WordPress AMP ready to use solutions for AMP pages.
Every webmaster knows that Google likes websites that are faster than the other. Webmaster Guidelines tells us that optimizing pages loading time is critical if you take care about SEO optimization. If we are talking about mobile web pages, then this case is even more important. We use very often our smartphones in places without WiFi or LTE, so in these places page speed is not quite good. The mobile web is constantly evolving, and Google requires web pages load quickly on any device.
That's why a company from Mountain View has created a project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP in short). It's desired to build light-weight web pages basing on their AMP framework.
AMP - what is it?
AMP is an open source project announced on October 7, 2015, by Google. The company started showing up the AMP pages in mobile SERP on February 23rd, 2016.
AMP was created to build light and fast web pages for all smartphones, tablets regardless of operating system so every user of Android, iOS or Windows can enjoy the benefits of this project.
AMP framework basic structure:
- AMP HTML - HTML language extended with some custom AMP tags which is intended to provide the highest performance
- AMP Cache - content delivery network which is used to store AMP pages to achieve maximum performance when loading the pages from SERP
AMP documentation tells us about conditions for web pages to contribute to AMP framework:
- all external resources (images, ads, etc) must state their size in HTML
- inline all CSS
- a stylesheet cannot exceed 50KB of size
- optimize web fonts delivery
- allow only asynchronous scripts
I'm sure that most of the readers think these conditions are like errors/warnings from PageSpeed Insights tool. Yes, they are very similar with suggestions related to your site optimization generated by this tool. There is a clear difference: in the case of Accelerated Mobile Pages Google not suggest but require to follow the guidelines.
AMP pages - how they work?
I strongly recommend this tutorial about creating your first AMP page if you want to know more about the technical side of AMP pages. I would like to show in this post how Google treats the AMP pages.
Google shows AMP pages on SERP (search engine results page) for mobile devices only so AMP pages are usually separated from desktop and mobile pages.
If your AMP page is created correctly it will be displayed on the mobile SERP with thunderbolt icon.
If your pages are compatible with AMP and are well SEO optimized they may be in Google’s Top Stories carousel at the top of the mobile SERP:
Advantages and disadvantages of Google AMP
The main benefit of using Google AMP is the performance for mobile devices. SearchEngineLand.com tells us that median load time for AMP pages is as little as 0.7. You can feel that these pages are loaded in the blink of an eye.
The main drawback is limiting developer to use strict Google format. Many people can think is a little step backward.
Let's look at the summary list:
- Site speed on mobiles improves significantly.
- User experience which may result in higher conversion and lower bounce rate.
- Light version, free of unnecessary information and junk which you may find on the full desktop version.
- Your pages can be marked with the thunderbolt in the mobile SERP.
- A chance to show your page in Top Stories of mobile SERP.
- Excellent documentation because it's Google's project.
- Pretty easy implementation. There are plugins available for popular content management systems like Joomla or WordPress which will do all the job for you automatically.
- Forbidden use external CSS, only inline CSS up to 50KB of size.
- May require additional developer time if there is no plugin available for your site.
- If you are new to AMP Project, you need to spend some time to learn about it.
- Design and functionality are limited to the default Google format. You must use a stripped down version of your site.
- Not all content is suitable for AMP. It is mostly recommended for news, blog articles and product pages.
WordPress AMP Plugins
- AMP - adds support for the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project to provide mobile-optimized content.
- AMP for WP - Accelerated Mobile Pages - add Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP Project) functionality on WordPress site.
- AMP Supremacy - highly configurable plugin to quickly add AMP functionality to websites pages, posts, categories, tags.
- AMP WordPress themes and plugins
AMP themes for WordPress websites
Take a look at the example of AMP compatible WordPress theme created by our team. Public Institutions WordPress theme that includes two versions: city WordPress theme and police department WordPress theme has a built in amp theme that allows displaying amp pages:
- AMP compatible page view for the police theme version
- AMP compatible page view for the city theme version
For now, we don't know what will be future of Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. The mobile market is still growing so we should take care of page speed. This trend should continue in the next few years.
We know that Google has put into this project many resources and many large websites are using AMP, for example, Ebay, Forbes, Fortune, DailyMail, BBC. That makes this technology appears to be of great perspectives.