How to Properly Disable Google AMP in WordPress

Do you want to disable Google AMP in WordPress? Many bloggers and websites who jumped on the Google AMP bandwagon are now disabling it for different reasons. The challenge is that disabling Google AMP is not as simple as one would hope for. In this… Read More »

The post How to Properly Disable Google AMP in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to disable Google AMP in WordPress? Many bloggers and websites who jumped on the Google AMP bandwagon are now disabling it for different reasons. The challenge is that disabling Google AMP is not as simple as one would hope for. In this article, we will show you how to properly disable Google AMP in WordPress.

How to Properly Disable Google AMP

Why and Who Should Disable Google AMP in WordPress

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open source initiative with aim to make the web faster for mobile users and improve user experience.

It does so by serving pages with bare minimal HTML and JavaScript. This allows the content to be hosted on Google AMP Cache. Google can then serve this cached version to users instantly when they click on your link in the search results.

AMP pages appearing in Google search results

We shared our concerns and issues raised by other bloggers regarding AMP in our guide on how to set up Google AMP in WordPress.

Since then many website owners, influential bloggers, and online publications have stopped using AMP. Many of them shared the reasons behind their decision.

For example, Alex Kras wrote in great length about why he decided to disable AMP on his website.

He also shared what happened one month after he disabled Google AMP.

Traffic rate appears to stay roughly the same and all metrics appear to improve. To be fair, I did publish four new articles since I disabled AMP, so my numbers could have had a nice bump from the new content.

Here are some of the concerns shared by many influencers, bloggers, and developers.

Drastic Drop in Conversion Rates

AMP uses a restrictive set of HTML/JS. Site owners cannot do much about encouraging users to subscribe, fill out contact forms, or buy stuff.

Lower Pageviews by Mobile Users

AMP does not show your website’s navigation menus, sidebars, or other content discovery features. This causes significant drop in pageviews by mobile users.

In fact some user experience experts suggest that the close button on top actually encourages users to return back to Google search after reading your article instead of browsing your website.

Close button in AMP viewer on Android

Lower User Engagement

Many websites thrive on user interactions, like click to tweet widgets, user ratings, comments, and so on. Google AMP makes it quite difficult for website owners to keep users engaged and interact with their content.

Should You Disable Google AMP?

The answer to this question actually depends on your website. If mobile users make the majority of your audience, then you may still want to use AMP.

On the other hand, if you have tried Google AMP, and it has negatively affected your conversion rates, then you should probably disable Google AMP on your website.

Contrary to popular belief, Google does not penalize websites for not using AMP. You can still improve your website’s speed and performance on mobile to compete for mobile search audience.

Step 1. Disabling Google AMP in WordPress

There are a couple of WordPress plugins that allow you to add AMP support to your website. The basic settings remain the same regardless of what plugin you are using.

First thing you need to do is to deactivate the AMP plugin. Simply visit the plugins page and click on the deactivate link below AMP plugin.

Deactivate AMP

Deactivating the plugin will disable the AMP support on your website.

Step 2. Setting up Redirects

Disabling the AMP plugin will remove the AMP version of your articles from the website, but that alone is not enough specially if you have AMP turned on for more than a week.

There is a very good chance that Google already have those pages cached in their index, and it will keep showing those pages in search results.

To fix this problem, you need to redirect users coming to AMP pages to the regular non-AMP pages.

We will show you two different methods to set up redirects for Google AMP. You can choose the one that’s most convenient for you.

Method 1: Using a Redirect Plugin

First you will need to install and activate the Redirection plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Tools » Redirection page to set up redirects.

AMP Redirect

First, add the following code in the source URL field:

/(.*)\/amp

In the target URL field, you need to add your website’s URL in the following format:

http://example.com/$1

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your own domain name.

Now check the Regex checkbox and select Redirections under the Group drop down menu.

Finally click on the ‘Add Redirect’ button to save your changes.

You can now visit an AMP page on your website to see if the redirect is working properly.

Method 2: Manually Set Redirects in .htaccess

If you don’t want to use a plugin to setup redirects, then you can setup redirects using the .htaccess file on your WordPress hosting account.

First you will need to connect to your website using a FTP client or File Manager in cPanel. Once connected, you need to locate the .htaccess file in your website’s root folder and edit it.

Simply add the following code at the bottom of your .htaccess file:

// Redirect AMP to non-AMP 
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (.+)/amp(.*)$
RewriteRule ^ %1/ [R=301,L]

Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

You can now visit the AMP version of any post on your website to make sure that redirect is working as intended.

We hope this article helped you properly disable Google AMP in WordPress. You may also want to see our step by step ultimate WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Disable Google AMP in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Properly Setup Google AMP on Your WordPress Site

Do you want to setup Google AMP on your WordPress site? Accelerated mobile pages or AMP is a way to make your website load faster on mobile devices. Fast loading websites offer better user experience and can improve your traffic. In this article, we will… Read More »

The post How to Properly Setup Google AMP on Your WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to setup Google AMP on your WordPress site? Accelerated mobile pages or AMP is a way to make your website load faster on mobile devices. Fast loading websites offer better user experience and can improve your traffic. In this article, we will show you how to set up Google AMP in WordPress.

Google AMP for WordPress

What is Google AMP?

Google AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open source initiative supported by technology companies like Google and Twitter. The goal of the project is to make web content load faster for mobile users.

For many mobile users, reading on the web is often slow. Most content rich pages take several seconds to load despite all efforts taken by site owners to speed up their website.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in search and browser view

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP uses bare minimal HTML and limited Javascript. This allows the content to be hosted on Google AMP Cache. Google can then serve this cached version to users instantly when they click on your link in the search results.

It is very similar to Facebook Instant Articles. However, Instant Articles are limited only to Facebook’s platform, more specifically to their mobile app.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are platform-agnostic and can be used by any app, browser, or web viewer. Currently it is used by Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and others.

Pros and Cons of Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

SEO experts claim that Accelerated Mobile Pages will help you rank higher in Google, and it improves the user experience for mobile users on slow internet connections. However, they are several challenges for website owners, bloggers, and marketers.

AMP uses limited set of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This means you cannot add certain widgets and features to your mobile AMP website. This limits your ability to add smart email optin forms, facebook like boxes, and other dynamic scripts.

While Google AMP supports Google Analytics, it does not support many other analytics platforms. Same goes for advertising options which are limited to select few advertising platforms.

Despite its limitations, Google is pushing AMP pages by giving them a boost in mobile search.

If significant chunk of your traffic comes from mobile searches, then you may benefit from adding AMP support to improve and maintain your SEO.

Note: There have been a few complaints about Google AMP by bloggers.

First is by Alex Kras who claim that you can potentially lose mobile traffic if you enable Google AMP. Read the article thoroughly because that’s a huge problem, and despite what the Google Tech Lead for AMP project has said, there aren’t any good solutions that address the issue in our opinion.

Second is by Terrence Eden which highlights the difficulties of switching back from Google AMP should you change your mind in the future. We don’t believe this is a major issue because you can do a 301 redirect which several have pointed out in the comment section of his blog posts, but nonetheless it is something you need to think about.

For the reasons above, we are not switching WPBeginner to Google AMP just yet.

However since several of our readers asked about how to setup Google AMP in WordPress, we have created a step by step process on how to setup Accelerated Mobile Pages in WordPress.

Setting up Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the AMP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you can head over to Appearance » AMP page to see how your site looks on mobile devices using AMP.

Settings page for WordPress AMP plugin

You can change the header background and text color on this page. The header background color you choose will also be used for links.

The plugin will also use your site’s icon or logo if your theme supports it. See our guide on how to add a favicon or site icon in WordPress for detailed instructions.

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your changes.

You can now visit any single post on your website and add /amp/ at the end of the URL. Like this:

http://example.com/2016/10/my-blog-post/amp/

This will show you a stripped down AMP version of the same post.

AMP mobile preview

If you view the source code of the original post, you will find this line in the HTML:

<link rel="amphtml" href="http://example.com/2016/10/my-blog-post/amp/" />

This line tells search engines and other AMP consuming apps/services where to look for the AMP version of the page.

Troubleshooting:

If you see a 404 error when trying to view the amp version, then here is what you need to do.

Visit Settings » Permalinks page in your WordPress admin and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button. Remember, don’t change anything here, just press the save button. This will refresh your website’s permalink structure.

View Accelerated Mobile Pages in Google Search Console

Want to know how your Accelerated Mobile Pages are doing in Google Search? You can easily check this using the Google Search Console.

Log in to your Google Search Console dashboard and then click on Search Appearance » Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Accelerated mobile pages in Google Search Console

Don’t worry if you don’t see your AMP results right away. It may take a while for Google to index your Accelerated Mobile Pages and then show data in Search Console.

Extending and Customizing Your Accelerated Mobile Pages

The AMP plugin for WordPress comes with very limited customization options. However you can use some other WordPress plugins to add few more customizations.

If you are already using Yoast SEO, then you need to install and activate the Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP.

It is an add-on plugin for Yoast SEO and AMP plugins. Upon activation, you need to visit SEO » AMP page to configure plugin settings.

Yoast SEO AMP Addon

The plugin allows you to enable AMP support for other post types.

On the design tab, you can choose colors and design options. You can also upload a logo and a default header image which will be used when a post does not have its own featured image.

Design tab for AMP using Yoast AMP addon

You can switch to the Analytics tab to add your Google Analytics ID.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

There are many more plugins which will allow you to add related posts, footer widgets, and even social media icons to your AMP pages.

However, you need to make sure to validate your AMP pages after you install any addon plugins.

We hope this article, helped you learn how to set up Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 19 actionable tips to drive traffic to your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Setup Google AMP on Your WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.