If you have used Google on your smartphone, you must have noticed a time when some top stories and search results had a special symbol. It was highly popular some years ago. But what was it?
Remember, one thing that is the same in all people is they hate waiting.
Webpages with fast loading speeds have high chances of ranking and lower bounce rates. It is so crucial that even Google has mentioned its importance several times and introduced programs to increase it. Today I’ll tell you about one of them, which is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
It caused a huge frenzy when it was released. Everyone was talking about it. Some said it was here to stay, but others’ opinions were totally opposite. But in the past few years, there have been even fewer discussions about Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Do you want to know why?
Because in 2021, the biggest search engine Google removed the Accelerated Mobile Page symbol. But is it still relevant? Should you focus on it?
In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Page so you can decide whether it’s best to implement it on your website or if you’re better off without it.
Keep reading to find out.
What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a set of open-source web technologies and coding standards. They are designed to create faster webpages, load quickly and provide a seamless user experience for mobile users. AMP aims to address the challenge of slow-loading mobile web pages by optimizing rich content for speed and performance.
It’ll remove all the nonessential parts of the webpage and store cached versions on the server of Google. That way, you’ll get content at lightning speed.
But you might be wondering what sort of nonessential parts?
It includes videos, advertisements, large-size images, and slow-loading animations. So the user will get to see SEO-optimized images and high-quality content. If you just want to read the article without waiting for animations and extra effects to load. Then this will take seconds; you can read a blog without delay.
Why Did Google Create Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Accelerated Mobile Pages were launched back in November 2016. The framework was made to give users a better and smoother experience on Google. They didn’t want users to wait for their search results to take hours to load.
The purpose of this framework was to create a path through which every webpage is optimized for mobile devices. It is:
- Well documented
- Easily deployable
And most importantly, opinionated regarding the focus on the user-first approach. Its launch was a huge success because, within two years, around 25 million domains became a part of this by creating almost 4 million web pages.
Google knows there is fierce competition in the market, and most of its users surf the internet on smartphones. That’s why this sort of approach is essential to satisfy customers.
This approach gave many businesses a huge competitive edge and a boost in search ranking. Because having a desktop version is not enough anymore you must provide visitors with a better mobile browsing experience and engage with customers in an interactive manner.
How does AMP work?
Now you have enough knowledge about Accelerated Mobile Pages, but still, there’s one missing piece. Without it, you won’t fully understand Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is the proper working mechanism of an Accelerated Mobile Page. After reading this, you’ll know how it’s different from Facebook instant articles.
There are three core AMP components through which it works. Let’s discuss them one by one.
HTML is a simple file of text without any heavy animations. So the first part is HTML in Accelerated Mobile Page, but there are some limitations to ensure that the pages load faster and perform well in all aspects.
You might know there are some tags in HTML code. What will happen to them on Accelerated Mobile Pages? Two things will happen:
- They become regular HTML tags
- They get replaced with AMP-specific tags
There is a specific name for these custom tags. These tags are known as AMP HTML components. Through these tags, these pages are easy to recognize by search engines.
When it was highly significant, people chose to make Accelerated Mobile Pages versions as well as non-AMP pages versions. However, it’s up to you if you want either of them or are satisfied with having just an Accelerated Mobile Page version.
It is very critical for an Accelerated Mobile Page. It implements some of the best performance practices for fast page rendering. It does that by doing inline CSS and font triggering. Basically, it manages resource loading.
One major thing that you should know is that it’ll make every outside source asynchronous. But what’s the significance behind it?
It’ll block anything or everything that hinders rendering the page. JS applies many other techniques, including:
- Iframe Sandboxing: Isolating all iframes within a secure environment to avoid performance and security issues.
- Pre-Calculated Layouts: Calculate page element layouts before loading resources for faster rendering.
- Fast CSS Selectors: Deactivating slow CSS selectors to enhance overall page responsiveness.
Google AMP cache has the purpose of checking all Accelerated Mobile Pages HTML pages. But what is it?
It is a proxy-based content delivery network. Simply put, it’s like a helper who delivers all proper Accelerated Mobile Page documents. The cache checks all the web pages and then fetches AMP HTML pages. It’ll then cache them as well and increase the page’s overall performance.
This cache is a validation system that ensures that the page works smoothly. Any external resource isn’t able to slow the performance. This system works on various series of assertions. This ensures that the page is compliant with all the Accelerated Mobile Pages specifications.
Another fascinating thing you should know is that every Accelerated Mobile Pages page has an additional validation system. So what’s its purpose?
It’ll immediately check all the errors when the page is rendered. So you can check all the errors and bugs in your code and change it beforehand without it seriously affecting your page. Here’s a simple structure to understand it.
Additional Validation System — checks errors — tell on browsers console — you can check errors — change it to increase page performance and experience of readers.
These three components work together to ensure an Accelerated Mobile Page works perfectly. I’m sure it gave you a better insight into understanding Accelerated Mobile Pages in a much better way.
AMP Pages Vs. Standard Web Pages: What’s The Difference?
But you might have a question in mind. What’s the difference between a simple AMP page and a standard webpage? Let’s understand it better with this table of differentiation.
|AMP Pages||Standard Web Pages|
|Loading Speed||Faster load times||Potentially slower loading|
|Page Design||Simplified design, restricted interactive elements||More design flexibility and can follow the latest website design trends|
|Third-party elements||Strictly controlled for performance||Wide range of third-party elements|
|Implementation Complexity||AMP-specific adjustments required||Standard web page development|
|URL Structure||May use separate Accelerated Mobile Pages URLs||Uses original URLs|
|Long-term Maintenance||May need continuous Accelerated Mobile Pages updates||Standard website updates|
|Ad Revenue||Potential for improved ad performance and increase in sales conversion rate.||Advertising format and performance may vary. Unique advertising experiences and if properly executed then better chances of conversion.|
Pros & Cons Of AMP Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages can be extremely beneficial for your website. However, for that, you must implement it correctly. But in order to make a better decision, you should know both advantages and disadvantages of accelerated mobile pages. I’ll list some of them below.
- They are designed to load almost instantly. It provides a superior mobile user experience, reduces bounce rates, and increases in time spent by readers on the site.
- Google often prioritizes Accelerated Mobile Pages in mobile search results. This potentially leads to higher search engine rankings, a large number of traffic, and increased visibility.
- Faster loading times and smoother user experiences contribute to higher user engagement and longer time spent on the page.
- They restrict certain design elements and advanced features to prioritize performance. This can limit the creativity of web designers.
- The standardized design of Accelerated Mobile Pages might not align with a brand’s unique identity, potentially leading to a loss of brand recognition.
- While Accelerated Mobile Pages can enhance mobile search rankings, managing different versions of dynamic content (regular and AMP) can pose SEO challenges if not implemented correctly.
- Creating Accelerated Mobile Pages for dynamically generated content (e.g., user comments, real-time updates) can be complex and may require additional workarounds.
Creating AMP Pages From Scratch
If you’re considering creating an Accelerated Mobile Page from scratch, I recommend following this step-by-step guide.
Set Up a New HTML File
Creating an HTML file is the first step to setting up an AMP page. If you don’t know enough code, then it’s fine. You can get help from no-code tools or chatGPT to create a code. I asked chatGPT to generate an HTML file code for my Accelerated Mobile Page, and here’s what it provided me.
You can also start your HTML file with simple AMP boilerplate code. If you go to the Accelerated Mobile Page project website, then you’ll be able to find this code. However, don’t forget to add the mandatory <html amp> tag because this is the major indicator that tells search engines that this is an Accelerated Mobile Page.
If you look closely at the code, you’ll notice that the tags are not yet identified. So what should you do?
There is a common tag pattern. Let me explain it to you.
You must replace standard HTML tags with their Accelerated Mobile Page equivalents. So suppose you’ve <img>. To create an AMP tag, you must add AMP before it, so it’s <amp-img>. Another similar example is as below.
<video> => <amp-video>
Likewise, you need to structurize the page with AMP-specific tags properly.
CSS & JS
Now create a separate CSS file for your Accelerated Mobile Page. Here’s one thing that you should remember. I’ve seen many people make this mistake, due to which their AMP page doesn’t work.
Accelerated Mobile Page enforces a 50KB size limit for CSS. What does that mean? That you should prioritize critical styles and avoid large external files, animations, and anything that’ll take up more space. Remember to use AMP-specific CSS techniques to ensure performance.
It’s the most crucial step. You’ve made HTML, CSS, and JS files. What’s next?
It is to validate your page, which you can do by using the AMP Validator tool.
It’ll help you identify any issues in advance. You can correct these issues and ensure your web page compliance. You should also add any necessary tags.
- Include a <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width,minimum-scale=1″> tag for responsive design.
- Implement a <link rel=”canonical”> tag to link to the corresponding non-AMP version.
You can’t just celebrate by creating your Accelerated Mobile Page. Not before you do this.
It is testing your Accelerated Mobile Page. Suppose you get validation, but what if your web page doesn’t work correctly on specific screen sizes or devices? It can be a huge mess.
That’s why you should check your AMP page on different devices, screen sizes, and browsers to ensure it works smoothly on all platforms.
Use browser developer tools to identify any issues and debug as needed.
Creating AMP Pages in a CMS
The process may vary if you have a CMS, e.g., WordPress, and want to create an Accelerated Mobile Page. Here’s how you’ll do it in this case.
Install an AMP Plugin
Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and click on the Plugins option. Click on it and Add New. You can search for Accelerated Mobile Page plugins. However, ensuring your plugin is compatible with your CMS is best.
If you are using WordPress then you can use plugin AMP for WordPress.
Install the plugin and activate it. You can configure the plugin by making small changes to it. Here’s how to do it.
Navigate to the plugin’s settings; they are often present under “Settings” > “AMP” or a similar menu.
Here you can customize settings easily. It includes:
- Color schemes
- AMP-specific features
Create or Edit Content
Now it’s time to create a post to check if the plugin works properly. You can either create a new post or update an existing one. It’s your choice.
Use a standard WordPress editor and add images, texts, videos, and any other important content for the post.
Enable AMP Version
After creating or editing your content, the plugin automatically generates an Accelerated Mobile Page version of the desired page. Ensure that your content is high-quality and SEO-friendly.
But how can you check it?
By clicking on the preview, the Accelerated Mobile Page version. Add AMP at the end of your post, and it’ll show you the Accelerated Mobile Page version.
Here’s an example of it.
Ensuring your post is compatible with all mobiles and screens is important. It is possible by testing it properly.
Test the AMP page on different devices and browsers to ensure it’s loading properly. Moreover, use the plugin’s settings to check different variations in the page and add any necessary improvements.
Creating Accelerated Mobile Pages might vary depending on the CMS you’re using. Different CMS plugins and themes might have specific ways of handling Accelerated Mobile Page integration. In this case, you should check the documentation of the plugins. It’ll give you a better idea of whether the plugin suits your CMS or not.
If you’re using WordPress, let me share a quick practical way to set up an Accelerated Mobile Page.
Just install the Accelerated Mobile Page plugin, and create a blog. Next, you can use ready-made templates or make your unique designs through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
Click on the gear icon of the page.
Don’t forget to save each module. After publishing the page, you can see the Accelerated Mobile Page version of the page by following the same method I mentioned above. It is adding AMP at the end of a URL.
Many marketers and SEO experts jumped into implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages for their sites. Because, at that time, it was the best decision. It increased their website growth, traffic, and overall performance. Those websites that used this feature at the right time got immense traffic.
However, it’s worth noting that you might have noticed the AMP symbol disappearing from the top stories on Google. That’s because Google has removed it. As a result, creating new Accelerated Mobile Pages may not bring the same benefits to your website as it once did.
In simpler terms, AMP used to be a great way to make your website load faster on mobile devices and get more visibility on Google. But now, Google has changed its approach, so investing in AMP may not be as beneficial as it used to be for improving your website’s performance and traffic.
It’s essential to keep up with these changes in the digital world to make the right decisions for your website’s optimization.
I'm a very hard-working, motivated, and committed individual with a positive attitude towards life and a passion for doing new things that help people.I love challenges in my career because they make you more robust than before when you overcome them.