With the number of mobile internet users at an all-time high, it is becoming increasingly important to deliver these users the best possible online experience. This includes load times, text legibility, and easy navigation. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has emerged as the most current solution for this, and it looks quite promising.
What Is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source coding standard developed by Google and Twitter. AMP’s main goal is SPEED. Responsive websites can get a bit bloated and cause some slowdown on mobile devices if the website assets are large in file size and quantity. What AMP offers is a stripped-down version of the full HTML website. Mobile browsers don’t have to work nearly as hard to load assets, thus increasing speed and overall user experience.
Why Is AMP Important?
Loading a website on a mobile device can often be painful if not impossible when relying on non-WiFi connections. If a mobile user is having trouble loading your site, chances are they will quickly become frustrated and won’t stick around too long. And isn’t the goal to keep people ON your website? A lot of factors can contribute to a slow connection, so why not take some extra steps when developing a site to minimize loading issues?
In a nutshell, browsing on mobile while you’re on a 3G/4G/LTE data plan will mean that your internet speed is not always fast. So it’s best to optimize the experience of mobile browsing for all users (at least that’s what Google wants to happen) by standardizing a mobile version of your site with AMP.
Growing Pains of AMP
As with all new technology, there is a period of adjustment. Developers will need to ramp up on the proper techniques in regard to implementing AMP. This shouldn’t be too bad: It’s still HTML, which developers (should) be able to write in their sleep. But along with this comes some extra development time. Developers need to write extra code—the desktop code as well as AMP. This will increase development time and could have an impact on pricing out projects, as extra time means extra cost. This is a reasonable trade off, however, because it will ultimately offer a much better experience to the end user.
The Future of AMP
AMP might not be utilized on every website yet, but it appears to be heading in that direction as Google and Twitter are pushing it as a best practice. In fact, Twitter has its own browser now, and sites using AMP load way faster in this browser than standard non-AMP sites. This small example is enough for me to see that this is a promising technology with many possibilities. Are you an AMP fan? Let us know.