About AMP

About AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

“Accelerated mobile pages” is a buzzword that is being thrown around a lot in web development circles. If you are working on building a website or having a website built for you, you have probably found yourself wondering what all the fuss is about with AMPs.

AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, is a project that Google and Twitter are rolling out that will make it possible for you to create pages that load super fast for your readers who are on mobile devices. On the user side, your audience will get to enjoy a sleek, minimalistic look without a lot of distracting stuff on the page and definitely without those terrible pop-up ads that open up new windows every time you try to tap away from them and make them go away. Even better, your audience will get to have these pages load super fast so they never have to wait to read your content. Readers who don’t have the chance to get impatient are readers who don’t click away from your page as fast.

On the developer side, AMP is basically HTML light. There are pretty severe restrictions on what you can and can’t use, with the goal being to make the pages load as fast as possible. You really can’t use CSS, and the little bit of JavaScript you can use is even more severely restricted than the HTML.

While developers might feel that this limits what they can do (it does), it is fantastic for readers because the speed and performance of the pages goes up. After all, when you are reading an article or a news story, you don’t exactly need the page to be able to flash graphics at you, play videos when you scroll over them, or blare music in the background. Most people click away as soon as a page starts doing that anyway. You want to read the story, and that’s it. That’s what AMP does.

Since AMP is still in the works at Google, you can’t yet actually show it to your visitors. But you can and should be working on getting AMP versions of your pages so that when the project goes live your readers can get the full AMP experience immediately!

How to create an AMP page

Since AMP is a project that is being done by Google, Google has helpfully created a way to check and see if your page code is right for AMP. If you use Chrome, you can actually go to the developer tools and validate your AMP site. It will tell you if it will show up correctly or not, so that  you can correct any errors that might be present in our code. AMP is open source, so you can easily learn how to use it by going to the AMP project site.

If you use WordPress as your CMS, you can use a specialized WordPress plugin for AMP pages. This actually does most of the work for you, which is really great because it takes the pressure off you to develop AMP pages and it gives you security in the knowledge that your pages are going to show up correctly for your readers.

The only drawback with the AMP plugin for WordPress is that it is somewhat limited in what it can display. It won’t make an AMP version of your static pages, only your posts. Also, you have to include the /amp/ extension in your URLs if you want to send your visitors to the AMP version, since it will not just automatically send them to the AMP site just because they are on a mobile device.

How AMP  improves your readers’ experience

AMP is Google’s answer to Apple News and Facebook Instant Stories. Both of these reading platforms are sleek, beautiful, minimalistic, and fast-loading. You aren’t bombarded with ads or extra graphics. You can focus on reading your story, which after all is exactly why you clicked on it in the first place.

When AMP goes live, your readers can have the same experience with your site as well. This might not matter if you run a viral content/click bait website where you generate a lot of money from ads and don’t care how annoyed your readers get with it, because you know they will click on the next salacious headline anyway. But if you have a business where you actually sell goods and services, recruit customers, or try to develop a loyal reader base, you can benefit enormously by improving your readers’ reading experience with AMP.

We can help you build AMP versions of your posts and pages for your site, and thus make your readers happier and help your business succeed. Give us a call today to find out how we can make AMP work for you!