The Why of Accelerated Mobile Pages
Recently, Google unveiled their Accelerated Mobile Pages project (also dubbed AMP). The project aims to make the mobile web faster by creating a less-flashy, less-cluttered way to view content on your phone, potentially competing with Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles.
To see an example of an AMP-Enabled search, click here to search Google for “mars” (this will only work on your mobile device).
Why AMP Is Different Than Responsive…
AMP is hoping to achieve this promised speed increase by limiting the tools a developer can use to display content. AMP guidelines include
- no form fields
- no external stylesheets
- no inline styles
- everything must adhere to limits for file size
Where AMP falls short
There are some issues with the format, more specifically from a moral point of view.
- it restricts on what you can do and offer to YOUR readers over the internet
- it benefits a few large companies
- there are only 5 advertisement platforms currently supported, 2 owned by Google
- not all analytics will work with AMP
WordPress AMP Plugins
When it comes to WordPress AMP plugins, there are four main things we need to consider:
- the actual /amp version of your posts
- integration with your SEO plugin so the AMP pages have the proper meta data attached to them
- integration with your Google Analytics or Analytics software so you can track how much traffic your WordPress AMP versions are getting
- Plugin for displaying AMP ads if you’re a publisher
Developed by Automattic this plugin is a good plugin to add AMP support for your site.
Activating the plugin, all posts on your site get AMP-compatible versions, accessible by appending /amp/ to the end your post URLs.
A cool feature is that it uses the site logo defined in the customizer.
There are no settings. you get the bare minimum styling and besides the logo no branding options what so ever. Since the AMP project encourages form over function, this will work for most websites out there.
This plugin requires the AMP plugin to be installed, then extends upon it and offers 3 main features that are really important:
- you can style the AMP article with your branding
- allows you to serve Facebook and Google Adsense ads
Styling wise, there’s support for the logo, font choice between serif and sans-serif, plus a few color so at least we’re using the brand’s colors.
It’s important to see what response our articles get from our readers and analytics is a must have for WordPress AMP articles.
Currently there’s support for: Google Analytics, Chartbit, Parsly as well as the possibility to add a different AMP supported analytics tracking.
There is a way to do this via hooks and filters but unless you have a good reason to hard-code this, using the PageFrog plugins make a lot more sense.
Lastly, adding ads thus getting revenue from your content is also possible, however the choices are limited. This is a limitation of the AMP format and I’m sure support for other ad networks will be available in the future.
Other features of the PageFrog WordPress AMP plugin are:
- possibility to select to enable AMP format for other post types, even custom ones created with other plugins
- similar support for Facebook Instant Articles that’s currently in closed beta
This plugin makes sure the default WordPress AMP plugin uses the proper Yoast SEO metadata. Without this, things like canonical links setup with Yoast SEO might not work correctly.
Currently I personally don’t know of AMP support from other SEO plugins, however, if you know of any other ones, just leave a comment.
Other WordPress AMP Plugins
- AMP Analytics – Extend AMP to support analytics on your WordPress site – Google Analytics supported
- Accelerated Mobile Pages ( AMP ) for WordPress – Creating a AMP theme for your WordPress site
Regardless of what we think of the AMP project, it’s here to stay and sites that write news or blog posts will need to have this enabled, or risk being penalized in mobile search results.
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