AMP with WordPress – Insight for Beginners
September 1. 2019
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) has a pretty straightforward goal and function – to make your website faster, which you were probably able to guess by its name. AMP with WordPress is a great combination if you are interested in increasing monthly visits to your site, which we are guessing is pretty much every website owner’s goal. In fact, some of the biggest names, such as Reddit, Washington Post, eBay, etc., have adopted Google AMP! And they certainly had a good reason for doing so. After all, if they found Google AMP to be good enough for them, it should be good enough for you too, right? We here at WP Full Care will try to bring the prospect of using AMP a bit closer to you, as well as reflect on all the pros and cons of doing it!
What exactly is AMP and what is its purpose?
Being launched way back in October 2015, Google AMP has become a significant project that has been diligently worked on. The idea behind the AMP project is to increase the loading speed of mobile pages by relying on AMP HTML, which is a framework that allows websites to build lighter versions of their existing high-impact landing pages and posts. Sounds complicated, but the goal is pretty simple – to quickly load a page by creating a simplified version of your pages.
What if we told you that some of the aforementioned bigwigs were able to increase their monthly unique visitors by 44%? Then we guess you would frantically start looking for ways to incorporate AMP with your WordPress website. Not so fast! Let’s first reflect on the good sides, as well as the bad sides of Google AMP. After that, you’ll get your answer should you decide to proceed with AMP.
Why you’ll want to use AMP with WordPress
Well, for starters, AMP can definitely speed up your WordPress website. And we’ve been hearing time and time again how a fast-loading website is an important ranking factor! And good ranking brings you a bunch of benefits. Another thing that seems to be important for those who use AMP is automatic image optimization. Although we do have to mention that, in order for this function to work, you’d probably need to activate extra plugins.
Furthermore, with constant changes and improvements, Google AMP now offers plenty of advertising options. So, be it through increasing AdSense revenue, impacting ranking by improving loading speed, or increasing conversions, AMP can impact your business/site in a lot of good ways. But not everything is as peachy as it sounds.
Why you should give using AMP a second thought
Nothing’s ever perfect, which is why you should have realistic expectations of AMP. Before anything else, AMP can be very difficult to test and implement if you are not a professional. It’s a good thing that the WordPress platform does make AMP a bit easier to use, but you still might need some help.
Secondly, if you put a lot of importance on Google Analytics (which you should,) you might want to rethink using AMP. It’s been reported that it has messed up the stats which will make it more difficult to track your website’s traffic. And even though AMP is free and open-source, it also prevents large CSS and JS frameworks. As a developer, this probably isn’t something you’ll be happy to hear because that means you’d have to search for alternative solutions when it comes to web design and development.
Moreover, if a site is AMP first, it won’t support some older browsers which are still used by people everywhere. However, there is a way to implement AMP so that the AMP version of a website only opens for mobile users. It is said that AMP sites it will support the two latest version of major browsers like Opera and Chrome, and they support tablet, mobile, and desktop versions of all of those browsers.
Could AMP be a ranking factor?
Finally, you should know that, officially, AMP is not a ranking factor at the moment; although, if implemented correctly, it works on improving the loading speed which is important for rankings. However, it has been rumored that Google does give extra importance to those sites that use AMP. And that would make it a ranking factor, meaning that the story is more complicated than it seems. Perhaps you’ll just have to try and see for yourself.
Setting up AMP with WordPress
So, you have decided that AMP is worth a shot? Congratulations! The process of setting up AMP will be pretty simple if you have a straightforward website and an AMP-compatible theme. Although, before deciding on a theme, take notice of their price! Almost all of them come with a certain price tag.
The first step to setting up AMP is an obvious one – you have to install and activate AMP plugin. Once you activate the plugin, head over to Appearance – AMP to get a chance to see how your pages will look on mobile devices. The great thing about WordPress is that it allows a lot of freedom when it comes to personalization! Here, you have a chance to change the header background and the text color. But be careful – the color you choose for the header background will also be used for links, so choose a good one!
Once you think you have achieved the look you wanted, all you have to do is click SAVE and the changes will be updated. You can now feel free to visit any page or post on your website! Just type /amp/ at the end of the URL link. By doing this, you will see a stripped-down version of your post which we hope will be according to your liking. And voila – just like that, you have set up AMP for your WordPress website.
Will Google AMP be worth it?
The truth is that nobody can tell you this with absolute certainty. Besides, no one can decide what’s better for your business but you. The fact is that there are a lot of those who report benefits that make AMP with WordPress a powerful combination. But, there are also a lot of bloggers like Alex Kras who claim that you can potentially lose mobile traffic should you opt for Google AMP. Finally, switching back from Google AMP if you change your mind down the line is always a viable option. Although, there are also reports that claim that making this switch is complicated and difficult. Perhaps, you’ll just have to rely on your good luck, and we wish you plenty of it!