The AMP Project is a response to the ‘mobile revolution’ in accessing the internet. The huge increase in internet activity via mobile devices has highlighted the shortfall in fast loading, mobile friendly web pages. Pages that either load too slowly, or do not load certain content at all, is losing publishers, advertisers and companies traffic, as visitors stop or switch sites when rich content fails to load effectively. The AMP Project is the industries reaction to it. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages; an idea that all web pages should load almost instantly, even on mobile devices.
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The AMP Project is an open-source initiative, driven to improving the mobile experience by creating code then enables rich content to load instantaneously across platforms. There is little argument that mobile devices are absolutely key to a successful site, as Google’s ‘non-mobile friendly’ penalisation underlines. Customers are easy to drive away; slow loading content or faulty pages are the best way to do so. Some 58% of traffic will bounce within 10 seconds if content does not load correctly. There is little room for error when it comes to keeping visitors on a site, and the AMP Project is looking to ensure that the loading speed of pages on mobile devices is not one of the factors that prevent a page from succeeding.
What does the AMP Project Do?
Benefiting from many contributors, the AMP project has built a new framework (entirely from existing technology) allowing sites to build light-weight pages. AMP sites use a variety of architectural and technical approaches, prioritising speed through a common core. So far, companies including Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress.com have integrated AMP HTML pages, and the project has the backing of Google, who have committed to providing a completely free to use cache
This does not mean that all sites will be the same, but that technology and ideas are shared to create an almost instant loading page. You will retain the sovereignty over the content, but the site will be cached communally. This will result in a system built around caching, that will produce better performance and technological improvements, further improving the future of mobile e-commerce.
The Project has been created to improve mobile internet experiences for all, and is therefore available to all. The open source nature means that no one owns the intellectual property, and therefore, it really is open to use.
How can you use AMP?
AMP is free to use. Anyone can use it. The AMP HTML language has been created from existing technologies, and therefore will not be unmanageable to current web developers. Specifics can be found on GitHub, and there will not be too many surprises to experienced developers. Google’s backing of the project means that the sites on AMP will be equally, if not more, respected in the rankings.
Currently, the AMP Project is looking at the following areas of development; Rich Content, looking to improve the loading of videos, interactive maps and infographics, distribution, looking to improve caching, and advertising, allowing rapid loading of a variety of ad formats. These are the main priorities for the project currently, but as is the nature of open source projects, the aims and main focusses will develop and change as the project develops.
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The AMP project is an ongoing venture. At the time of writing, it is mainly suited to larger-scale news websites but will most likely become more accessible to smaller businesses as it matures. Not only will this mean that you are not benefiting from the best technologies, providing an excellent mobile device experience for your customers, but will also keep your sites ahead of the Google algorithms for another couple of months at least!