Jessica Kane takes over our blog this month to discuss AMP. Thanks Jessica!
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project allows web developers to create smooth, fast-loading web pages. Created by Google in 2015, the original goal of AMP was to improve the experience of browsing the web on a mobile phone. Today, most users interact with AMP through Google search results, although Facebook has also developed a similar platform, known as Instant Articles.
The 3 Components of AMP Pages
AMP can be broken down into three core components: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache.
AMP HTML is basically the normal HTML programming language used by web developers all over the world with a few changes. Namely, AMP HTML adds some restrictions to traditional HTML in an effort to provide a more reliable performance. Additionally, AMP HTML also has its own unique features such as AMP-specific tags that enable unsupported features in browsers.
Much like AMP HTML, the goal of AMP JS is to improve the performance and speed of mobile web browsing. Specifically, AMP JS is focused on rendering web pages as quickly as possible. One of the key areas of optimization for AMJ pages is that AMP JS forces everything on the page to load asynchronously, which means one part of the page that is loading slowly will not slow down other aspects of the page.
Finally, AMP Cache is another key ingredient of the AMP platform that serves cached versions of AMP pages. AMP Cache improves loading speeds and reliability by serving cached versions of web pages that have been pre-validated to load properly to site visitors.
Who Uses AMP?
Due to the heavy use of AMP in Google Search, AMP was able to obtain 7 percent of all traffic to top publishers in the United States by early 2017, roughly a year after the project was officially launched. By May 2017, 900,000 different web domains were publishing AMP pages. The growth of AMP took another major leap in the summer of 2017 when Twitter started to link to AMP pages from their mobile apps.
Any third party is able to integrate in to the AMP platform as long as they comply with the protocol specifications. For example, 30 analytics companies and 120 advertising companies have participated in the AMP Project, building their own features along the way.
AMP has been so successful that even some of Google’s key competitors, such as Bing and Baidu, now link to AMP pages. Other major websites that link to AMP pages include Reddit, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr, eBay, and Pinterest.
One of the key reasons for the massive adoption of AMP by the online publishing world (in addition to fast loading times) is that these types of pages also cut down on the amount of data people use when they’re not connected to a Wi-Fi router. By cutting away a lot of the junk, such as pop-ups, that are associated with the desktop browsing experience, web developers are able to also lower the literal cost of loading a page in terms of the effect on site visitors’ monthly mobile phone bill.
Does Your Website Need AMP?
At this point, AMP has become the way in which web browsing works best on mobile devices. Google has indicated that AMP pages sourced from Google Search results will load in less than one second. Third party reviews from CNBC and Gizmodo have also found large improvements in loading times when compared to traditional web pages.
To give users a user-friendly browsing experience on their mobile devices, especially when they’re visiting a website for the first time, implementing AMP is basically a requirement these days. With AMP, anyone who has their own website for business or personal reasons can be sure no one is going to change their mind about viewing a site while waiting for it to load.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.