October 7, 2021 • Knowledge, Business

Do You Know AMP? AMP Loads Much Faster And Looks Nicer Than Normal HTML

Do You Know AMP? AMP Loads Much Faster And Looks Nicer Than Normal HTML

Do you know there are many ways to increase website traffic? Starting from serving quality content, maximizing SEO performance, to optimizing website speed.

Although it sounds trivial, website loading speed is one thing you should pay attention to. According to a survey from neilpatel.com, 40% of visitors will leave a website with a loading time of more than three seconds.

From the same source, we obtained that a delay of just 1 second when loading a page can reduce website revenue by up to 7%! Wow, it turns out that a long loading process can be disastrous, right?

So, how to increase website speed?

There are many options to optimize website performance in terms of speed. One way you can do this is to use AMP to significantly speed up website loading.

What is AMP? Can AMP really increase website speed? What are the advantages of using AMP? How to install AMP on the website?

Well, in this article, we will review everything about AMP thoroughly. And, of course, will answer your questions above.

Make sure you read to the end, OK!



What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is a technology created by Google so that web pages can be opened faster on mobile devices.

Google’s goal in developing AMP is to create a future website ecosystem where everyone can produce an agile website that looks attractive and easily accessible on various devices.

With AMP, the content of a website can be accessed instantly. Today, many websites use AMP as a way to increase the number of visits.

The reason is, nearly 2 billion people have accessed the website using mobile devices. Hence, you need to display website content on mobile devices quickly. And AMP is the answer.

However, not all website pages can use the AMP. AMP can only be applied to pages on static pages, such as news websites or blog content.

AMP has now become a trend in several mass media portals, both local and foreign news portals. Call it The Guardian, BBC, Liputan 6, and Kompas.com.

Characteristics of AMP on the Website

Websites that already use AMP have several characteristics. One of them is the lightning indicator that appears in the search results, as shown in the following image:

Apart from that, here’s a comparison between a website page with AMP and its normal appearance:

AMP makes web pages load quicker because it disables elements that can slow down website loading.

For example, animations, plugins, push notifications, and so on. In addition, web pages with AMP are automatically cached by the Google AMP Cache to load faster in search results.

The result is a web page that looks simple and minimalistic. Pages with AMP can be accessed by mobile devices quicker and lighter than regular website pages.

Google is more concerned with information on websites that reach users in a short time rather than an attractive appearance. And AMP is the best solution they have to offer.



How AMP Works?

AMP works by utilizing several components to optimize website pages to load faster on mobile devices. These components are:

  • AMP JavaScript;
  • AMP Cache.

The three components above work to turn off website elements that can slow down page loading time. For example, CSS, JavaScript, and HTML are commonly used to beautify the appearance of website pages.

In the process, AMP uses seven optimization techniques to compress the appearance of website pages. The seven techniques are:

  • Ensures all JavaScript runs asynchronously. JavaScript can block DOM constructs causing web pages to load slower. To ensure it doesn’t happen, AMP only allows JavaScript that runs indirectly.
  • Resize external resources. All external resources such as images, iframes, or ads must include their HTML sizes. Thus, AMP can determine the correct size and position for each resource before the web page loads.
  • Process rendering so that it is not blocked by extensions. Some extension mechanisms can block page rendering, and AMP doesn’t support this. AMP still allows some extensions for elements like lightboxes and social media embeds.
  • Set CSS line and size. CSS can also block the rendering and loading of web pages. To work around this, AMP HTML only allows in-line CSS with a maximum size of 75 KB.
  • Optimizing the use of fonts. Optimization of web fonts is very important in the loading process because web fonts are usually huge. AMP works to prevent all HTTP requests until all fonts have been successfully downloaded.
  • Runs GPU-accelerated animations only. AMP ensures that only GPU-accelerated animations and transitions can be displayed. That way, page layout adjustments are no longer necessary.
  • Load web pages instantly. AMP is optimized to use less bandwidth and CPU during pre-rendering. AMP does this by prioritizing the most important elements to be downloaded first. Other elements such as animations and advertisements can be downloaded if only the user wishes to see them.


Three Main Components of AMP

When creating an AMP page, three main components must be present, namely:

  • AMP HTML. AMP HTML can be imagined as a more compact version of plain HTML. This AMP HTML consists of several custom tags, such as amp-image, amp-ad, and amp-video. This AMP structure has strict rules regarding the HTML tags that can be used. It will minimize the use of certain JavaScript, CSS, and HTML tags, such as forms. AMP HTML will provide priority access via mobile devices, which is useful for increasing website visits. It does this by adjusting the image, reducing the HTML size, and adjusting the CSS line.
  • AMP JavaScript. AMP JavaScript is used to restrict the use of JavaScript from third parties. This type of framework will optimize the use of AMP JS to speed up website access via mobile devices with an asynchronous method. As a result, the website page rendering process will run faster.
  • AMP Cache. This type of AMP is also known as AMP CDN. It is an important component of the AMP platform as a proxy-based content delivery network. The CDN will fetch the AMP content and cache it for faster delivery. This way, the website doesn’t have to fetch files from the server when users need to access them repeatedly. The cache will be automatically activated when visitors access the website. Then, this Google AMP cache will be validated and sent back to the website so that access from mobile devices is faster.



Advantages of Using AMP

When using AMP on your website, you will experience several benefits. Here are some of them:

Increase Website Visits

AMP can speed up the process of loading website pages. Fast loading is one way to increase website visits. With AMP, users can get the information they need instantly.

Because it loads instantly, visitors will be more comfortable browsing your website for a longer time. That way, the possibility of users leaving your website because of the long loading process is getting smaller.


Optimizing SEO Performance

Although not the only determining factor, fast loading on mobile devices will help your website’s SEO performance. It is known that Google considers page speed as one of the SEO algorithms.

The faster the loading time of your website page, the higher it will rank in search results. Website pages with AMP will appear above-paid ads in search results in a carousel format.


Presenting a More Convenient User Experience

Because web pages are displayed faster, users feel happy. With AMP, the loading process will increase by up to 85%, which positively impacts visitor satisfaction.

AMP makes your website open instantly on mobile devices, even with slow internet connections. That way, visitors still get what they want, even if the network conditions are not supportive.


Maximizing Revenue

The longer it takes your website to display content, the greater your risk of losing customers. And this, of course, is bad for business.

If you want to maximize business profits, you have to meet the visitor expectations of your website. AMP helps you to ensure that your website pages meet user expectations.

With AMP, you can provide visitors with a faster website browsing experience, no matter what mobile device they are using.



Disadvantages of Implementing AMP

Even though you get instant website loading, implementing AMP also has some drawbacks. What are they?

Lack of Support for Third-Party Plugins

Since plugins and widgets can slow down the loading process, AMP will disable them. In addition, JavaScript that has the potential to reduce website speed will also be disabled by AMP.

Chances are, you also can’t display some ads on website pages that have AMP installed. This is because not all ads support Google AMP.


Appearance becomes more Minimalist

Still related to the previous point, AMP is automatically disabling elements that can slow down the website. For example, plugins, themes, animations, and so on.

As a result, the appearance of your website content will be simpler. And for some people, a too ordinary display can reduce their interest in exploring the contents of your website.


Difficult to Connect with Google Analytics

Unlike regular web pages, linking AMP pages with Google Analytics is a bit more difficult. This is because Google Analytics cannot track user visits to AMP pages.

You’ll need to make some adjustments so that Google Analytics can track AMP pages. The method is to use Google Tag Manager.

Later, you will have to make your own configuration to Google Analytics and apply a different tracking code to the AMP page. And for most people, this method is certainly very inconvenient.



Alternative to AMP

Did you know that Google AMP is not the only technology that can speed up website performance? It turns out that there are several AMP alternatives that you can try to optimize website speed.

Among them are Facebook Instant Articles, Responsive Web Design, and Progressive Web Apps. How do all three perform when compared to AMP? Here’s a summary:

Facebook Instant Articles (FIA)

Facebook launched Instant Articles in 2015 to help content creators create amazing reading experiences on Facebook.

With FIA, content creators can deliver content quickly and interactively to users. Some of the advantages of the FIA ​​ among others:

  • Fast and responsive. FIA can load content instantly, no matter how bad the user’s internet connection is.
  • Interactive and engaging. FIA makes the experience of reading articles more interactive. In addition, the FIA ​​also helps increase the reach of content on the Facebook Feed.
  • Easy and flexible monetization. Monetization plays an important role in the success of the content you publish. And you can do an ad on the FIA ​​easily.

How does the FIA ​​perform compared to AMP? Both offer loading speeds, but FIA can offer even faster loading times compared to AMP.

The average time it takes for AMP to load a website page perfectly is 1.4 seconds. While the FIA ​​can do it in less than 0.001 seconds.

Unfortunately, now FIA is rarely used, and many content creators are more focused on AMP. This is because Facebook prioritizes content in the form of videos compared to articles in the Feed.


Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Responsive Web Design (RWD) was first introduced to the public in 2010. RWD aims to produce web pages that focus on flexibility.

RWD can make a website run smoothly on any device and regardless of screen size, with the hope of providing a better and more interactive user experience.

In fact, RWD and AMP are developed with the same components for creating web pages, such as HTML and JavaScript. However, they both have some differences, namely:

  • RWD focuses on flexibility, while AMP focuses on speed.
  • RWD works by changing web pages, while AMP works by adjusting existing web pages.
  • RWD supports third-party JavaScript, while AMP restricts the use of JavaScript.
  • Due to more focus on flexibility and support for all types of devices, RWD speed is lower when compared to AMP.
  • RWD can be used for all types of pages, especially dynamic. Whereas AMP works well for static pages.

In conclusion, if you want to provide a more responsive user experience browsing the website, you should still consider using AMP instead of RWD.


Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are technologies built to make websites look, feel, and run like mobile apps. The difference is, PWA can be used without needing to be downloaded on the Play Store or App Store.

You can access PWA through a browser and load content instantly, even if the internet connection is not stable. PWA can reach 4 times more customers than mobile apps.

PWA and AMP were both created to improve the user experience when browsing websites through mobile devices. Both make websites mobile-friendly and accessible more quickly.

So, what exactly is the difference between PWA and AMP? In general, three things are the difference between the two, namely:

  • Content-Type. PWAs can be used for any type of content. For example, images, animations, or even videos. Not infrequently, PWA is widely applied to online store websites. While AMP can only be used on website pages with static content, such as blog articles and news. Therefore, AMP is very suitable for news websites.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If your focus is SEO, then AMP is superior to PWA. AMP makes your website more friendly in search results because it loads faster, which has a good impact on SEO. While PWA also makes the website more friendly for mobile devices, it does not have a good impact on SEO. Because the use of complex JavaScript in PWA turns out to complicate the Google index process.
  • Speed. Because the content and appearance are kept to a minimum, AMP can be faster than PWA. An AMP page can load perfectly in less than a second. While the speed of PWA depends on the amount of content displayed and the optimization made by the developer. For example, the PWA page on Uber takes less than three seconds to fully open.

In conclusion, AMP excels in speed, good for SEO, and can increase organic traffic. The drawback is that it can only be used for static content and cannot use third-party scripts.

Meanwhile, the advantage of PWA is that it can include various features like native applications and is very dynamic. However, PWAs have issues with speed and tend to be more difficult to implement than AMPs.



Summary: Should I Use AMP?

With the current shift in internet usage trends, most website traffic comes from mobile devices. Hence, developing a mobile-friendly website is a must for every website owner.

One way is to install AMP, which functions to optimize website speed when accessed via mobile devices. In addition, Google’s algorithm makes websites with AMP rank high in search results.

You can imagine by yourself the number of website visits that you can get by installing AMP. However, with the characteristics of AMP that highlight a minimalist appearance, you cannot apply AMP to some type of website.

Websites with static content such as blog articles and news are a great place to implement AMP. So, if your question is:

“Should I use AMP on my website?”

The answer is YES, but with a few things in mind. For example, your website’s purpose, the type of content you produce, how visitors use your website, and so on.

But in general, AMP can optimize most website performance in terms of loading speed for mobile use. And it will definitely increase the number of user visits to your website.

How about you? Have you used AMP on your website? If not, are you interested in trying it?

Hopefully, this article is useful. Thank you for reading, and see you soon!