Earlier this year, Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), to combat slow loading mobile websites. By limiting the types of elements used, and by providing a pre-made HTML page, web publishers could make a fast loading version of their webpage. These accelerated mobile pages were showcased at the top of the search engine results page, so naturally, everyone wanted to build AMP pages for their website.
What many people didn’t know was that you did not actually need AMP to make your pages faster. If you were already optimizing your web site for speed, then there is a good chance that you did not need to implement accelerated mobile pages. Transitioning to AMP could be putting your website at a disadvantage if it did not have many articles, used an incompatible ad engine, or used third party tools for tracking and generating leads. If any of these elements pertain to your website, using speed optimization best practices, is a better way to go.
There are three situations when using AMP should be avoided:
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDNs enhance your websites speed by utilizing a system of dispersed networks. When a visitor lands on your website, the network that is physically closest to them will load your website content. The closer a visitor is to a CDN server, the faster the content will load.
Another option is to defer the loading of images, until after the content loads. This way visitors can start reading the text without having to wait for all the images to load.
Adjusting Your Mobile Website
Luckily, many content management systems enable you to optimize your mobile website for speed without having to utilize AMP. In WordPress, you can simply adjust your functions.php file with commands that will disable the loading of certain plugins, when a mobile user is detected.
Single CSS Reference
Another way AMP speeds up mobile websites is by utilizing a single CSS sheet to style the mobile page. Many website pages utilize more than one CSS sheet, requiring more time to load.
The trick to optimizing CSS without having implementing AMP, is to consolidate the CSS sheets that your mobile page calls for, into one master CSS sheet. This single CSS sheet can also be uploaded to your Content Delivery Network to decrease load times even more!
As of now, having AMP pages is not a ranking signal for Google’s algorithms. So if your webpage already loads in around 4 seconds, there are ways to reduce the loading time without having to transition to AMP pages.