Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): What Is It And How To Set Up

AMP – aka – Accelerated Mobile Pages — is an open-source web component framework developed by Google that is used to integrate into websites to speed up page loading process on mobile devices.

AMP-powered pages

This technology was created by Google in 2015. Using AMP allows website owners to display light-weight versions of your pages from Google’s own servers and improves searchers’ experience.

You can spot the “lighting” symbol added to AMP-powered articles to distinguish them.

AMP pages in mobile search

What does the AMP abbreviation mean?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a technology that does just what its name implies: accelerate mobile pages. The AMP-code is easily integrated into any website. To implement the technology in any CSS, Google provides the AMP-plugin that is installed and set up pretty easily.

AMP is often referred to as Google AMP as it was created by Google, basically to surpass Facebook Instant Articles. It copies their general idea – to let users open the content without surfing the sourced website. Yet, with Facebook Instant Articles, people read the entire article within Facebook’s app, while Google AMP operates on the open web.

AMP pages are basically a ghost version of your website that renders really fast on mobile devices (sometimes it’s a matter of a second). These pages are cached by Google. It means, in order to load them, Google won’t be sending requests for your server, but instead, serve them from its own cache (that’s primarily why they’re loading much faster than simple HTML pages).

You may also like: Facebook Instant Articles: Everything You Need To Know In 2021

Why using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)?

The most obvious pro of using AMP pages is a great speed improvement. Many researchers reveal that 40% and more users report they would abandon a page if it loads for more than 3 seconds. Therefore, by making your mobile version loading faster, you contribute to saving your visitor’s attention and reducing bounce rates significantly.

Accelerated mobile pages

Besides, the word is it does add up to better rankings too. Most SEO experts claim AMP pages are much more prioritized by Google. Well, it is not an official-data-backed statement, but given that Google now places higher importance on website speed, it’s possible at least out of this reason. 

We would say it’s not that much about search ranking, but optimizing your site for Google Discover – that can be the first provider of immense traffic to your website. Being powered by AMP gives you scores, at least by creating a compelling preview of your website. 

Here are two versions to compare (on Android):

Accelerated mobile pages compared to other pages

The bottom version is run via AMP.

AMP are much more than just an accelerator for mobile pages. In fact, many of the widely-known publishers reported back some impressive results after integrating the framework to their websites. In particular:

  1. Washington Post claimed that Google AMP helped them to increase returning users from mobile search at 23%.
Washington Post – AMP
  1. CNBC experienced 4x decrease in page load speed: average AMP page load times of 1.23 seconds.
  1. ImpreMedia achieved a great web page speed improvement (average page RPM is said to be now 160% higher).
La Opinion – AMP

Do I need AMP pages on my website?

AMP pages were initially targeted towards news websites. Today, though, any publisher, media, or website that produces content, especially in large amounts, can benefit from implementing Google AMP. The plugin is completely free, and the reader’s hunger for an oversimplified experience is rising at breakneck speed. 

Although, for the most part, the purpose of Google AMP is to make any heavy-text page load faster (even on low Internet connection), it rolls out many other features, such as visual storytelling for fast-loading full-screen experiences.. 

How to integrate AMP pages into your website

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP runs with minimal HTML and limited Javascript. It is compatible with almost all CSS (if you already have a blog running) by providing a plugin that can be easily implemented.

How to set up Google AMP in WordPress

As of today, any website on WordPress automatically supports AMP. All you have to do is:

  1. Install the AMP plugin for WordPress
AMP: setup in WordPress
  1. Follow the instructions provided, step-by-step.
AMP configuration
  1. Choose the Template Mode you want to use. Prior, make sure your WordPress themes support AMP.
WordPress instructions for setting up AMP
  1. That’s it. Upon activation, you can go to your WordPress Dashboard, head over to the “Appearance” > “AMP” page to see how your new page looks on mobile devices.

What does it look like?

To look up the AMP-page, just add “/amp/” at the end of the page URL. For example, here is a stripped-down (simplified) version of Laopinion’s article:

The AMP plugin provided by WordPress is a big deal since almost 40% of websites are run on WordPress. 

Medium to support AMP

Medium has integrated support for Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles long ago (in 2016 to be exact) to reduce load time for mobile users. 

There is no learning curve for content creators: any blog post you publish will be AMP-optimized.

Things to keep in mind

  1. An AMP-page should not be an exact replica of the existing page. Reversely, it can open up opportunities for you to experiment with fonts, or layouts. 

2. AMP are not just for mobile devices

Although AMP pages are designed for mobile devices, they can be beautifully displayed in the desktop version. 

  1. AMP pages integrate ads

Placing ad stacks to your AMP pages are possible under certain conditions. 

  1. AMP pages don’t restrict design options

AMP pages won’t make user experience poorer in any way. You can keep up with your design or experiment in any way. 

5. AMP support different Content Platforms.

AMP framework works with different content platforms, like Bing, Twitter, Pinterest, Ghost, LinkedIn, etc. The full list is available at the official website.