If you’ve spent any amount of time hanging around web designers and developers in the past couple of years, you may have heard them talk about a thing called AMP. But you may not be entirely clear on what exactly AMP is or why it matters for your website.
What is AMP?
Essentially what AMP is, is a set of standards to help websites and ads not only look amazing but also to load almost instantly on any device. It is an open-source initiative that is improving the web for both website owners and publishers as well as end-users.
When web pages are built using AMP methods, they tend to have much higher engagement rates and improved performance.
AMP has been developed collaboratively by thousands of web developers and tech companies, resulting in over 1.5B AMP pages in existence to today.
How does AMP work?
One of the keys to having a successful website is page load time. More and more web users are demanding near-instant access to online information, and a page that takes more than a few seconds to load is in danger of having visitors leave before they even view any content.
AMP takes a number of measures to ensure that pages load quickly and seamlessly, including:
- All resources must be sized statically. When an AMP site is pulling external resources such as iframes or images, their size must be stated in their HTML. AMP pages eliminate cumbersome size recalculations which means there won’t be any relay out of resources.
- Extensions must not block page rendering. Any extension used on an AMP page, whether it be for Twitter tweets, Instagram embeds, etc. must not block page rendering. Custom tags such as “amp-iframe” will need to be used.
- CSS is restricted. Because CSS can interfere with page load time, AMP requires that any CSS be restricted to no more than 50 kilobytes. Additionally, any CSS must be in the inline style.
- Web font optimization has high priority. No HTML requests are allowed until web fonts begin downloading to the page.
- Style recalculations are minimized. All DOM reads occur before any writes – this means that there will be no more than one style recalculation per frame.
- Animations must be GPU accelerated. AMP requires that animations only be done on transform and opacity which does not require an update of the layout.
- Resource loading is prioritized. The most important resources are downloaded first. Resources that are slow to load are prefetched.
- Prerendered web content. Web pages can be loaded instantly with AMP, in part because of the preconnect API. This allows content that is above the fold to be prerendered. To minimize the amount of bandwidth that is used, AMP pages only prerender resources that do not use a lot of CPU.
Benefits of AMP websites
The developers behind AMP have gone to great lengths to ensure that pages load extremely quickly and this has resulted in numerous benefits for those that use AMP sites. The improved functionality often results in improved metrics including return visits, time spent on site, reduced bounce rates and conversions.
AMP benefits include:
- Improved engagement – since the end user can find what they are looking for more quickly, they are more likely to engage with your brand and therefore more likely to make a purchase.
- Maximize revenue – for every second that the user is left waiting for your page to load, conversion rate falls by 12%. Instant page loading helps keep conversion rate high.
- Flexible and controllable – AMP allows publishers to use a variety of web components while maintaining the integrity of their brand. Features such as A/B testing allow publishers to test new formats on select audiences.
- Reduce complexity – AMP integrates well with popular CMS platforms such as WordPress and Drupal.
- Maximize ROI – designing effective digital ads and landing pages can be an investment of your time and submitting them to the right channels can take even more time. With AMP, once you’ve built an ad or landing page, AMP allows you to distribute it across multiple platforms simultaneously.
AMP is revolutionizing the way the Internet works and it is a must-have tool for anyone that has a website or markets their business online. Whether you are a new company that needs a website built from scratch or you have an established company with an outdated non-AMP website, converting to AMP could be the next step in upgrading your online presence.
If you are ready to AMP up your website, contact the team at Rocket Digital today!