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What is AMP, and how could it work for your website?

When it comes to AMP, you probably fall into one of two camps: either you don’t really know what it is, or you have at least a general idea but have decided against implementing AMP technology. However, you might have rejected AMP too quickly, perhaps due to various misconceptions about it.

In short, AMP is a framework enabling you to build web content that is relatively streamlined and, therefore, quick to load. Whether you ought to actually use AMP can depend on various factors.

An informative but to-the-point definition of AMP

When it first launched back in February 2016, AMP was originally known as Accelerated Mobile Pages and spearheaded by Google, leading to perceptions that the search giant still calls all the shots with AMP. However, from the start, it was an open-source project with numerous participants.

In fact, over its four-year history, AMP has attracted over 1,000 contributors, including many from big-name companies like Twitter, Yahoo, Bing and Pinterest. Even eBay has influenced AMP’s development, helping to demolish the myth that AMP is not useful for non-static websites.

AMP can actually help to speed up the load times of various sites – and not just mobile ones, despite what the lingering acronym might suggest. The tech, basically a diet-plan form of HTML, can help various sites, including desktop and ecommerce sites, to draw visitors via various search engines.

Should you bake AMP into your own website?

That’s the key question! Ultimately, the answer depends very much on your goals. AMP was originally conceived to accelerate loading times in circumstances where bandwidth, connectivity and hardware are all under strain, such as on power-starved devices or where cellular coverage is weak.

If many of your target customers face such issues or even if, to your knowledge, they don’t, building your website around AMP can make sense. Well-known online brands that have embraced AMP include BMW, George.com and Samsung. However, their resources are probably richer than yours…

AMP comes with many built-in restrictions, including on HTML tags and JavaScript. If these are currently staples of your website, then making it AMP-friendly could require you to essentially rebuild it from the ground up. Would all of that heavy lifting really be worthwhile in your case?   

AMP can cut down on the creative possibilities with your website

AMP has its purposes and its place. However, you need to assess your website, circumstances and goals carefully to judge whether AMP would really be right for you. Such sophisticated elements as moving maps and rotating images are not permitted on an AMP site.

The framework can also unhelpfully hamper your ability to measure how many visitors and hits your website attracts. As AMP caches content to cut down time-consuming requests to servers, any analytics and measurement tools you use that rely wholly on server requests will need replacing.

If this is all starting to come across as worryingly technical, just get in touch with our Darlington-based team and let us talk you through your options – without descending into excessive jargon.

What is AMP, and how could it work for your website
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