Why AMP isn’t necessary for WordPress sites

If you are not yet familiar with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), it is a new open source initiative from Google. It aims to improve the mobile web, which at the moment is quite slow in the bigger picture. With AMP, website owners basically create at least separate articles for mobile.

AMP consists of three parts:

  • AMP JS
  • AMP Cache

The new mobile experience with AMP will be like a light version of the original. Some parts of the website is then served through Google’s CDN for a faster experience.

SEO benefits with AMP

According to Google, AMP is not yet a ranking factor. However, it still may have a positive impact on your search traffic as some AMP articles get a place in the AMP carousel on mobile devices. Mobile search will also highlight the articles that have an AMP version. While your position is not determined whether you are using AMP or not, it may have a positive impact on the CTR (Click Through Rate).

But AMP may also have a negative effect on your SEO. Since with AMP you are serving duplicate content, which may lead to difficulties, if you aren’t using the canonical tags correctly. At least the top two SEO plugins introduced in the previous article, claim that they will automatically add these tags.

AMP adds workload

With WordPress, installing AMP is quite easy and straightforward. However, even if something is easy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would not take your time. Serving two articles instead of one obviously adds more work. Also, if you are displaying ads on your site, you need to add them again to your AMP site. Because the SEO benefits are relatively marginal, you should consider whether you have the time and resources for the additional workload. There are better ways to improve your search presence than AMP as well. If AMP is a trade off from other SEO efforts, you should not simply start using it.

Who uses AMP?

There are multiple publishers involved in the AMP project and they are all using AMP as well. For these big time publishers, like BBC, AMP makes a lot of sense. They have a massive website and it is a painless solution to start serving AMP articles for mobile users. For sites like WPTipster, AMP does not really make that much sense. WPTipster does not have a large codebase and it is easy to improve the page speed for the entire site, which already is very competitive and better than your average website speed.

Should I start using AMP?

This depends on your website. If you are a massive publisher like BBC, AMP might be the best thing for you. However, if your WordPress site is like most WordPress sites, a simple blog, AMP isn’t necessary as it will take time from other efforts like producing content and optimising the whole website. There are other ways to improve your website’s performance on mobile than AMP. Of course if you don’t have the skills to improve the performance, AMP is an easy fix for you. Also, if you still don’t support mobile on your website, install AMP or consider doing something about your website soon.

How to install AMP on WordPress?

If you still consider that getting started with AMP is the best solution for your WordPress site, there are three plugins that will help you get started. Three, assuming that you are using Yoast SEO as well. WordPress AMP plugins that you need to install are the following:

Essentially, you need only the first one (AMP). However, if you wish to style your AMP pages a bit at least, you need to install the second one as well, Accelerated Mobile Pages.