AMP for WordPress: Pros and Cons of AMP and How to Implement it?
AMP for WordPress find out how easy it is to implement, but first determine whether it’s the right way to address page speed for you WordPress site.
Thanks to mobile, most customers now spend a significant part of their time indoors and often glued to the screen.
For businesses, this is great, because mobile web and mobile apps for businesses now remain accessible 24/7.
Of course, there are always pros and cons to any technology advances.
For example; your customers are now more restless and impatient than ever before.
A lot of large companies have adopted Google AMP over the past year, this includes WordPress, Reddit, eBay, Pinterest, Washington Post, Wired, Gizmodo, etc.
According to Google, Slate saw a 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor.
For website owners, this means keeping up to date is pretty important and AMP has been a top level priority.
Because any website or web page that takes more than a few seconds to load faces the wrath of customers when they leave the site for some other options. Customers bouncing indicates the tremendous importance of faster loading speed for web pages. When Google came with the Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) technology, it quickly became THE web development trend for 2018 and 2019.
It is true that high speed websites are important and much more than a trend.
That being said, is AMP the be all and end all for your website in terms of updates this year?
Like Sergey Grybniak stated on SEJ;
“The most crucial downside is that AMP is not that easy to install. If you use a WordPress website, you can always install the AMP Plugin, but it doesn’t work smoothly (at least, if you use conflicting plugins like Yoast or Monarch). You have a single option: Place all the necessary tags and code manually — which takes time.”
If you have a WordPress website and want to implement AMP for superior loading speed, there are ‘simple’ ways to do it.
But before we go on explaining about implementing AMP for WordPress, let us see what exactly AMP is and how it benefits WordPress user experience as well as the shortcomings of this technology.
What is Google AMP?
Google AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is a project that Google launched way back in October 2015. Developed using a newly built open-source framework called AMP HTML, it ensures delivering extremely lightweight web pages that can be loaded almost instantly. The principal focus of this web development technology has been the faster loading speed more than anything else.
As per recent research, a whopping 53% of users decide to abandon a site if it takes anything over 3 seconds to load.
Now, let us have a look at the key pros and cons of AMP for WordPress.
- AMP is a free and open-source solution that comes as a value-addition by improving your website speed.
- AMP is capable of boosting the load times of your WordPress website significantly and by this can positively impact your search rank.
- Google AMP tremendously boosts the Click Through Rates (CTR), a crucial aspect of SEO, engagement and business conversion.
- AMP is capable of optimising the image from less automatically to boost loading speed.
- For slower network connections, you have AMP lite to deliver the same speed and performance boost while reducing the byte size.
- If you are not a developer, it is still harder to implement AMP.
- AMP is still not officially a search ranking factor but impacts the search rank through performance.
- Initially, after turning your existing WordPress site to AMP, you can have difficulty in conversion.
- Many third-party tools and scripts are still not supported by AMP.
How to Implement and Optimize AMP for WordPress?
Now let us get back to the practical tips about implementing AMP for WordPress. We will see the entire process of turning your WordPress site into an AMP ready website in few steps.
1. Activate the AMP plugin
Opt for the Official AMP plugin by Automattic and start with your AMP implementation.
This AMP plugin will make things easier by turning all your website content into AMP versions. To see the AMP version of content you just need to append /amp/ at the end of a post URL.
Please note: that only your posts will be turned to the AMP version with this plugin. To turn your pages into AMP compatible ones, you need something else.
After installing the basic plugin, you can install additional plugins for turning other website elements like the pages into AMP versions. You have an array of plugin options to choose from.
Tweak the settings of the plugins
You are most likely going to want to customize the look and feel for your Accelerated Mobile Pages instead of opting for what is automatically implemented. After selecting the types of posts for AMP, you can just go to the Design settings and tweak with the CSS styling, customize the content look, incorporate a custom icon for AMP posts or set any image for AMP pages.
Test your AMP
When you are finished creating your AMP URLs, you need to make sure that they work fine.
If there are faults in configuration, there will be a problem with Google showing them on the search page. This is why it is essential to validate and test the performance of your AMP pages.
You can conduct the AMP Test by going to https://search.google.com/test/amp and test the URL there. You can also do the same with Developer Console while dying Chrome Browser. After opening the link, you need to go to the Chrome Dev Tools Console in the Chrome Menu and thereunder More tools you need to navigate to the Development tools under which you have the “Console” tab. Here you can check for validation errors. You can also use AMP Validator web page https://validator.ampproject.org/ and can test the URL there.
Indexing crucial AMP URLs
Now you can submit your AMP URLs to Google after validation to help the search engine indexing your website for future search results. In this respect, it is essential for your website to be linked internally and list the pages on an XML site map.
Testing loading speed
At last, you need to test the loading speed for your AMP website.
After all, it is the ultimate benefit that made you decide to go for this technology. Use a good page speed tool to test and compare the testing results between your AMP pages and other mobile pages.
Some great free tools include:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool
- Google Analytics Site Speed
AMP is here to stay as the most promising technology for the web. WordPress by powering millions of blogs, content-rich and professional websites have already embraced AMP to ensure superior mobile web experience.