Accelerated Mobile Pages
According to a study nearly half of web users expect a site to load within 2 seconds and abandon the website if it doesn't load within 3 seconds.
As a brand manager, how often have you wished that your website's content loads faster? If this has been your biggest nightmare, you should know about accelerated mobile pages.
What is AMP?
Simply put, AMP is an open source initiative that embodies a publisher’s vision of creating mobile content that loads instantly, anywhere & everywhere. It is designed to support smart caching, predictable performance, & the ‘modern’ mobile content. Google makes the mobile web pages that use the AMP code load much faster when users search for them. Webpages on social media platforms, would also open up quicker than they currently do if they built on AMP.
Under the hood, AMP simplifies the HTML code and prioritizes speed over other functions. Since AMP HTML is built on existing web technologies, publishers & brands can continue to host their own content, innovate with their UI/UX and seamlessly integrate their advertising models- all within an architecture optimized for speed & performance.
Should I be using it?
With many companies taking a mobile-first approach, media consumption is changing at a rapid pace. Users now consume content wherever they find it - sometimes from the publisher’s website, oftentimes from elsewhere. Given how frustrating and painstaking the mobile browser is, many publishers are on the lookout for alternatives. Most of the current alternatives tend to be platform specific and very focussed, placing a burden on publishers to support the fragmentation in formats. So, AMP is an initiative to improve the mobile web & enhance the content distribution ecosystem.
Also if publishing brands like BBC, BuzzFeed, Conde Nast, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, TIME are the first movers in this space, you better start embracing this technology.
What are the pitfalls with AMP?
Like all new web technologies, AMP comes with it’s own pitfalls. Here we list a few of them
- AMP was released on the 7th of October 2015. This is just a proof of concept at this stage.
- Many custom fonts are restricted
- There are input elements of any kind including ‘input’ & ‘text area’
- There can be no external style sheets and there is only one ‘style’ tag in the header
- There are no inline styles
- Style rules must be below or at 50KB
- The kind of CSS used in the applications today like pseudo elements are yet to find scope in the current implementation.
- A lot of HTML tags are prohibited in AMP and no alternates are given for them. Some of the prominent HTML tags that are not allowed in AMP are
- input elements
The AMP platform seems to take some of the elements to suit the browser capabilities & support search engines. While the concept looks promising (with claims that it can be used with existing code practices), this is a very virgin to be adopted for development purposes. Watch out this space for hacks on how to use AMP in the current framework.