AMPing websites is the latest wave in website optimisation. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it’s Google’s technology that allows webpages to load around 4 times faster. But, it is a very new technology with it’s fair share of critics. One of the most common critiques that is floating around is this one:
Do we really need Instant Articles (Facebook) and AMP (Google) when we can accomplish fast loading pages with plain, uncomplicated HTML and CSS?
Source: Hacker News thread
What this person is saying is that by simplifying your website, and doing some of the speed optimisations yourself, you can ‘AMP’ your page without needing to use AMP. Is this better? Let’s get to the bottom of the question: to AMP or not to AMP.
Firstly: what to AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a new technology for making websites that implements numerous speed-boosting practices and standards on your site. Basically, there are two main ways to use AMP on websites:
- As a page that loads only on mobile when someone finds your site through Google Search.
- The entire website is made using AMP. It loads on desktops and mobiles.
When you load an AMP page from Google Search on mobile, you get the most tremendous speed boost, because Google has already loaded most of the page before you even clicked on it.
Alternatively, if your entire site is built using AMP, then you get the same tremendous boost, but also you get a significant speed boost at all times due to the other optimisations that AMP does on your site.
Therefore, it makes sense to at least get an AMP page for mobile Google Searches of your site. You want to take advantage of this tremendous speed boost that only Google AMP can provide. Most web searches are now on mobile, and a fast load-time is proven to dramatically increase sales.
But, AMPing your entire site is optional. You can do a lot of ordinary speed boosting without AMP. This will take a lot of effort to get the same SEO benefits; it just depends if this is more effort than converting your existing site into the AMP format. It will probably cost you more time and money to get the same speed boost without AMP.
You can simplify your website
AMP persuades you to simplify your website. It doesn’t ‘force’ you, because it does contain a plethora of complex web elements that you can use. But, it does make it easy to make a simple website that performs better than your existing site.
You don’t need AMP to make a simple, effective website, but it does guide you in all the best ways.
You can streamline your code
Most websites, even those that look wonderful, have quite horrible code lying beneath the surface. The worst cases are WordPress sites, Wix sites, Weeblys and other sites that were generated by a program. All of these have notoriously slow load-times, because they have vast amounts of duplicate styles, unnecessary code, and a tangle of linked code files that all have to be loaded. WordPress, Wix and etc are not professional programmers who write good code. They are just automatic generators.
Besides these generators, most hand-coded sites still lack most of the speed-optimisations that AMP enforces. They still have reams of styles, and code that is being loaded from several linked files.
It is possible to have your code streamlined without using AMP. Then again….we still havn’t found a reason why you wouldn’t want to use AMP.
But why wouldn’t you want to use AMP?
You can get by very well without AMP. That is, if you go to significant effort to implement most of AMP’s optimisations without actually using AMP.
Then, by speed-boosting your site, you will get you similar SEO benefits to AMP, except from Google searches on a mobile phone, where AMP sites load far faster, and they are listed with a lightning-bolt symbol that gets them more clicks.
So why not get AMP? It won’t hurt compared to speed boosting your site yourself, and it will increase your SEO, and your sales.
To get an AMP mobile page for your existing website, you should consider our Jetpak mobile page
For an entire AMP website, you should consider our Jetsite