Mobile devices account for half of the web traffic since the first quarter of 2017. Aside from the fact that it’s an indication of the use of smartphones to access websites, this also means that business owners should create websites that load fast on mobile devices. Remember, website speed helps visitors “stick” on your pages.
Considering that website speed is a key factor for both user experience and SEO rankings, how do we make a mobile-friendly website that loads fast? This is where Google’s open-source web development framework called Accelerated Mobile Pages, better known as AMP, comes in.
After reading this article, you’ll be able to learn the following:
- What is AMP
- How to make an AMP page
- Set up AMP on your WordPress website
So, let’s get started!
Accelerated Mobile Pages: What it is
As a response to the growing popularity of mobile web browsing – and the increased focus on the mobile user experience – AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, was launched in 2015. It is a development framework that decreases, or limits, the use of resources that slow down a website on mobile devices.
The goal of AMP is to have mobile pages load immediately. For a lot of people, the internet can be slow and unstable. So, to go around this problem, AMP restricts what HTML pages do to speed up page loading. AMP prioritises speed and primarily focuses on how it functions over how it looks.
Naturally, websites that are slow are bad for both users and search engines. Plus, a user’s attention span over the years is becoming shorter. This combination is the reason why slow websites get higher bounce rates. By creating alternative mobile versions of web pages, one that remove unnecessary code and bulky media content, AMP reduces load times and enhances mobile user experience.
AMP-lifying Website Page Speed: How to Make an AMP Page for WordPress Sites
We’re navigating into a future where everything is accessible using mobile devices. As business owners, we must make decisions based on this idea.
Where does this lead us? Simple. Learning how to make an AMP page for the websites we create. Why? Because optimising business websites to load fast is no longer enough. People want web pages to immediately show, and AMP is a way to bring that to life.
Plugins offer an easy and flexible way to do this. We listed three of the many options you can find online along with an easy guide to setting up AMP through them:
AMP Plugin powered by AMP
AMP project contributors developed this plugin to help anyone – regardless of expertise or resources – make an AMP page for their website. Installing the AMP plugin gives you access to the following features:
- Utilise WordPress’ standard workflows while automating the process of creating AMP-valid markup for users.
- Include mechanisms for identifying, contextualising, and resolving issues caused by validation errors. This lets users deal with AMP incompatibilities when they occur.
- Support development to simplify WordPress development that allows developers to build AMP-compatible websites and solutions.
- Make it easier for site owners to take advantage of mobile redirection, AMP-to-AMP linking, and the generation of optimised AMP by default (using the PHP port of AMP Optimizer).
- Provide a complete solution that allows WordPress developers, at least a portion of them, to quickly publish AMP pages, regardless of their level of technical expertise or access to resources.
To install, access your WordPress dashboard and click “Plugins” on the left side. Click “Add New” and look for AMP for WordPress. Install and then activate before going to “Appearance” and look for the “AMP” tab. Here you’ll find the “Design” tab where you can customise your WordPress AMP site. Simply click “Publish” at the top left to save changes.
On the other hand, both posts and pages can display on the AMP version of your site. To set this up, head to the WordPress dashboard and look for “AMP”. In “General”, check the boxes under “Post Type Support” before clicking “Save Changes” to add them to your WordPress AMP.
It’s good to note that this only offers basic customisations. For users that need more flexibility, the next plugins are better options.
Although known for its SEO capabilities, Yoast SEO is yet another plugin that can make an AMP page. It offers a flexible way of customising AMP pages that AMP for WordPress doesn’t.
Yoast SEO functions on websites with AMP support. It works with the AMP plugin without affecting the rest of your SEO so your website stays fast, clean, and ready for more online traffic.
To set up, follow the same step in installing a WordPress plugin. Then, on your dashboard, go to “SEO” then “AMP”. You can choose whether you want to enable AMP support for posts and media types here. Additional settings can be set in the “Design” tab as well. Here, you can adjust the colour scheme, set an icon for your WordPress AMP site, and even add custom CSS.
AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP for WP is a plugin to check if you want your AMP plugin to be more visually customisable. This offers sufficient value to compete with the official AMP plugin with over 100,000 downloads and the best part: it’s also free!
There is only one design included in the free version of AMP for WP – which is a good way to test before purchasing any of the four ready-to-use AMP website designs. But the theme customiser lets you make big changes if you’re down to spending time designing it.
For those looking for more customisation options, it’s good to note that the plugin is compatible with the Gutenberg block editor in addition to a built-in drag-and-drop page builder, and other popular page builder plugins like Elementor and Divi. This plugin also excels in the area of integrations; Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, and many others are compatible with this plugin.
Difference Between AMP and Mobile-Friendly Websites
Pages using Responsive Web Design (RWD) are mobile-friendly websites. RWD is a method of designing websites with the goal of making them look their best on a wide range of devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Its key component is the ability to change the page layout based on the browser and its window size. Thus, making it mobile-friendly.
As opposed to a mobile-friendly website, Google’s open-source project AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a lightweight page designed to, almost, instantly load on mobile devices. Pages that comply with AMP make use of a subset of HTML and a few extensions. It is a simple framework for building websites that load quickly.
Basically, a mobile-friendly website uses codes that are integrated directly to a page. While AMP is an alternative version of a page with reduced use of resources to immediately show its content.
Create the AMP Version of Your Website Today!
Considering the importance of mobile user experience, a global adoption of AMP became significant for online businesses the past couple of years. In fact, it has extended beyond the news industry, e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites, and other fields.
AMP has become increasingly significant for search marketers, too, as the volume of mobile phone-based searches continues to rise. On top of learning how to make an AMP page, it’s equally important to store your website files in a powerful hosting for maximum uptime, as well as reaching the right audience to build your online presence.