Before I dive into the actual steps to making your website AMP compliant, let’s take a look at what AMP exactly means.
For quite some time now, Google has been emphasizing that mobile users are dominating desktop users. And in turn, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing – they would be giving mobile-friendly websites precedence over their non-mobile friendly counterparts.
Not too long ago, mobile friendly just meant responsive, fast, and capable of being UX friendly for those on mobile devices. So, if your site was responsive, could load fast, and looked nice on a mobile device, it would be considered mobile compliant.
That was and is still true for the most part.
But Google has rolled out what’s known as AMP standards for websites quite some time ago.
If you’ve never heard of this before then your slow to the punch!
But don’t worry because I’ll show you how to make your website AMP compliant in less than 5 minutes.
So, what is AMP?
AMP is basically a standard that enforces quick load times and clean design for mobile users.
Traditionally, this would mean that you would have to pay someone to change the code of your site, which could be costly, buggy, or time-consuming. With that said, many AMP plugins have become available that will do the job for you. Since the AMP standards are strict and standardized, the plugins out there today work quite well. The plugins essentially output your sites code in AMP format as soon as a mobile user clicks on your page so that they receive the AMP version.
For this tutorial, I’m going to use my favorite AMP plugin – AMPforWP.
Making Your WP Website AMP Compliant
1. Download and install AMPforWP
First, go to AMPForWP on WP by searching up AMP or just go to their site and install it manually here.
Follow the plugins installation guide. It will ask you things like how you want the header to look, what plugins you have, what pages should be AMP compliant, etc. Let’s see step two for a more in-depth look at how to setup AMPforWP
2. Follow their setup guide
After you install it, you’ll go through a setup guide that asks you a bunch of questions. Here’s a step by step look at how to setup your AMP to get the most out of the plugin:
First, you’ll want to make sure that all of your relevant pages have AMP support, as shown here:
As you can see, you can specify a custom front page and even have archives be AMP friendly. Personally, I chose not to have those as my archives are nofollow and most archives are never visited anyways. AMP Takeover is not recommended as it is still in beta. It essentially makes your whole site AMP, which is not necessary to begin with. The most important ones you should enable at a minimum are the posts, pages, and your homepage.
Next, you may want to add a custom meta description or header section for your AMP page. As you can see below, I didn’t bother as I found the head section for my site to be fine the way it was.
If you have an SEO plugin like Yoast make sure you enable it! Check below to see how.
The last important settings you need to check is the contact page compatibility. AMPforWP supports contact form 7 and gravity forms. So if you use either of those make sure you enable them like below.
AMPforWP has a bunch of other settings that you can change after their setup guide. Those are less essential and just gives the plugin more functionality in case you want it. For example, you can specify ads in AMP, add your GA code, etc.
If you have any questions about other settings, visit their FAQ. It’s comprehensive and explains everything in detail (use the search function!)
3. Tell Google about your AMP site
That’s it! Your site should now be AMP compliant. To check, go to a page on your site and add “/amp” at the end of it. If it loads up, then your set.
However, there are still a few things you should do to make sure everything is running smoothly. Go to your Google search console and click on Search Appearance → Accelerated Mobile Pages. This page shows you if there are any AMP errors on your site. If there are any AMP issues, Google will tell you exactly what pages have errors and what those errors are.
4. Wait a few days to let your site index
It will take some time for your AMP site to get indexed so make sure you check on your Google search console to make sure it’s getting indexed. If you want to check if the sites AMP has any issues right now, you can go to Google’s AMP test and put in some of the pages of your website.
5. Troubleshoot any remaining issues
If your website gets indexed but Google is telling you that you have AMP issues, it is likely because of a theme or plugin clash with AMPForWP.
Here’s the best way to resolve this:
- Remove every single one of your plugins except for AMPforWP
- Check if the errors are still there
If they are, it’s likely a theme issue. If it is a theme issue, contact their support and confirm with them if it’s a theme issue or it’s a plugin issue. If it is a plugin clashing with AMPforWP, then you’ll have to identify which one it is and then live without it or find an alternative (I had this issue with one of my sites). IMO, it’s worth the sacrifice.
That’s it! Make your WordPress site AMP compliant now. Seriously, right now. Your SEO depends on it.
Author: Brendan, owner of techno-data-solutions.com, a site dedicated to helping other bloggers succeed.