the SERP. If AMP gets traction (which I believe it will) I could definitely see regular search results being annotated with AMP. The question at that point, is does AMP become a direct ranking factor? Or just indirect through page speed / CTR / etc?

Do you have any thoughts or insight on that?

I was facing site loading issue. Site load time was 10 Second as per gtmetrix. I lost almost half of traffic. Then My friend told me about this plugin. Now Site load time is 1.3Seconds. Tool is just awesome. I saw huge growth in traffic too. Thanks for this Plugin.

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