If you’re interested in improving the performance of your website for mobile users, you might have heard about Google AMP.
What is Google AMP, and how can it help you to improve the performance and speed of your website?
What Is Google AMP?
Google AMP is a relatively new technology when considering the age of the web – but it has actually been in use by many website owners for quite a few years now.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, which might well give you a clue as to what AMP is for, and what it does!
AMP is a really useful technology that can help websites be more easily accessible to mobile users.
Actually, AMP is a set of technologies that all work together to help users get faster pages, and helps website owners and admins to easily create content on their website that both desktop and mobile users alike can easily view, without having to do a whole load of work in order to make things work for both types of user.
The Bad Old Days
In the bad old days of mobile internet, before modern browsers were available on mobile devices, browsing the internet on a mobile device used to be much different.
You couldn’t simply go onto a website on your phone as you would expect to be able to nowadays.
Instead, website creators had to actually make special websites solely for mobile users. They used something called WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) browsers, instead of normal internet browsers as we can use nowadays.
The websites they could visit had to be specially created for these browsers, as normal web browsers simply couldn’t run on phones of the time. These phones typically had very simple, monochrome displays, for one thing!
Nowadays, mobile devices are far more advanced, which means that WAP has been obsolete and practically unused for many years now.
However, mobile devices typically still aren’t as powerful as computers or laptops, and they often have more limited internet connections that are slower and can have restrictive bandwidth caps.
All of which can present challenges when trying to cram the same website that a desktop computer could handle with ease onto a device that fits into your pocket.
Why Is Page Loading Speed Important?
One of the areas that many website admins find AMP to be useful is in increasing loading speed of any webpage.
Of course, having a fast loading, efficient website is a good thing for any user, no matter what platform they’re on.
However, mobile users can benefit even more from having a service like AMP improve the loading time of a website.
Mobile users often have bandwidth caps, for example, that are far more restrictive than those they may have at home. Many users don’t even have bandwidth caps on their home internet connections.
So, a page that’s too heavy on bandwidth might actually be too expensive for a mobile user to visit, as it can take too much of their monthly allowance for it to be worth using!
Not just that, but mobile connections are often far more susceptible to speed loss for many reasons than home internet connections are.
Signal strength can vary greatly from area to area, so a web page that loads quickly in one place can end up being too slow in another.
If a user comes to your webpage and has to wait more than a few seconds for the site to load, then the chances are that they’re going to go somewhere else instead of waiting.
After all, there is likely a quicker site that will get them what they need!
Mobile devices are often far less powerful than home computers and laptops too, which can mean they struggle when trying to load websites that aren’t optimized for low power devices.
So, AMP can potentially help out in many ways when you’re considering mobile users of your website.
How Does AMP Work?
Essentially, AMP uses a few different technologies to optimize your website’s pages for mobile users. However, all users, no matter what platform, can benefit from these optimizations when they visit AMP pages.
And website owners have less work to do to make sure that their pages can be served more quickly, due to the way AMP works. We’ll now have a look at how AMP works to improve your website!
AMP HTML is essentially still regular HTML for the most part, and can be viewed by a browser just as easily as a normal HTML page. However, AMP HTML is slightly different in certain ways too.
For a start, AMP HTML is a little more restricted than regular HTML, in order to facilitate performance improvements.
It also has some custom features that regular HTML doesn’t incorporate – for instance, extensions that can help website owners with handling content on their pages in ways that aren’t as easy with regular HTML.
AMP HTML mostly uses standard HTML tags, with some restrictions as previously mentioned. However, one of the custom features that AMP HTML has are AMP HTML-specific tags.
The AMP Cache is essentially a high-speed internet server that acts as a cache for your site, which can make loading a page faster for users as they’ll be loading from a much faster server belonging to Google.
Google AMP is a really useful set of technologies for website owners and administrators that can help optimize your website for mobile, without having to create and admin a separate site.
Hopefully this guide has helped you to learn a little about Google AMP, and how it works!