Since 2017, mobile devices have accounted for around half of global internet traffic. If you’re a website owner, this doesn’t just mean that your visitors use smartphones to access your site — it means many of them use slow devices over poor connections. How do you create a delightful website for this portion of your audience?

If you use WordPress, one option is to integrate Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework into your site’s code. Don’t let the concepts of “framework” and “code” scare you though. With a WordPress plugin, you can boost your site speed with AMP, but without touching any HTML. Let’s learn how.

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What is AMP?

AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an open-source web development framework developed by Google. The goal of AMP is to decrease load times on mobile devices by removing excessive page elements and features that require more resources to process. When accessed on a mobile device, “heavier” websites — those which contain and execute more HTML, CSS, and scripts — take longer to load.

AMP was introduced in 2015 in response to the increasing popularity of mobile web browsing and greater attention paid to the mobile user experience. Of course, slow websites are bad, and our attention spans are worse: As a page’s load time increases from one to 10 seconds, the probability of a bounce more than doubles.

AMP seeks to solve this problem by creating alternative mobile versions of web pages that remove excess code and bulky media content, leaving a stripped-down page. Ultimately, this cuts back load times and improves mobile UX. Here’s a video from Google that explains AMP further:

Why use a WordPress AMP plugin?

If you run a WordPress website, AMP plugins are the best and simplest way to incorporate AMP. These plugins will do the heavy lifting for you — all you need to do is install the plugin, adjust any settings the plugin allows, and let the plugin build your AMP website.

If you’re still debating whether AMP is a good idea for your WordPress website, know that AMP can benefit any website that receives mobile traffic. Decreasing load times (or, in other words, increasing website performance) affects every part of your online business.

First, faster load times improve the overall user experience. This means new and returning mobile users are more likely to stay on your website for longer and view your online business more positively, which correlates with higher conversions and more revenue.

Second, better performance means lower bounce rates — users are less likely to leave your site for a competitor’s if your pages load quickly. Nothing surprising there.

Finally, page speed is a known Google ranking factor. The faster your mobile pages perform, the more likely your website is to rank high in Google search, resulting in more traffic to your site and conversions for your business.

Now that we’re clear on the benefits of AMPs, let’s review the best plugins to bring it to your WordPress site.

1. AMP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin amp

Best for: Simple Google AMP implementations.

If you’re new to AMP and want to apply it to your website, the AMP plugin might be your best choice. This is the official plugin from Google’s AMP Project and is also backed by Automattic, the creators of WordPress. It’s free, popular, simple, and effective at making your site mobile-friendly.

After installing and activating, the AMP plugin turns your site into a functional AMP website that you can visit on mobile. While it’s not the most customizable option, you do get some useful features with the plugin. For instance, it will show you which parts of your site are causing load time issues, get rid of unused CSS, and provide some basic analytics to track your new AMP site.

You can also choose which AMP template mode you want to apply to your site. There’s standard mode that turns your whole site into one AMP site, transitional mode that allows you to make AMP versions of specific pages, and reader mode, which creates two separate AMP and non-AMP websites.

Because AMP is so easy to use, you’re sacrificing some flexibility with it — there aren’t many styling options for your AMP pages. However, it’s a quality (and free) starting point for admins who want to see improvements in mobile user engagement.

2. AMP for WP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin amp for wp

Best for: More customizable AMP implementations.

Those looking for more visual customization in their AMP plugin should consider AMP for WP. With over 100,000 downloads, this freemium option packs enough value to compete with the official AMP plugin.

If you’re willing to spend on your plugin, AMP for WP comes with four designs for AMP websites that you can apply out-of-the-box. You can also make extensive changes with the theme Customizer. The free version of AMP for WP comes with only one design, but it’s a good way to try before you buy.

The plugin also includes a built-in drag-and-drop page builder and is compatible with several popular page builder plugins (including Elementor and Divi), as well as the Gutenberg block editor.

Integrations are another area where this plugin shines. AMP for WP works with leading plugins like Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, Easy Digital Downloads, and WooCommerce.

To access most plugin functions, you need to purchase extensions which start at $19 each. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a membership plan (starting at $149 per year for one site) which provides access to all plugin extensions.

3. Jetpack

product page for the wordpress amp plugin jetpack

Best for: Site optimization, including performance improvements with AMP.

Jetpack aims to be an all-in-one solution for WordPress site optimization. It handles essential functions like performance, backups, SEO, design, marketing, and security. Jetpack’s features are modular, allowing users to purchase access to tools they need inside the plugin.

Among its performance tools, Jetpack offers Google AMP integration to improve mobile UX. When you install Jetpack and the AMP plugin, you can access your AMP tools from inside Jetpack alongside your other Jetpack controls. Together, these plugins further simplify the process of adding AMP to WordPress.

Jetpack’s AMP integration is completely free, and you’ll also get free access to Jetpack’s content delivery network and receive suggestions for performance improvements to optimize things further.

4. AMP WP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin amp wp

Best for: Simple Google AMP implementations.

While it may sport far fewer downloads than other AMP plugins, AMP WP is still worth a mention here. It's a free and straightforward AMP tool for WordPress admins who don’t want to be overwhelmed with features.

AMP WP converts your website to an AMP format and allows you to pick which posts and post types to apply it to. You also get a fair amount of leeway on which content to hide or display on AMP-enable pages, as well as options available from the WordPress Customizer.

The plugin also lets you add social sharing icons, lightboxes for images, SEO improvements with its Yoast SEO integration, and forms with its Contact Form 7 integration (this integration requires a paid extension, however). Plus, it’s compatible with the Jetpack plugin that we mentioned above.

5. easy AMP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin easy amp

Best for: Simple Google AMP implementations.

easy AMP is another free and simple option to convert a WordPress website into one that complies with AMP standards. True to its name, this option is hands-off — install the plugin and an AMP version of your website will be generated automatically.

There are some additional features that make this one worth trying. All AMP pages will be SSL encrypted, compatible with Google Analytics, and offer a cookie consent notice for GDPR compliance. On top of that, YouTube videos can be added seamlessly, as can social sharing buttons.

6. Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin schema and structured data for wp and amp

Best for: Adding Google rich snippet markup to an AMP website.

Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP won’t enable AMP on your website, but will improve it by applying HTML markup to your AMP content. This will help your website appear as rich snippets in Google search results.

You don’t need to run an AMP website to use Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP. However, the plugin was built to be compatible with AMP, so you don’t have to choose one or the other. It currently supports over 35 schema types, including more common ones like Blog Post and News Article, plus Recipes, Video, and more.

Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP was made to work with both the official AMP plugin and AMP for WP. If you were using another schema plugin prior to this one, there’s the added bonus of being able to import data from your previous plugin.

7. PWA for WP & AMP

product page for the wordpress amp plugin pwa for wp and amp

Best for: WordPress-powered web applications.

Progressive web apps (PWA) are high-performing applications delivered through the web. The PWA for WP & AMP plugin lets any WordPress user turn their website into a PWA, including those using the AMP framework.

This free plugin is simple in its goals and even simpler to use. The main aim here is better, more reliable performance: With full compatibility with the official AMP plugin and the AMP for WP plugin, PWA for WP & AMP will install a service worker that completes tasks for better performance, like caching.

Even cooler, this plugin enables offline access, so users can access a cached version of your PWA site without an internet connection. Then, your site will update when they re-establish a connection.

8. Instantify

product page for the wordpress amp plugin instantify

Best for: AMP, PWA, and Facebook IA functionality in one tool.

Instantify is a premium plugin that acts as a power-up for WordPress. For $29, it adds three different frameworks to your site: AMP, PWA, and Facebook Instant Articles (Facebook IA). On top of the speed enhancements you get with AMP, Instantify helps give your website the performance of a web app while making your articles more shareable on Facebook.

The benefit here is that, instead of installing three separate plugins to achieve the same effect, you can install Instantify and build a faster, more shareable website. Additionally, users can install your website as an application on their phone and access it without a wifi connection.

If that’s not enough to sway you, Instantify includes other enhancements like swipe navigation, pull-down-to-reload, push notifications, and a scalable, responsive design overall — no coding necessary.

9. All in One SEO

product page for the wordpress amp plugin all in one seo

Best for: Comprehensive SEO improvements.

To wrap up, let’s review two WordPress SEO plugins compatible with other AMP plugins. First is All in One SEO (AIOSEO) — this popular option automatically makes enhancements to improve on-page SEO. It includes an audit checklist and finds errors, then recommends steps you can take to bump up your traffic.

AIOSEO can work in conjunction with the AMP plugin and AMP for WP, so it won’t interfere with your site if you’ve already taken steps toward accelerated mobile pages. To learn more about optimizing your site with this plugin, check out our guide to All in One SEO.

10. Yoast SEO

product page for the wordpress amp plugin yoast seo

Best for: Comprehensive SEO improvements.

Yoast SEO is another leading WordPress plugin that specializes in on-page SEO. Upon installation, the plugin will analyze your content and page structure, looking for errors and areas to improve to better capture search traffic. It can also help you target the right keywords that people are searching for and help improve your site’s internal linking.

And, of course, Yoast SEO works on AMP-enabled websites. It integrates with the AMP plugin without affecting the rest of your SEO measures, keeping your website fast, clean, and ready for increased search traffic. To learn more, see our guide to the Yoast SEO plugin.

AMP up your website.

Bad puns aside, AMP has been a game-changer for mobile-first website design. Users value site speed more than almost anything when it comes to UX, and nothing will send them off your site faster than a page that takes too long to load.

Fortunately, several WordPress AMP plugins are free to use, allowing you to sample them and see how they affect your site's traffic. By catering to your mobile users, you’ll likely see more traffic, leads, and eventually purchases from this key group of users.

Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

 Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

Originally published Feb 3, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated February 03 2022

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WordPress Plugins