What is AMP, its benefits, and how to use it for a mobile browser

What is AMP, its benefits, and how to use it for a mobile browser

The number of searches made from mobile devices exceeded the desktop. The open source framework called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was built with one main goal: to create fast load times for mobile users. This was a reaction to the growing demand for shorter download times – an issue that publishers and companies have repeatedly raised.

The initiative was launched with the aim of creating a system that benefits all stakeholders. Advertisers, publishers, and users should benefit from AMP.

How did the AMP . project develop?

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project was launched in 2015 by a group of companies including Google, WordPress and software giant Adobe. From the beginning, several international news portals have been involved in the AMP project, with some of the first websites to implement AMP namely The Guardian (UK) and Twitter and LinkedIn have also been involved in AMP from the start as technical partners.

Today, almost all large media on the Internet use AMP technology. They realize the great value that can be gained from fast loading mobile websites. With the help of the right plugins, WordPress users can also publish via AMP, although there is no e-commerce solution for AMP yet.

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Why is AMP a good idea

In the past decade, the smartphone has overtaken desktop computers in many industries and countries, and has become the primary device people use to connect to the Internet. We use our mobile phone to search for a nearby restaurant, shop on our phones or read the news on our phones on the train to work. It is especially important for mobile users that websites load quickly. It is said that the critical cut-off point will be in three seconds. If a website takes longer to load, the majority of mobile Internet users will bounce back and leave the page.

AMP is a good idea because it is specifically designed for building websites that load as fast as possible on mobile devices.

Problem: Websites… Loading… Too… Slow… Lay

The loading speed of the website content depends on the connection speed and the file size of the website. Both sides are linked. Some pages will load slowly even if the connection speed is fast, if the size of the files to upload is very large. Likewise, even a technically optimized page may load slowly if the connection is too slow.

The solution is AMP

AMP cannot affect the available capacity of your Internet connection, so the technology focuses on the aspect of load times that it can affect. AMP creates the best conditions for a mobile website to load quickly, even when the data transfer is slow. To do this, it limits the number of JavaScript and CSS elements required, ensuring that only a few resources must be loaded in order to render the page.

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The key to short load times for AMP pages is mainly to reduce the files that have to be uploaded. Another important factor is the proxy server that keeps the target page cache ready. This content is transmitted over the Content Delivery Network, which has the advantage that the page can always be created at the same speed, wherever the user reaches it.

AMP . source code

In general, all servers can read the AMP source code because the code is based on well-known scripts. The following three elements are characteristic of AMP:

  • AMP HTML: The HTML code for the accelerated mobile page is limited to the basics. When the page is loaded, only one http request is sent.
  • AMP JavaScript: AMP uses asynchronous JS code. This allows the site to start building before all the JS stuff is loaded.
  • AMP CDN: The cache of each AMP website is saved on different servers around the world. This content can be brought to the user via the shortest possible path using a content delivery network. Another advantage of a CDN is that the functionality of the page is constantly checked. This helps to avoid errors.

Advantages of AMP for different stakeholder groups

As mentioned above, AMP was launched with the big goal of benefiting everyone: advertisers, publishers and users

  • Advertisers: Advertisers can use AMP with a variety of different ad formats. Ad content is loaded asynchronously, which means that the user experience is not affected by the ads that prevent the page from loading.
  • Publishers: Publishers benefit from the prominent placement of AMP sites in the news environment. The high usability of mobile-optimized websites also contributes to positive user signals.
  • Users: Websites that use AMP are ideal for users. They don’t have to wait long for pages to load and can even be confident of high performance when browsing on a slow internet connection.
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AMP and Mobile-First Indicator

AMP is just one way to optimize websites for mobile devices. Awareness of the importance of mobile optimization has grown – not just among the SEO community – especially since a Google update in 2015 which was specifically aimed at encouraging mobile compatibility on websites. Since then, Google has gone even further towards a mobile-first approach by announcing that its mobile index will – at some point – become the primary index of Google search results. This will only increase the importance of AMP.

Besides AMP, there are other strategies for mobile optimization, including responsive website design, or using separate mobile URLs with progressive website apps.

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