Instead of Instant Articles: Google’s AMP Accelerates Mobile Content
Google’s new project AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) exists since last October. The open source project AMP wants to reduce the loading times of websites significantly. Today’s websites are getting increasingly more bloated and carry weight, which often turns page loading on a smartphone into a waiting game. That’s why the goal is to reduce page load times down to milliseconds so that surfing on a smartphone becomes fun again.
AMP by Google was first introduced in October 2015. Google’s original target audience were the large publishing houses with own mobile appearances. However, every website owner can use the new, open source technology. AMP’s chief competition will be Facebook’s Instant Articles, which became open to all sites in April. However, only users of the Facebook app will benefit from the Facebook project. Among others, AMP is supported by ZEIT Online, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course, by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
Surfing on Smartphones is Painfully Slow
WordPress Supports AMP as Well
The WordPress team was one of the project’s first supporters and quickly provided a custom integration for AMP. WordPress.com automatically supports AMP; no manual intervention is needed. Now, there’s an option for self-hosted websites to benefit from the advantages of the high-speed framework for mobile view. You simply need to install a plugin, and from that point on, a self-hosted website automatically supports the mobile turbo. Settings are not necessary.
- Developer: Automattic
- Work in Progress: yes
- Latest Version from: 02.24.2016
- Costs: free on WordPress.org
- License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
- Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
- Developer Homepage: Unknown
- Download on WordPress.org
AMP Test After the Plugin’s Activation
After the plugin was installed and activated, you can quickly test the function by adding an /amp/ to the end of an article’s URL. Here’s a demo of an AMP page without optimization, and another demo with some optimization. Only the actual article pages are transformed. Pages, landing page, categories, and other similar parts don’t work yet. The reason for that is the core idea of AMP, being able to access news articles faster.
Google Marks AMP Websites
Websites that support the new format are preferred within Google’s mobile search. The new format is pushed with all might. Google displays the search results that come in AMP format as “Top Stories” on mobile devices. This works really well already when searching with a mobile device’s browser.
Google’s AMP is Customizable for WordPress Users
AMP supports a broad palette of features, including advertising forms like Doubleclick and AdSense. Analysis tools can also be integrated. In addition to that, there are plenty of hooks for self-hosted WordPress websites, allowing you to create and customize your AMP template. In the future, a special customizing interface will be added. First for WordPress.com, then as a plugin for self-hosters.
Here’s an overview of all the customization options for WordPress.
The video on the topic:
- Accelerated Mobile Pages Project
- Extensive FAQ on AMP
- AMP for WordPress – Customization Options
- Introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, for a faster, open mobile web
- AMPing up in Mobile Search
- The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites
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