How to Properly Set up Google AMP on WordPress Site

With mobile phones and tablets becoming increasingly popular in recent years, the number of Google searches on mobile devices has also increased. At this point, about half of the searches come from mobile devices. With so many people preferring to browse the Internet on a mobile platform, it’s become incredibly important that your website works just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop. You want the design to look good, the page to be easy to navigate and everything to load fast. With the help of WordPress experts, you can definitely achieve this. But one thing you’ll need to do is to properly set up Google AMP on WordPress site to speed it up. What is Google AMP, why do you need and how do you get it? Find the answers to those questions and more here!

What is Google AMP?

Whether you are new to this or a seasoned professional at website maintenance, Google AMP may be new to you. After all, it is only relatively recently that it became relevant to adjust for browsing on mobile platforms. So let’s take a quick look at what Google AMP even is! First of all, AMP is an acronym. It stands for accelerated mobile pages. AMP is an open-source HTML framework that you can use on a variety of platforms to improve the speed and decrease the loading time of your website on mobile devices.

Person holding a mobile phone, a user you might want to setup Google AMP for WordPress site for.
Google AMP may improve the experience of your mobile users.

So how does it work? Google AMP uses minimal HTML and limited Javascript to make lighter versions of your pages which are easier to load on mobile. These are then hosted on Google AMP Cache. So when a user accesses your website from a mobile device, such a cached version can be served to them easily and almost instantly.

Why should you set up Google AMP on WordPress site?

The increase in traffic coming from mobile devices means you can no longer get away with setting your website up for desktop only. Regardless of the kind of content you post and your target audience, a portion of your users will be accessing your website from their phones or tablets. If the majority of your traffic comes from mobile users, you may even consider making your WP website mobile-first thus prioritizing mobile users over desktop users and catering the website to them.

If, however, you simply want to improve the experience of your users who prefer to use mobile devices, Google AMP can be a great solution. It will lower the loading times on mobile devices and make your website more accessible to mobile users. It may even improve your Google search rankings because Google tends to prioritize websites that use AMP in mobile searches over those that don’t.

Are there reasons not to set up Google AMP on the WordPress site?

Of course, nothing is ever simple. So for all its advantages, Google AMP also comes with some downsides. Before you decide to use it, you should be aware of them:

  • because it uses limited HTML, Java, and CSS, Google AMP limits your options in terms of features – you may not be able to use all the dynamic scripts you want on the mobile version of your website
  • Google AMP is not compatible with certain analytic tools you might be using for maintenance guidance, following traffic, statistics and the like (although it is, naturally, compatible with Google Analytics)
  • similarly, Google AMP is not compatible with all advertising platforms
  • switching back from using Google AMP, later on, maybe tricky
  • other downsides of Google AMP may come up as more people start using it
People on their laptops and phones.
Think about how many people access your website from a mobile device.

What do you need to do to setup Google AMP on WordPress site?

Despite its limitations, Google AMP may be a good choice for some websites. If the majority of your traffic comes from mobile users, for example, you should seriously consider this option. In case you do decide for it, you’ll need to know how to setup Google AMP on the WordPress site. To make this easier for you, we’ve broken the process down into 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Install the plugin

As per usual, the first thing you’ll need to do is install the AMP plugin on your WordPress website. This is by far the easiest step. All you need to do is download, install and activate the plugin like any other plugin you’re already using.

Step 2: Configure the plugin

Once you’ve activated the plugin, navigate to Appearance>AMP. This is where you can see how your website appears to mobile users. This is also where you can change that and configure different settings. You’ll be able to select between a dark and light color scheme and change the colors for the header text, header background and links on mobile. To compare the way your page looks for different users, you can select mobile, tablet or desktop options. Just click on the appropriate icon in the bottom right corner of the panel on the left. Finally, don’t forget to click on the “Publish” button to save your changes.

Step 3: troubleshoot

Although you will see a live preview of any changes you make in the AMP menu itself, it’s always good to check that everything works as it should. So it would be best to test out your newly mobile-friendly website, right? You can easily visit any of your posts and pages in their AMP versions by adding /amp to the end of the URL. This will open the stripped-down version your mobile users will see.

404 next to a locked door.
Make sure that everything works.

There’s a chance that you’ll see a 404 error page instead of what you’re looking for. If that happens, simply go to Settings>Permalinks from your WP dashboard. Then click on “Save changes” to refresh your permalink structure. You do not need to actually make any changes.

Optional step: what to do after you set up Google AMP on WordPress site?

Once you setup Google AMP on a WordPress site, you’ll want to know if it works. This is not really a step in the setup itself, but it is an important step in the follow-through. So make sure to add Google Analytics to your AMP pages (if you haven’t already). This will help you track the statistics of your users: who is visiting your website, where from, and how they’re interacting with it. Then you can see if Google AMP makes a difference for you and your mobile users or not!

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