A Complete Guide to AMP WordPress

by | Jul 18, 2017 | Mobile Marketing

9 Min Read. |

You might have recently come across a new idea known as AMP WordPress to improve the speed of web pages. There has been a long debate and a lot of work on improving the speed of web pages for mobile phones.  Different features have been introduced by developers to help improve the speed of web pages. However, improving the speed of web page requires a lot of back end work by developers. Google has apparently resolved the problem (or created a new problem in ranking) by introducing a new concept of accelerated mobile pages. As inferred by the name Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is designed to accelerate the speed of web pages. A combined collaboration of WordPress and Google, AMP WordPress is now essential to be installed on web pages in order to not only accelerate speed but also to improve the ranking of a web page.

At the beginning of a launch some of AMP Project WordPress features were limited but after the introduction of AMP 4.0 it has improved quite a lot. If you are wondering what exactly is AMP and how to install and use it then read below:

AMP Project WordPress

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP project WordPress is a project of WordPress to design a plugin which provided cellular optimized content and improves the speed of web pages. With this project, when AMP is activated whenever a page is loaded content will be automatically optimized so that the speed of the web page can increase. With this project, AMP content is generated but in order to find out more details of the AMP Project WordPress please read below:
What is AMP WordPress?

AMP WordPress is a project of functionality over design. With an increase in the use of mobile devices, most of the people surf the web over cell phones and tablets with a 2G or 3G connection. However, when loading a webpage on a cellular connection the loading speed of web pages generally reduce. In order to improve the speed and functionality of web pages, Google has introduced a new feature WordPress AMP, which optimizes the web pages for better speed on cellular phones. In order to improve the loading speed of web pages on cellular phones, AMP WordPress restricts what can be done on an HTML web page, so that the speed and performance of the page improves.

AMP also known as Accelerated Mobile pages increase the speed of the page as denoted by the name. In order to increase the speed of a web page, AMP strips down a web page of an extra feature and uses minimal HTML and Javascript and only allows the important content to be hosted through Google AMP Cache. Once AMP is activated then Google can serve the AMP activated cached version to users instantly when they click on the AMP activated pages in the search results.

If you are looking to find out more about how AMP WordPress works, and the AMP pages perform please read below:

AMP Pages WordPress?

When AMP WordPress is activated how do AMP pages function? With AMP Pages functionality of the pages increases on phone because it improves speed. However, most of the functions integrated into the webpage are lost when AMP pages are loaded. There are mixed reviews about the functionality of AMP pages, because for some people the true purpose of the web pages is lost because of AMP. For example, when AMP in WordPress is activated and the webpage has existing integrated themes and features i.e. the read more feature after AMP is activated the features might not function or even show up on a cellular device.

Since the purpose of the AMP project WordPress is to increase the speed of web pages on cellular devices, in order to increase the feature, Google thinks it wise to compromise the “extra” features on phone to improve the loading performance of a web page. We believe that it is wise to improve the functionality because it is important for a web page to perform well on a mobile device for users to visit it. However, users might not be quite happy with the fact that AMP activation also plays a part in ranking, because if you don’t activate it the traffic to your web page might reduce. However, despite some of the designs might be taken down but you should not worry about content not being there because even with WordPress AMP all the important content of your web page will be there.

Once you have installed the AMP plugin and its activated there will be a small AMP icon visible next to the searches. When AMP plugin is added a new permalink is added to the web page with a new meta-tag, activated through the plugin, thus the content becomes optimized for web pages and a different permalink opens when the content is searched for. Therefore, the small AMP icon visible on the links below.

Google AMP WordPress Plugin

AMP Project WordPress is the plugin designed by WordPress and launched by Google, and if you are looking for a plugin to be added to your website, then you can add the AMP Project WordPress plugin to your web page. There are several plugins available out there for AMP WordPress, but ideally, on your website for accelerated mobile pages, you should use the automatic WordPress Plugin that you can download. 

You just need to follow a few simple steps in order to install the AMP plugin for WordPress. All you need to do is go to your WordPress website, visit plugins and then first add and install the plugins from the plugin option and activate it. Once you activate the AMP plugin permalink will change however same links will show up for users.

Setting up the Google AMP WordPress Plugin is quite easy and even if we are exaggerating it will not take more than an hour. All you will need to do is login to your WordPress website, go to plugins, download and install the plugin and then activate it. After installing the plugin you should test whether it’s working or not, and if a little blue AMP icon shows up on your web page, the plugin is working and if it doesn’t you need to reinstall the plugin again. The aforementioned installation steps work with the automatic AMP plugin for WordPress, but there are several other AMP plugins now being designed and hosted by websites other than WordPress. However, if you are looking to increase the functionality of your WordPress website that it’s better to use the Google AMP WordPress plugin, rather than an AMP plugin built by a third party.

If you are not sure whether or not your AMP Google Plugin is working or not then you can download the AMP Validator extension from Google Chrome. The AMP validator will automatically run on your pages and verify whether or not your current AMP pages are actually AMP activated. If the web page is AMP activated then the AMP validator will show green icons on the web page, whereas if the web page is not AMP activated then the AMP validator will mark it with red.  

The red icons show the lack of activation and different errors and warnings, you can get a detailed report by clicking on each error and viewing why AMP WordPress was not activated on your web page. Some of the regular errors could be of invalid value, lack of theme integration or AMP not being supported by a specific tag you have on your website. For example, you can start from how to change colors and add logos to your AMP web page. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps: i.e.

  1. Open the AMP Setting Tab
  2. Go to the General tab
  3. Click upload and select the logo image you want to upload. You can choose images from existing media or upload a new image from your computer.

If you want to change the color all you need to do is click on the select color and choose the color of your choice from your existing color. You can match it with the color of your logo or keep it different according to the theme and style of your web page.

In addition to optimizing your WordPress AMP theme with a color, style, and logo you need to add the same tools to your website like a regular website to make it completely functional, e.g. adding Google analytics account and adding advertisements through Google AdSense account.

Since Google AMP has specific criteria if Google detects an error in the AMP of your web page, AMP will not be activated. Therefore, it is important for you to download an extension such as AMP validator or use another method of checking for errors to make sure that your installed WordPress AMP plugin is actually working.

Downloading the AMP validator is an easy way to find errors, if you think it’s not working properly then you can login to Google webmaster tools and go to appearance, click on accelerated mobile pages and run the diagnostics to see the errors of your AMP web page. 

WordPress AMP Theme

WordPress AMP theme is customized specifically to be used with AMP Plugin for WordPress. Similar to all other themes all the functionalities of a web page can be added with the AMP plugin. In the beginning of the launch of the AMP plugin, ads were not allowed to be placed, which was sad news for a lot of people because Ads are important. 

How does Google AMP Project Affect Ranking and Speed? 

As mentioned earlier upon introduction of Google AMP project there were several concerns on how designs of websites will change. Some reviewers even compared the AMP WordPress to the internet before 2000, because essentially AMP is known to strip down “extra” features or the features Google deems useless in order to increase the speed and performance of the website.

However, when a speed test is conducted on an AMP enabled website vs. non-AMP website an AMP enabled website will load 10x faster than a non-AMP website. So, the question is whether the speed is worth comprising some features of the website. After the launch of AMP 4.0, WordPress has launched AMP specific themes which can be customized and styled according to your own preference and all the important content and information that you want to be delivered to the user will definitely reach your users. Through the Yoast SEO and AMP glue you can integrate your AMP extension with your Yoast SEO plugin and Google analytics and view how your search optimization is changing. 

Despite the date on design vs. speed of WordPress AMP plugin, your web page ranking is affected by AMP. If AMP is not added to your web page, Google will automatically rank your page differently as compared to the AMP pages and there will be a decrease in traffic to your website. So, if you are looking to improve speed, user experience and ranking of your web page then follow the guide above to use WordPress AMP theme and AMP WordPress plugin.

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