Why You Need AMP for Your Website

Owning and running a website is like trying to keep a little boat afloat atop a stormy sea: the waves and ripples of the internet toss you about, and you never know which way you’re going to be carried. Online attention is fickle, whether singular or aggregate.

As more and more internet usage moves onto mobile devices (it’s currently estimated to be at 60 percent), people’s attention spans have shortened even further, because now a new web page is just a single swipe of the thumb away. And 35 percent of all web traffic was driven through search engines. Any business built on the web needs the latest and greatest technology to keep above the water. Enter AMP, which we’ll explain in detail below.

What does AMP stand for?

AMP, short for an accelerated mobile pages, is a web publishing technology designed by the web giant Google. It is an open-source library, which means that anybody can build a web page that integrates AMP. It’s essentially a way to make mobile content faster and easier to consume.

A webpage using AMP consists of three interlocking parts: AMP HTML, AMP Javascript library, and the Google AMP cache. When someone accesses your website over a mobile device, they normally have to access your webpage’s server. AMP caches your page, instead, on one of Google’s servers. Building a website that uses AMP also involves using a slightly-restricted Javascript and HTML library, in order to reduce the size of the webpage that eventually loads.

Why use AMP?

If you want to make an article on your website easier to access via mobile devices, then AMP is perfect for you. This technology has become especially important for publishers, advertisers, tech companies, and e-commerce businesses. Publishers who want their articles to be easily-accessible from social or search platforms use AMP to make stories to load more quickly. Advertisers use AMP to have their ads load in an instant. And AMP has become a favored tool in the world of e-commerce because conversion rates plummet with every second your webpage spends loading on a person’s phone.

If your website is involved in any of these activities, consider building an AMP page. An additional advantage: AMP-enabled sites, because they are cached on Google’s servers, load significantly faster if your traffic is coming through the all-powerful search engine.

How do you build an AMP-enabled site?

First, you will likely have to re-write your webpage. It is, of course, useful to have both a normal and an AMP-enabled version of the same page, especially if you normally use lots of rich, embedded media — this might work best for a publisher, for example. As we already mentioned, AMP is a library that uses somewhat-limited versions of Javascript and HTML. Because of this, AMP only uses asynchronous Javascript.

AMP also adheres to special design principles. All visual resources are sized statically, rather than proportionally, meaning that you have to state their size in the HTML. This is because AMP loads the layout of a webpage before it downloads any resources. This makes download times faster, but could also mean some re-sizing work for you. Before launching, you will need an AMP validator, which allows you to check if your page is properly set up to be an accelerated mobile page.

Finally, you have to prepare your page for discovery and distribution. If you have both an AMP and a non-AMP page, this will involve linking the two of them together, so that a future search engine result will show both to a mobile user. Once you have run your page through additional rounds of validation, you should be all set and ready to launch your brand-new, super-fast page.

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