How to activate and customize AMP on WordPress without modifying the code
Since Google announced the launch of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) on October 2015, many media have started offering their contents with this technology, which seems normal considering that the search results as offered on mobile devices already highlight the pages that use this standard.
Google has included a carousel on the upper part of the visible SERP on mobile devices. Here can not only appear media, but other sites that update their contents frequently.
Therefore, if you have a blog or any other webpage that offers updated content, AMP is interesting. This is particularly true if you use WordPress, CMs with its official plugin to provide accelerated contents and which, as we will now see, is dumb easy to configure.
Enable AMP on WordPress with the official plugin
Getting started with the plugin is as easy as installing and activating it. When it is enabled, you can access the AMP version of each entry adding /amp or ?amp=1 to the URL, depending on the structure of permalinks.
Contrary to what we can see on the web, it is not necessary (nor recommendable) to redirect the mobile traffic to the new versions of the entries created by AMP. The standard shows a very basic version of the content which must not be taken as a substitute of the mobile version. Google will take the accelerated content to show it on the news slider when the searches are made from mobile devices.
To know if Google takes into account the version of your site on AMP, you can check the indexation status of this kind of pages, as well as the existence of failures, if there are any, on Search Console, under “search aspect” contained in the new submenu “Accelerated Mobile Pages”.
Customize AMP on WordPress without altering code with analytics or advertising
The initial aspect of the pages that are auto-generated with the plugin is a very basic layout that may have nothing to do with the general layout of the theme that we are using. There are different options available to modify this aspect.
For experts, in the plugin repository there are multiple filters that can be included under the functions.php file in our WordPress template. We can modify aspects like the icon of the site, the featured image, the page CSS style or even the width of the texts shown.
However, if programming is not your strength, there are also some plugins to modify the appearance of the pages in AMP and which also add some extra functionalities such as giving support to the follow-up of analytics or including advertisements. And you need not touch the source code of the web at all.
A good example of this are “Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP” and “Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog”:
Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP
The first plugin is “Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP”, an extension of Yoast SEO that adds the Yoast plugin basic configuration functions for AMP, like changing the layout of the pages or the possibility to include the analytics tracking code.
Once installed, the plugin will add a new option for Yoast SEO called AMP, from which we can manage all its functionalities.
Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog
This may be the most complete graphic option, if it also is more complex than the other one due to the amount of functionalities it incorporates. The plugin does not only have multiple customizing options, but it also allows to add different tracking codes for analytics, and more importantly, you can add advertisements from different platforms (like AdSense) to the pages generated with AMP.
In addition to the functions for AMP, with the plugin of PageFrog you can customize Facebook Instant Articles and even Apple News in case it was available in your country. If you are looking for a solution for the different platforms, this is surely the best option.
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