Instead of Instant Articles: Google’s AMP Accelerates Mobile Content

No Picture

Google’s new project AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) exists since last October. The open source project AMP wants to reduce the loading times of websites significantly. Today’s websites are getting increasingly more bloated and carry weight, which often turns page loading on a smartphone into a waiting game. That’s why the goal is to reduce page load times down to milliseconds so that surfing on a smartphone becomes fun again.

Googles AMP Projekt: Für ein schnelleres mobiles Internet

AMP by Google was first introduced in October 2015. Google’s original target audience were the large publishing houses with own mobile appearances. However, every website owner can use the new, open source technology. AMP’s chief competition will be Facebook’s Instant Articles, which became open to all sites in April. However, only users of the Facebook app will benefit from the Facebook project. Among others, AMP is supported by ZEIT Online, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course, by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

Surfing on Smartphones is Painfully Slow

Google’s initiative wants to solve a widespread problem, the mobile internet usage. Especially weaker smartphones and tablets take a lot longer to load complex websites than the stronger desktop devices. A decisive factor when it comes to mobile speed are the types of advertisement that are hosted on other servers and need to load significant amounts of JavaScript. Loading a single Adsense ad takes longer than displaying the actual content. The New York Times has recently published an impressive article on that topic.

WordPress Supports AMP as Well

The WordPress team was one of the project’s first supporters and quickly provided a custom integration for AMP. WordPress.com automatically supports AMP; no manual intervention is needed. Now, there’s an option for self-hosted websites to benefit from the advantages of the high-speed framework for mobile view. You simply need to install a plugin, and from that point on, a self-hosted website automatically supports the mobile turbo. Settings are not necessary.

AMP Plugin für WordPress

  • Developer: Automattic
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Latest Version from: 02.24.2016
  • Costs: free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org

AMP Test After the Plugin’s Activation

After the plugin was installed and activated, you can quickly test the function by adding an /amp/ to the end of an article’s URL. Here’s a demo of an AMP page without optimization, and another demo with some optimization. Only the actual article pages are transformed. Pages, landing page, categories, and other similar parts don’t work yet. The reason for that is the core idea of AMP, being able to access news articles faster.

Google Marks AMP Websites

Websites that support the new format are preferred within Google’s mobile search. The new format is pushed with all might. Google displays the search results that come in AMP format as “Top Stories” on mobile devices. This works really well already when searching with a mobile device’s browser.

AMP in der Google-Suche

Google’s AMP is Customizable for WordPress Users

AMP supports a broad palette of features, including advertising forms like Doubleclick and AdSense. Analysis tools can also be integrated. In addition to that, there are plenty of hooks for self-hosted WordPress websites, allowing you to create and customize your AMP template. In the future, a special customizing interface will be added. First for WordPress.com, then as a plugin for self-hosters.

Here’s an overview of all the customization options for WordPress.

The video on the topic:

Related Links:

(dpe)

Andreas Hecht

Andreas Hecht is a journalist and specialist for WordPress and WordPress Security. He roams the web since its inception. He has published an ebook on WordPress Security, which you might want to take a look at.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Instead of Instant Articles: Google’s AMP Accelerates Mobile Content"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Thomas
Guest

Honestly, I’m not 100% satisfied with AMP. Despite the huge improvement in terms of loading speed and user experience, I have to stop using awesome tracking tools. I know it’s the price of speed, but maybe I don’t want to pay for it.

I did an extensive research on this topic and ended up comparing Google AMP with Instant Articles (If you are interested, you can read the article here: http://blog.momentum.ai/comparison-accelerated-mobile-pages-vs-instant-articles ) according to the most frequently asked questions. I still think I shouldn’t create an AMP version for my articles. At least not now. :)

wpDiscuz