Setting up WordPress for AMP Accelerated Mobile Pages

This post explains what AMP is and aims to do, who should implement and why, how to get your WordPress site ready for AMP and how to make sure Yoast SEO integrates nicely with it.

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What are Accelerated Mobile Pages/AMP?

The Accelerated Mobile Pages project aims to make pages load instantly on mobile. The web is slow for lots and lots of people, in fact, the majority of the people using the internet do so over a mobile phone, often on a 2G or sometimes 3G connection. To make pages load instantly, AMP restricts what you can do in HTML pages. Fancy design is stripped out in favor of speed. AMP is very much a function over form project.

AMP pages look like a very stripped down version of normal web pages but do contain all the important content. Not all ads will work on AMP, not all analytics will work with AMP. All the “fluff” of your pages is stripped in AMP, including the read more links you might have built into your theme, etc.

The trade-off is that, by sacrificing some of that flexibility (your custom JavaScript, ads, etc.), not only do you speed up your site, but you may become eligible for new, rich results in search engines.

Which plugin(s) to use?

The official AMP plugin does an incredible job of enabling AMP on your site. It can even automatically convert your template and content.

When you enable this plugin, all the post URLs on your site will have a /amp/ version. So you can go to any post, add /amp/ to the end of the URL and you’ll see the AMP version. The plugin adds a standard meta tag in the head of your normal pages that makes it possible for Google and others to recognize these pages exist.

You can also configure the plugin to use ‘native mode’, where it simply replaces your existing theme code and content with amp-compatible version. You may need to make some tweaks in the plugin’s configuration options to get this working correctly on your site, however.

How does this work with Yoast SEO?

We automatically integrate with the official AMP plugin to output correct metadata, structured markup, and other SEO elements. Don’t worry – we take care of everything!

Read more: How site speed influences SEO »

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28 Responses to Setting up WordPress for AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages

  1. Dealspop
    Dealspop  • 4 months ago

    Hi Jono,
    Thanks for the informative article on the importance of AMP.

    However I am facing issues with some of my pages, what could be the possible fix for such errors.

    Thanks

    • Jono Alderson

      What sort of issues?

  2. Ria Roe
    Ria Roe  • 4 months ago

    Some time ago I also implemented pages per amp and it worked for me :) thanks

  3. Emmanuel Joshua
    Emmanuel Joshua  • 4 months ago

    Hey Jono Alderson

    Thanks for the insight.

    Somehow, I have a concern. I read a post on your website that talked about duplicate content.

    Will having AMP in a blog not imply the existence of duplicate contents?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      Hey Emmanuel, If your AMP pages are implemented well (include a canonical tag pointing to the original article) there shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Brian Hastings
    Brian Hastings  • 4 months ago

    Great post! Thanks for sharing the information and keep up the good work.

  5. willem
    willem  • 4 months ago

    Can Yoast please reply to the earlier comments. Also, as the reviews of advised AMP plugin are very, very mixed. Almost as much 5* as 1*…what does not look good. I just installed it, switched the ‘native’ on and it created a mess. Mobile was somewhat ok, but my laptop version was a drama. Switched off and I am happy again. I trust Yoast advices normally but I have to be more carefull from now on.

    • Jono Alderson

      I mentioned in the post that you might need to spend some time working with the plugin settings in order to get things working correctly. And, if your site relies heavily on custom JavaScript, that might require some sacrifices (or, just improvements).

    • David Elstob
      David Elstob  • 4 months ago

      Willem, the official AMP plugin is absolutely fine. However, it isn’t just a set-and-forget plugin, especially when running in Native mode.

      Also the Yoast AMP Glue addon is really for the traditional AMP mode, which is now called reader mode.

      If you want step by step instructions on how to implement Native AMP correctly, you can visit my Native AMP blog post at Sonic SEO .co.uk and if you’re stuck with anything just inbox me and I will help you. Thanks.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      Hi Willem, Sorry for the delayed reply. We understand your concerns. We’ll look into this (and the other comments) and get back to you asap!

  6. Marcin
    Marcin  • 4 months ago

    Some time ago I also implemented pages per amp, but I didn’t notice any bigger results, even though I expected them.

  7. Dennis O'Brien
    Dennis O'Brien  • 4 months ago

    You might like to mention the limited number of themes this works with and save your reputation. Or try to. Some actually bounce off your recommendations thinking you must know what you are talking about. You probably won’t allow this comment for obvious reasons.

    • Jono Alderson

      I did mention in the post that some configuration and tweaking might be necessary, and that elements like custom JavaScript aren’t (easily) supported. That’s not quite the same thing as there only being a limited number themes which work with AMP; rather, it just means that people with themes which use a ton of JS, and/or which aren’t built very well, might need to spend some time doing some housekeeping.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      Hi Dennis, Thanks for sharing your view here. We’ll get back to you about this, as soon as Jono is back from his holiday.

  8. Marc
    Marc  • 4 months ago

    I’ve been using the official AMP plugin and I keep getting 404 errors on most of the AMP pages which is a problem. All AMP pages seem to auto-redirect to the homepage which makes for poor UX.
    Why does this happen and is there any way to overcome this?

    • Jono Alderson

      That sounds like you might have a plugin or theme conflict. Have you tried disabling all of your other plugins to see if that helps?

    • John Monyjok Maluth
      John Monyjok Maluth  • 4 months ago

      Mine was about image sizes being smaller. Really? I mostly have 1600 x 2400 px for book covers. Also, Google can’t find the bot.text anymore!

  9. omkar
    omkar  • 4 months ago

    I am using this plugin and from my experience, I can say its a good and light amp page creator plugin. With it’s latest updates I am really satisfied the way it’s working. But I am finding a solution to an issue where few pages are not converted to amp

  10. SiteAnaliz
    SiteAnaliz  • 4 months ago

    Although the AMP is very supported, I think it does not see the expected interest. An alternative method will soon be adopted. Because the installation is so confusing and challenging that makes people give up trying more.

  11. Noz
    Noz  • 4 months ago

    What’s the down side to enabling AMP ?
    Would there ever be a need to “roll back” to non-amp? is it possible?

    thanks for the article.

    • John Monyjok Maluth
      John Monyjok Maluth  • 4 months ago

      Just deactivate or delete it. Everything will go back to normal.

  12. Kingsley Felix
    Kingsley Felix  • 4 months ago

    So no need for the GLUE plugin?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      Hi! Not anymore, no :-)

  13. frezyfocus
    frezyfocus  • 4 months ago

    how I setup amp for my news type blog

  14. Zino Ostendorf
    Zino Ostendorf  • 4 months ago

    Seems easy enough. I’ve used AMP in the past when Google showed the lightning bolts in the SERPS. However, I’ve removed it again later due to some issues.

    Do you think it is necessary/usefull for websites in the Netherlands, where most people are actually on 4G connections these days?

    • Michiel Heijmans
      Michiel Heijmans  • 4 months ago

      Hi Zino,

      Sorry for the postponed reaction on your question.

      To be honest, that’s exactly our issue with AMP. If you have a news site or for instance recipe site, AMP will provide certain (ranking) benefits, like being included in the Google search result page’s carousels.

      If you have a plain company website or something like that, where there is no content on the website that could be included in these rich results, it’s hard to pinpoint if your site will benefit from AMP. Frankly, I don’t think you need it in that case.

      We managed to make our regular website faster than our AMP site at some point, so, as you say, speed wouldn’t be a reason to provide an AMP site as well ;-)

      Does that answer your question?

      • Paul Valkenburg
        Paul Valkenburg  • 4 months ago

        Interesting stuff! So let’s say a person clicks one of those highly ranked posts, are they automatically sent to the AMP version of the post? Or does a decent Dutch 4G connection somehow cause a redirect to the original?