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AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

Luke Holmes's picture

Recently SilverDisc were invited to attend an AMP hackathon at the Google offices in London. Marc and myself were the lucky two let out on day release and hopped on an EARLY morning train down to London. We spent the day creating our very own AMP pages, managing to reduce mobile page speed considerably. It was a very informative day, and it was great to spend time and learn from the Google developers. This article introduces you to AMP, and why we all should consider using it.

What is AMP?

AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages. It is an open source project from Google and Twitter which aims to assist developers in building super speedy mobile pages. An AMP page lives alongside your regular page, and is only ever served to users on relevant devices.

How does it work?

Normal web pages are built from HTML tags - which control the structure and content of the page. AMP is slightly different, having its own set of limited custom tags. Think of it as regular page, after a big spring clean, or a successful diet.

External JavaScript is not allowed. AMP provides its own components library - built with custom functionality for improving page speed. One example of this is lazy loading, where an image is only loaded as the user reaches the part of the page it is needed. Only allowing streamlined and inline CSS further reduces page requests resulting in a faster initial page load.

Why Use AMP?

  • Faster loading pages will reduce bounce rate.
  • AMP pages can load in a special AMP carousel at the TOP of the mobile search results list
  • AMP offers analytics support
  • Google likes mobile friendly pages

Limitations

Although AMP’s methods can boost page speed, they can also prevent certain expected features being transferrable to an AMP page. New components are being worked on all the time making it easier for AMP pages to more accurately reflect their regular pages. Good cases for AMP pages currently are blog posts, or landing pages where the content is simple with basic functionality.

If you would like any help with optimising your website for mobile, get in touch with SilverDisc.