How To Set up Google AMP on your WordPress Blog
Setting up Google AMP on your WordPress blog means it loads faster for mobile and in an environment where we all use our phones to surf the internet, faster loading is essential. AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a new WordPress plugin that can transform the way people interact with your WordPress blog.
WordPress is superb but it is not designed to load quickly or to be efficient with resources. Each page request can involve several database queries, numerous HTTP requests and onerous image loading. It takes time on a broadband connection so will take even longer on 3G or 4G connections. Google AMP is designed to tackle that.
Benefits of using Google AMP on your WordPress blog
Google AMP is an open WordPress plugin that allows you to create stripped down pages specifically for mobile. It works well on static pages rather than interactive ones and can shrink your page sizes invisibly to the user. According to Google, AMP-enabled pages can load up to 88% faster than other pages.
Most mobile users will give up on a website if it takes too long to load. Life is simply too short and too busy to wait several seconds for something. As most of us access the internet with mobile devices, you risk losing out on a significant portion of your potential audience.
Not only do Google AMP posts load faster, they also get your blog some unique designs in search. If your page appears in Google Search, AMP qualifies your page to appear in the top of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). Depending on how many other AMP-enabled pages there are, your blog could appear at the top of the page at no cost to you.
There is a drawback though. AMP for WordPress only works on posts and not pages. If your website has lots of pages, you will need a different plugin which I’ll cover after Google AMP.
Installing Google AMP on your WordPress blog
You install Google AMP on your WordPress blog the same as any other plugin.
- Log into your blog and select Plugins.
- Select Add New and search for ‘AMP for WordPress’. The correct plugin should say ‘By WordPress.com VIP, XWP, Google, and contributors’.
- Select Install Now and Activate once the option appears.
Depending on your web host, this should take less than a minute to find and install. Once installed and activated AMP for WordPress begins working right away. There is no configuration necessary and no settings you need to tweak. Everything has been done for you.
You can test whether it works by adding ‘/amp’ to the end of any blog post URL.
For most bloggers this is enough. For those who have lots of pages on their blog as well as posts, you may need a little more freedom. For that we will need a different plugin called AMP for WP. AMP for WP also helps with monetization but I won’t go into that here.
Adding functionality with the AMP for WP plugin
Where AMP for WordPress concentrates only on minimizing posts, AMP for WP will do the same for your blog pages. Using this plugin should supercharge your WordPress blog in no time and have your site delivering pages lightning fast. Fortunately, AMP for WP replaces AMP for WordPress so you only need one or the other. In fact, AMP for WP includes a copy of AMP for WordPress so if your blog has lots of pages, you can skip the first part and go straight for this plugin instead.
- Select Plugins from the WordPress admin panel.
- Select Add New and search for AMP for WP.
- Select Install and then Activate when the button appears.
- Select New User or Experienced User in the new window that appears.
- Follow the setup wizard to get everything working.
The installation of the AMP for WP plugin takes seconds but the setting up takes a few minutes. You may need a copy of your logo and an idea of how you want your blog pages to look on mobile. If you select New User, the wizard walks you through setting everything up. If you select Experienced User you will be taken directly to the Settings page to configure everything manually.
Serving fast mobile pages is essential for the survival of any blog or website. WordPress is an amazing platform but is too heavy going for simple blogs and too slow for a high Google Page Speed Insights score. You can overcome some of that sluggishness with Google AMP and/or AMP for WP.
Know of any other plugins to speed up a WordPress blog? Any that supercharge mobile pages? Tell us about them below if you do!