Welcome to the second part of our AMP Guide for WordPress. In our previous article, we discussed the importance of a mobile-first web strategy and how AMP can be a game-changer. In this guide, we will explore how to integrate AMP with WordPress, the best WordPress plugins for customizing AMP, and whether implementing AMP is necessary for your WordPress site.
Integrating AMP with WordPress
Setting up AMP for WordPress is a simple process. All you need to do is install the WordPress AMP plugin developed by Automattic. Here’s how:
1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
2. Search for “AMP”
3. Select the plugin and click on Install Now
Once you activate the plugin, all your post URLs will have an AMP version. To view the AMP version of a post, simply add “/amp/” to the end of the URL.
It’s important to note that if you don’t have pretty permalinks enabled, you can access the AMP version by appending “?amp=1” to the post’s link.
The AMP plugin adds a standard meta tag in the head of your “normal” HTML pages, making it possible for Google and other search engines to recognize the AMP version of the pages exist. It uses the site’s logo that you can set in the WordPress Theme Customizer.
However, the plugin only supports conversion of posts into AMP versions. According to the plugin’s description, support for AMP versions of WordPress pages is under development and coming soon.
Measuring AMP Performance Impact
We decided to measure the performance impact of the AMP version of a page in Pingdom. The results were dramatically different. Our WordPress setup was in a shared hosting environment using the default Twenty Fourteen theme with no caching or optimization plugins installed.
The performance benchmark of the basic version of the page was as follows:
– Page size: 563.8 KB
– Loading time: 1.42 seconds
– Number of requests: 17
The AMP version of the page had the following results:
– Page size: 167 KB
– Loading time: 0.929 seconds
– Number of requests: 7
As you can see, the AMP version had a significant improvement in performance. The page size decreased by 70%, loading time decreased by 35% to under 900 milliseconds, and the number of requests reduced by almost 60% from 17 to only 7.
Extending Capabilities of AMP
While optimizing your content for readers is a good practice, it’s also important to maintain brand consistency. This means that even the AMP versions of your existing content should follow your brand’s color scheme, fonts, and general user interface.
The AMP WordPress plugin doesn’t have the options to make such changes. Its aim was to provide a quick and easy way to make your entire existing WordPress content compatible with AMP. Enter the AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages plugin.
This free plugin extends the capabilities of AMP in WordPress by offering additional functionalities such as:
– Google Analytics integration
– Support for AMP WooCommerce Pages
– Related Posts below the post
– Recent Comments list
– Custom logo upload
– Social sharing bar
– Support for embedding rich content including videos and content from content platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, etc.
To use this plugin, you need to install and activate the AMP plugin first. Once activated, you can configure the various options the plugin has to offer by going to WordPress Dashboard > AMP.
Given the explosive growth of mobile phone usage over the past few years, it’s no longer an option for online businesses to go mobile-first. It’s an absolute necessity. While it’s simpler for newer blogs to incorporate AMP, blogs with thousands of pages of content might find it challenging.
Businesses should measure their incoming traffic sources before considering AMP. If you’re convinced that your website’s content is technically structured according to the latest standards, then by all means, go ahead with AMP! You’ll only boost your SEO.
However, if you know that there are a lot of internal misconfigurations, broken links, and errors, it would be best to address (and possibly resolve) those issues before proceeding with AMP.
What are your thoughts on AMP? Do you use it to consume content? Have you implemented it on your website? Let us know in the comments.