Google AMP Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress?

So what is Google AMP?

Google AMP is a plugin available for WordPress websites which allows web pages to load faster on mobile devices.

Fast loading web pages offer visitors to your site a better interactive experience.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, so where did AMP come from?

The AMP technology is an open source idea supported by leading technology companies like Google and Twitter and was launched in 2015.

There ambition is to make web content load much faster for mobile device users.

Mobile users find reading websites too slow and can take several seconds for a page to load properly.

By installing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) into a WordPress website it will display content onto mobile devices with bare minimal HTML and limited javascript allowing content to be hosted on Google AMP cache systems.

Google can serve a cached version of your page to users instantly when they click on your link in search results.

Google AMP faster mobile device page loading
Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Google AMP Good or Bad?

Pros and Cons of Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

SEO experts claim that Accelerated Mobile Pages help you get a better ranking position in Google, and it improves the user experience for mobile users on slow internet connections.

However, there are several challenges for website owners, bloggers, and marketers.

AMP uses limited set of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS which means you cannot add certain widgets and features to your mobile AMP website.

This limits your ability to add smart email optin forms, facebook like boxes, and other dynamic website scripts.

While Google AMP supports Google Analytics, it does not support many other analytics platforms.

This downside also applies for advertising options which are limited to select few advertising platforms.

Despite its limitations, Google is pushing AMP pages by giving them a boost in mobile search results.

If most of your traffic comes from mobile devices, then you may benefit from adding AMP to improve and maintain your SEO.

I have added AMP to this website to monitor how it performs for me, but there are many web designers and certainly bloggers who are still sceptical about risking the transformation.

My personal opinion is that the AMP pages certainly load faster, but the visual aspect of your web pages certainly suffer for it.

Shropshire Web Design without AMP

Shropshire web design without Google AMP

Shropshire Web Design with AMP Installed

Shropshire Web Design with google AMP

Firstly you can see that the main page banner has been replaced by a small logo at the top of the page, also the navigation has been replaced by a dropdown icon in the upper left corner.

These points are OK for mobile devices but I have reservations about having the AMP version as a landing page for my Desktop viewers.

The tests I have made so far when viewing the AMP version on a desktop computer is that once the page is clicked you are then reverted back to the original version of the website which doesn’t seem to bad.

Statistics of Accelerated Mobile Pages

A lot of large companies adopted Google AMP over the past year including WordPress, Reddit, eBay, Pinterest, Washington Post, Wired, Gizmodo and more.

According to Google, they achieved a 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor.

Plugins for AMP on WordPress

There are currently 2 main WordPress plugins that can help you get setup with Google AMP.

The first one is the free official AMP plugin, which is developed by the team over at Automattic.

currently this plugin has over 200,000 active installs with a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. You can download it from the WordPress or by searching for it within your WordPress dashboard under “Add New” plugins.

You can customize the appearance a little bit under the “Appearance AMP” editor.

However, your options are fairly limited with the plugin and it relies on you knowing how to implement additional filters for features such as AdSense or Analytics.

This plugin also currently only supports posts and not pages.

The second Plugin is “AMP for WordPress” it currently has over 70,000 active installs with a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.

You can download it from WordPress or by searching for it within your WordPress dashboard under “Add New” plugins.

This plugin allows you more customization within your Google AMP setup.

Also, it supports pages as well as posts.

Points to remember

  • Google AMP is a plugin available for WordPress websites
  • AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • The AMP plugin uses a limited set of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS
  • There is currently 2 main WordPress plugins
  • You can customize the appearance with the “Appearance AMP” editor
  • AMP is an opensource project
  • You need some technical knowlege to set AMP up correctly
  • The appearance of your website on mobile devices will change to viewers
  • You could be ranked higher in Google or other search engines

Note: Since writing this post and trying AMP out I have decided to deactivate and uninstalled AMP from this WordPress website.

In my opinion the amount of changes that AMP makes to a smaller site it doesn’t give any benefit for me.

Maybe a larger site such as Ebay, Twitter or Facebook would see visitor engagement improve but I feel my site loads fast enough at this time not to need AMP on Shropshire Web Design.

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