January 19, 2018

Setting Up AMP on your WordPress Website

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Published: 19 January 2018 

With more people using their mobiles to access the internet than ever before, it is vital that websites are optimised for mobile viewing. It’s not just the layout that is important, but how quickly it loads too. This is appealing for both search engines and for a great user experience. This is why you could benefit from AMP for your WordPress site. It isn’t for everyone though. Our guide will help you determine if AMP is something suitable for your WordPress website.

What is AMP?
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) help load content quicker by limiting the way they are designed. This means less CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. AMP can help web pages load up to 85% faster. This should make them appear nearly instantly, giving a better chance that someone will stay on your page.

It sounds like a “must,” but not all pages actually need it or would benefit from it at all. It really comes down to personal preference.

Benefits of AMP
Here are just some of the great benefits that come with installing AMP:

Speed - The biggest benefit to having AMP installed on your site is the speed at which your page will load. This will lead to more website visitors and a decrease in bounce rate.

Ideal display – AMP pages have a special carousel display near the top of the mobile search results pages. Not only that but it also prominently shows a photograph, adding appeal to click on your link.

Improved SERP position – In addition to being in the carousel on mobile search engine results pages, you will also feature higher in desktop searches too. Google’s aim is to bring the best user experience possible, and that includes mobile-optimised pages that load incredibly quickly. Don’t depend on AMP alone though to improve your ranking.

Downside to AMP
Despite all the amazing things AMP can do, it also has its disadvantages.

Less ad revenue – If you depend on ads for revenue, then AMP won’t be useful. Although the AMP project says they support ads, it is very limited. If you want to try, you’ll find how limited you well and truly are.

AMP is not a real solution to page speed – There is no real fix that makes the WordPress page load faster. It’s all down to cache. AMP saves cached versions of the tagged pages and shows that to page visitors.

Analytics are difficult – Google Analytics is supported by AMP, but you will need to use a different tag, and then put it on every single page AMP page. This can be a tedious task. Google Analytics is one of the very few analytics platforms supported, so if you wish to use a different platform, you may find yourself not able to.

Should I Implement AMP?
Given the pros and cons listed above, it is totally down to you whether or not you think AMP is right for your WordPress site. If ad revenue is something you are not worried about and you don’t rely on certain analytics, then AMP may be a great way to help draw in audiences. You also need to consider the way AMP works and be comfortable with showing your users a cached version of your page.

Can I Just Have a Responsive Design?
Your website should have a responsive design as recommended by Google. It is suggested to have a responsive design, or responsive design and AMP, but not just AMP on its own. Responsive design works with any website that has applications and forms whereas AMP is for best for just content.

How to Set Up AMP in WordPress
The first thing to do is to install the AMP plugin and install it. Once activated, go to the Appearance menu and select AMP.

You can use this opportunity to change a few things like the header background and text colour. Whatever header background you choose will be the colour for links. If you have a site icon or logo, it will also be displayed.

Put /amp/ at the end of any page URL, and you will see the AMP version of that page. In the source code, you should find: <link rel="amphtml" href="http://example.com/2017/11/blog-post-title/amp/" /> .

Should you see a 404 error when attempting to view an AMP page, take the following steps: From your WordPress admin, go to Settings, then Permalinks. Simply click on Save Changes, but change nothing else. This should refresh the page and fix those 404 errors.

Extra Support
Another plugin you could opt for is Glue for Yoast SEO and AMP. AMP itself gives you very little customisation, but this plugin offers a bit more support. You will need to have the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin first. Then once both plugins are installed and activated, you can modify the AMP settings through the Yoast sidebar. By default, AMP only works on for blog posts/articles, but from the sidebar, you can extend the AMP functionality to other pages.

Through Design, change colours and design features. Update logos and default header images that will be used when the page does not have its own header image.

There are other plugins available that allow you to do even more, like adding social media links. You will need to validate any addition plugins after you add them.

Your AMP Progress
You can check to see how your AMP pages are performing in Google search by using the Google Search Console. After logging in, head to Search Appearance, then Accelerated Mobile Pages. You won’t find your pages here right away. You will need to wait a while before any data is shown.

Still, have questions about AMP and if it will be appropriate for your site? Contact Pressidium to speak with an expert about your options. If you are looking for the right WordPress solution, we got one for you. We aim to make sites thrive in competing industries – yours could be next!

Ben Maden

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