Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project was officially introduced into search results on February 24, 2016. Its introduction means a “faster, more engaging web experience” for MOBILE users. For businesses and brands however, it means they will have to maintain at least two versions of any article page; the original version of an article page that Web users will typically see, and the AMP version for mobile users.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project aims to provide mobile optimized content that can load instantly everywhere.
What is The AMP Project?
The AMP project is open-source initiative designed to enable Web content publishers to easily improve the return speed of their webpages (and thus improve the user experience) for the mobile Web audience.
The secondary aim of the AMP project is to accomplish top mobile speed without sacrificing revenue earned from advertising. At the moment, the project has partnered with a number of the most popular ad networks, including Amazon A9 and Google AdSense.
AMP’s Challenge for Marketers And Developers
Here are some of the other noteworthy AMP challenges that developers and content marketers will have to face when implementing AMP:
- All CSS in AMP must be in-line and be less than 50KB.
- Custom fonts must be loaded using a special amp-font extension. (?)
- Images must utilize the custom amp-img element and must include specific width and height values.
- If using animated GIFs, you must use the separate amp-anim extended component.
- For embedding YouTube videos there is a separate extended component that must be used called amp-youtube.
- Embedding social media posts requires the inclusion of their own extended components for AMP, such as amp-twitter.
- Some platforms that support AMP will require Schema.org meta data to identify the type of content on the page; for example article, recipe, review, and video.
Phew; that seems like a lot of work! Thankfully there is a simple solution.
WordPress is clearly one of the easiest ways for businesses, brands, and professionals to embrace and benefit from AMP.
In my recent post for Weal Media I highlighted AMP pages as a little-known bonus for using WordPress. This hidden gem inspired me to look deeper into WordPress’ adoption of AMP. In doing so I determine that, especially given that an official AMP plugin is being developed by Automattic/WordPress, the WordPress platform is clearly one of the easiest ways for businesses, brands, and professionals to embrace and benefit from AMP.
It is so simple. Once the plugin is installed, just as you would any other WordPress plugin, all posts on your site will have dynamically generated AMP-compatible versions; which are accessible by appending /amp/ to the end your post URLs. AMP TIP: If you don’t have nice permalinks, you can alternatively append ?amp=1.
In order for Google (and other platforms supporting the AMP Project) to detect the AMP version of your article or Web page, you must modify the original version of the article/Web page to include the following tag; which essentially acts as a canonical tag for AMP pages:
<link rel="amphtml" href="http://www.example.com/blog-post/amp/">
Three Must-Have WordPress Plugins To Benefit From AMP
- WordPress AMP
- Glue For Yoast SEO
Aside from the plugin contribution made by Automattic/WordPress mentioned earlier, several other developers have introduced complimentary WP Plugins to help WordPress users embrace Accelerated Mobile Pages, without having to append pages and insert tags manually.
With the WordPress AMP plugin active, all posts on your site will have dynamically generated AMP-compatible versions. You can access these by appending /amp/ to the end of post URLs. For example, if your post URL is http://example.com/2016/01/01/amp-on/, you can access the AMP version at http://example.com/2016/01/01/amp-on/amp/.
It is important to note that this plugin only creates AMP content. It does not automatically display it to users visiting your WordPress from a mobile device. This is handled by AMP consumers such as Google Search.
The PageFrog plugin allows WordPress users to easily publish and manage their content directly from WordPress to Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), with full support for ads and webpage analytics.
As if by magic, PageFrog automatically converts existing content into an optimized page structure to accommodate the requirements of FBIA and AMP. Moreover, this plugin allows users to brand and style their content within the WordPress interface.
Unquestionably, measuring the performance of your content is important. To accomplish this, PageFrog allows you to connect multiple third party analytics to your FBIA and AMP pages including Google Analytics. Also, if monetizing your content through FBIA and AMP is necessary, PageFrog makes it very easy to connect your Facebook Audience Network and/or Google AdSense account; to start displaying ads.
Glue For Yoast SEO
If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress, the Glue for Yoast SEO plugin is a MUST HAVE. Without this plugin, the developers warn “things like canonical might go wrong.”
The Glue for Yoast SEO plugin makes certain that the default WordPress AMP plugin (above) uses the correct Yoast SEO meta data. For example, a post description will be added from the Yoast meta description, whereas the WordPress AMP plugin does not (by default) provide one.
Thank You to The WordPress Community
If you want to be good at something, you really have to work at it every single day. You have to work hard at the things that are hard. Otherwise you are just treading water. – Matt Mullenweg
Once again, WordPress and the community of WP developers have demonstrated their commitment to innovating the platform, and have shown they can continue to do so without causing any discomfort to WordPress owners. For businesses and brands the AMP project is a reminder that they can depend on their WP website to evolve independently, and allow them to focus their attention on creating great content for their audience.