Why adding Google AMP to your WordPress site is a great bet

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Recently, we added Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to the Integrity site. We wanted to be on the forefront of this technology, as it does something Google loves: it makes the web lightning fast.

As a company, Integrity is focused on providing valuable insights for our industry and clients. We have a strong belief that making your site fast is one of the best ways to improve your site's overall search rankings.

Some basic facts about AMP

  • AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is a project spearheaded by Google with support from various internet communities, such as WordPress.com, Twitter and Pinterest. The goal is to get users content instantly.
  • The AMP versions of your site can only be found from Google search, on a mobile device, and if the Google algorithms decide your site visitors need the accelerated version of your site. If you are seeing the normal version of this page, you can see the accelerated version by visiting: /basics-of-google-amp-for-wordpress/amp.
  • AMP is not a new platform. It’s an extension of HTML with specific extra properties to render pages super fast on mobile devices.
  • AMP is not the same as responsive web design. Its focus is getting a page to work quickly on mobile devices, not creating a site for various screen sizes. You would still want a website that responds to screen sizes in addition to AMP.

AMP for WordPress

A few months ago, Automatic, the company that created WordPress, created a plugin for WordPress which extends blog posts to include AMP compatible versions. It also ensures the original post includes references to the AMP post, which helps out search engines. You can technically use the plugin right out of the box, but we decided to make sure our AMP template matched the needs of the Integrity brand and mission.

Getting AMP to work

Once we added the AMP plugin to our site, most of our changes were related to CSS styling and various limitations of the AMP platform. After we reviewed the AMP-powered template provided by WordPress, we identified the elements we wanted to adjust.

  • We adjusted styles to include our fonts and Integrity brand colors, then inlined the styles in the AMP template, which is standard for CSS delivery in AMP.
  • Our usual mobile navigation Javascript and styles were reduced to simplified navigational elements focused on the News section and our contact information.
  • AMP handles analytics scripts differently with an AMP-specific element, so we set up and configured the template to recognize our Google Analytics information. Afterward, we sprinkled in some custom events and targeting for good measure

AMP is a powerful tool, but it is not a perfect solution for every page and every project. For instance, AMP has a CSS limitation of 50 KB. This is enough to style a nice article page, but probably isn’t enough for styling an entire site. However, these limits exist to load pages in an instant, which is the trade-off.

Our current goal is to test this project for our clients and increase search-related mobile traffic to our frequent blog posts.

It’s still pretty early on, so it is hard to know if AMP is going to become a web standard. Web standards can unfortunately take some time to actually become standard.

However, unlike efforts by Facebook and Apple to create fast content delivery for mobile, the AMP Project is open-source. By making the project open-source, the AMP crew have signaled that they see a need for the Web to improve and want contributions from the entire community. Input from both publishers and tech companies greatly increases the chances of AMP becoming a web standard.

If you're interested in optimizing your website by adding Google AMP or another new technology, drop us a line.

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