What Is AMP?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open source initiative from Google that makes it easy for content publishers and developers to create mobile-friendly content once and have it load almost instantly everywhere. AMP allows for the flexibility to create AMP pages as well as leave some page as traditional responsive. The determination would be based on the functionality and content of the site.
How to Implement AMP Pages in WordPress
AMPforWP plugin allows for the most flexibility when it comes to being able to manage the various settings associated with the AMP setup. AMPforWP has a free version, but I opted to subscribe to the yearly membership at $149 per year. I wanted seamless integration between Gravity Forms and ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) that is provided as part of the membership.
Planing for a Strategy to Implement AMP
This article is assuming that your website is utilizing the WordPress CMS. The first thing you will want to do is analyze the different page layouts or page templates. The greater the number of page templates , the more involved the design/ development process will be. Even using a page builder will require thought to make sure the pages render in a way that will continue to convert. In many cases you can opt to set the page to render as a “non-AMP” page. This is easily done in the settings within AMPforWP.
Planning for Cost
I estimate a full AMP setup with customs designs could be in the ballpark of 75% of the original build This will be one of the biggest arguments against an AMP implementation. A web / marketing agency will be able to reuse page templates / code to create layouts that makes sense and will convert based on the category type of client. I estimate a hybrid custom AMP design implementation to be in the ballpark starting at 10 hours.
Arguments for an AMP Mobile Implementation
This technology is coming from Google and is here to stay. The two major benefits to an AMP implementation will be page speed load and control of the content that is rendered on the mobile device. Publishers of news type content will see the biggest benefit. Publishers have the opportunity to have AMP content placed as unique AMP listings within the top stories section. Another argument for an AMP mobile implementation will be the reduced burden on the server. In my 10 years of web development and another five as a server engineer I can count only a handful of times where this would have tangible benefits.
Arguments Against an AMP Mobile Implementation
The biggest argument against setting up your website within AMP will be the cost. If you are a web / marketing agency that has just sold a responsive website for $3500 to a plumber, it is going to be a hard sell to get him to fork out another $2000 + for the AMP version of the website. Over time an agency should be able to continue to reduce the development time , but there is still an increased cost associated with AMP.