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AMP: The Future of Web

September 20, 2016 - Sam Doyle

We always enjoy discovering new technological advancements in the world of web development. After having recently come across the Google AMP project, it’s exciting to see how the importance of mobile devices in web development continues to grow and dominate.

AMP is an open source project, meaning anyone can contribute to it. This format improves its features and functionality, and is the future of how web developers will build super mobile friendly websites. AMP is a way for static content on a page to render fast – and we mean really fast. With this approach, a developer would offer two version of their website. The standard version, and the optimised AMP version for mobile users.

Lets delve into a few of the features and discover what makes AMP pages so uber-fast:

“Developers must use a narrow set of web technologies to create pages.”

Essentially meaning that JavaScript is forbidden from AMP websites. We know the integration of multiple JavaScript libraries on your page can have a big toll on the load time, so removing this alone is already a big step to reducing load times.

“No JS? But my pages look so pretty!” You may say. Well not to worry… Google AMP has a JS library that ensures fast loading pages. Within an AMP page, interactive features are handled in custom AMP elements, which take the JavaScript from under the hood of the page and integrate them with other AMP components in a way that doesn’t cause performance issues.

AMP HTML loves CSS. The platform encourages extensive styling and wants web developers pages to look the way they initially intended them to be. It does provide a set of guidelines and rules for writing CSS when working with AMP HTML.

You’ll also benefit on your SEO if you offer an AMP site alternative. Google SEO rankings favor AMP websites by marking them with a lightning bolt. Although the project is still in its preview stage, they are rolling out regular updates slowly integrating AMP search into the Google engine.

All your resources including Images, Videos, Ads or iframes must state their size in the HTML. This is so AMP can pre-calculate their position and size before any of the resources are downloaded. This allows AMP pages to build the page without waiting for the resources to download.

So, how fast actually is AMP HTML? Well, in early accounts of people integrating AMP into their sites, people have been reporting speed improvements of up to 85%. For people on a poor connection, that is a speed improvement worth celebrating about.

This project truly is inspiring and hopeful for mobile web development. We all know even in 2016 websites can still be notoriously slow on our phones, especially when on low connection network. With AMP’s simplified pages this could all change in the not so distant future.

To read more about the AMP project head over here.

For help with AMP, contact one of our team today.

Sam Doyle

Sam Doyle

Technical Director

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