Setting up WordPress for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for non-developers [updated]

Accelerated Mobile Pages, more commonly written as AMP, is a initiative to get web pages to load faster on mobile. It’s open source,Google is pushing it and it’s taking off.

Add AMP support to your WordPress posts in five minutes (doesn’t yet work for pages)

  1. go to add plugin and type “AMP”
  2. install “Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your WordPress site”(the plugin is made by Automatic the creators of WordPress)
  3. enable the plugin
  4. done

To see the AMP version of a post add /amp to the end of the existing URL. Here is an AMP page from my Expertise Finder blog. While the AMP page shows on a desktop/laptop no user will ever see it so the key is looking on a mobile device

Note 1: if you use a cache plugin you may need to first clear the cache.
Note 2: plugin currently only supports posts (not pages).

Examples From Our Blog

An AMP page can look different, especially for non text elements. Here is what happens to embedded Tweets on this blog post on Expertise Finder (left is standard mobile page, right is AMP version).

Tweet embeds on non-AMP vs AMP posts

Everything Does Not Necessarily Works

The main image at the top of each post in my WordPress theme does not appear to be compatible (yet) with the AMP plugin and/or AMP mobile posts.

I have left it, the advantage of not having a lot of mobile users reading our blog is that we can do live tests. As you can see there are other differences like how the date is displayed and the colour of the header.

If any readers have insight into why these issues and differences exist I would welcome comments below.

Yoast SEO Integration

If like me you use the Yoast SEO plugin then you need to:

  1. add this plugin built by Yoast
  2. optional: I recommend you read this post by Yoast on AMP

More Advanced

To makes changes to AMP pages like header colour, install the plugin Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog and play with it.

Closing Thoughts on AMP with WordPress

When the plugin is able to support pages in addition to posts there will be a herd mentality to add AMP support. By then I bet the plugin will work better, have more features and many WordPress themes will have upgraded to optimize for AMP.

Organizations using WordPress are starting to discuss AMP which means by the end of 2016 we will see them move from talk to action. With 20% of the world’s websites using WordPress, a small uptick in AMP adoption will have drive AMP adoption across the web.

Update March 11, 2016:

I received this email from Google:

The essence: “Fix invalid tag attribute values. AMP pages with invalid attribute values may appear in Google Search results without AMP-specific display features.”

Google instructs me to go to this GitHub page to learn more. The page is generic, not much help for a non developer. It speaks to the fact that AMP is still a work in progress.

Will we need to purchase AMP compatible WordPress themes? I suspect it will become part of the marketing as AMP is the hot new thing. It’s still not clear to what extend a theme needs to be updated to work properly with the AMP plugin.