When you’re using your smartphone or another smart device other than your computer to search for content on the internet, you’re likely encountering Accelerated Mobile Pages.
In this article, we’re going to tell you everything we know (so far) about Accelerated Mobile Pages, including how they work and how they can benefit your website.
What exactly is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are defined as an open source framework that Google developed in collaboration with Twitter to create a better quality and faster experience while navigating the internet on a mobile device. In essence, the framework enables developers to build “lightweight” experiences for mobile devices simply by breaking down the HTML and following streamlined CSS rules.
It was initially thought that AMP was developed in response to Facebook’s Instant Articles — Instant Articles are based on a special HTML document that loads incredibly quickly. It eventually became a very powerful platform for delivering content directly from a user’s search results. This platform was so powerful that it made its content deliveries at lightning speed, which is probably why Google decided to take a few notes and create its own similar framework for AMP technology.
How does it work?
You can think of Accelerated Mobile Pages as stripped down pages copied from existing webpage content. This is how AMPs allow for faster loading times.
There are three main parts that exist under the AMP framework which allow it to work: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP CDN.
AMP HTML is kind of like a skimpier version of your regular HTML. Within the AMP framework, there are some strict rules for the HTML tags you can use.
If you want to ensure faster page loading times, there are certain HTML elements, such as forms, that aren’t permitted via AMP. The framework also requires that you use a streamlined version of CSS to implement your AMPs.
Of course, if you’re used to building web content using regular HTML and CSS then you should already understand how it works. In the meantime, check out the full list of HTML tags you can and can’t use within the AMP framework.
There’s even an AMP component for GDPR compliance too if that’s a concern.
AMP content delivery network (CDN) is also known as the AMP Cache. It’s a super critical component of the AMP framework platform as it’s a proxy-based content delivery network.
The CDN is responsible for grabbing AMP content and caching it for faster delivery. The AMP CDN caches any AMP content it considers to be valid, and it does this by default without a way to opt out.
However, if you want to customize your CDN configurations, you can utilize your own CDN provider on top of the AMP cache, which is a plus for many web developers.
What are the benefits?
In the short time that AMP has been in the works, the general consensus is that the majority of media sites out there do very well using the AMP framework and have had a lot of success in terms of delivery and speed on mobile devices.
- Significant increases in organic search traffic volume
- An increase in user engagement and conversion; the result of faster and more efficient mobile experiences
- A reduced load on servers when the AMP CDN grabs and caches the necessary search result data
- All developers’ content is featured primarily in the AMP platform on mobile search results.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks to using the AMP framework as well. For example, it requires extra work for a publisher to optimize. It also takes a certain level of effort to implement the AMP framework within your website, including building and maintaining separate assets for AMP. However, most digital brands find it to be worthwhile once they start to see better engagement and conversion rates.
Should you use AMP for your website?
Accelerated Mobile Pages may take a bit of extra work, but they’ll bring a lot of benefits to your mobile website in terms of speed and the subsequent benefits, like higher engagement and conversion rates.