Setting up AMP

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages logo

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project allows mobile users to access content almost instantly. Instead of displaying your real website Google links to the AMP version of your website. An AMP version is a very lightweight and mobile-oriented version of your site’s content. A lot of the resources, such as scripts, used on AMP websites can be used across many different sites, so it is very possible the scripts are already cached by the user, making the website load a whole lot faster. AMP pages can also be cached by Google, so when your site is displayed in Google Search results, and the user is likely to click on it, Google can begin to preload the content from Google’s own cache and if the user finally clicks on the link, the page can be displayed instantly.

How to set up AMP on a WordPress site

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, has taken initiative and created an “official” plugin for converting existing WordPress sites to AMP.

To activate AMP from the WordPress administration dashboard go to Chap Theme -> AMP, check the “Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages” box and hit “Save Changes”.

After you check the box you will be prompted to automatically install the AMP plugin (unless you already have it installed, in which case you need to manually make sure that it’s active). Once active, the AMP-related options will show up in the Chap Theme -> AMP tab.

AMP plugin is located here: AMP plugin
And the source code is on GitHub: AMP on GitHub

The problems with the AMP plugin

The official plugin is merely a base platform to get started with AMP on WordPress. It only works for posts, the template is very basic, doesn’t include a main menu, no ad support, search box or social sharing. There are already many other plugins that pick up the slack in that department: AMP for WP, AMP Supremacy, AMP WooCommerce, WP AMP and many more.

Unfortunately I never felt completely satisfied with these solutions. They add a lot of features and functions, but lack in design and customization. For that reason Chap theme is providing AMP support as a feature. Every website built with Chap will be instantly AMP-ready, without messing around with 3rd-party plugins for generic results.

Chap theme AMP support

Chap WordPress theme comes with AMP templates built-in. The templates will draw from the existing theme options to create the color scheme that has been chosen for the main site, making them look and feel similar without any manual configuration. The templates also provide a sidebar menu, with the website’s brand, title and tagline, the primary navigation and a search box. The templates have been tested to not produce invalid AMP HTML and are therefore accepted by Google.

View this post as AMP

Chap AMP support future

The AMP project is in it’s early stages and so are the WordPress plugin and Chap’s AMP integration. The work continues to keep improving it to get better and better results for mobile users.

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