Somewhere in the latter part of 2016, a study came out which reported that around 40% of the users leave a website, or a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. However you can check how much time your website takes to load, Google went ahead and introduced the concept of AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages.
The project is completely open-sourced and helps us web developers to create mobile-optimized content which ultimately leads to a mobile-optimized blog/website.
The thing basically is, Google wants our content which is rich with videos, ads and images to load as fast as it can, improving web experience for the end user. Does AMP actually make a difference? Does it create a win-win situation for your site? What are the steps to be taken in order to set AMP up? Everything shall be answered in this post.
Why you would want to set Accelerated Mobile Pages up
Speed has been a critical factor for all the blogs ever since the beginning of it all. The faster the pages in your website load, the better it will rank on Google. Moreover, the faster the pages on your website load, the lesser will the people bounce back from your website.
With AMP, Google has given Speed a lot of priority. The websites or blogs which have AMP enabled already are ranking high on Google, because, well, it’s their project, it’s their search engine, so why not.
Why you wouldn’t want to set AMP up
There’s no strong reason here, and when I say that, I mean there isn’t any reason without alternatives here. Let me explain.
With AMP, however the videos and images, and ads function exactly like they should, certain very crucial elements of your blog, like the opt-in form (which for me is present on the right sidebar) get disabled. Although, this has an alternative.
Just place an image (you could either place a custom designed image or a simple link) inside your post or in the sidebar for people. Link that image to a page with your opt-in form.
Now, however, this is an alternative, I don’t see this option very lucrative. The number of readers subscribing to your blog would already be scarce, and that’s when there’s a very easy to fill form right in the sidebar. In such a situation, I don’t see readers going out of the way by clicking on an image and navigating to yet another page.
How to Ultimately Set It Up
Setting up the /amp Prefix
The first step here would be to head over the this page and install the AMP plugin by Automattic. All this plugin does is adding the /amp prefix to your pages. Hence, activating amp. You can confirm this by replacing your URL, for example, thecyberfibre.com/about with thecyberfibre.com/about/amp/
Note that I have not yet set-up AMP. Reason is listed in the Conclusion.
Designing it right
As you may already have noticed, the AMP version of a site contains only the absolute basics and the things that are necessary. We’re talking no headers, no social sharing options, no sidebars.
As I previously mentioned above, almost every con for AMP can be tackled with an alternative. Hence, head over to this page and install the plugin, that is, the Glue for Yoast SEO plugin and activate it.
This plugin will not only ship your meta-data over to the AMP version of your site, it will also help you give your AMP site a unique brading as it has various design options. It’ll keep you busy.
After considering everything in this post, I will honestly give AMP a try. Although social sharing and the opt-in form present in the right sidebar are absolutely critical for me, with your support, it’ll all go smoothly. Let’s hope for the best.
That said, AMP is currently in development and hence, many WordPress users face issues like videos not opening, images not loading, pages altogether not being accessible. The fix is yet to arrive.
Also, a link to the official AMP page would be useful for people wanting to set up AMP on non-Wordpress websites. It should be relatively tough.