What are accelerated mobile pages, and what do they mean for you?
Mobile browsing has become the platform of choice for the majority of web users. As of July 2015, 51%of all browsing in the United States was done from smart phones, and tablet. Desktop comprised 42%of usage and all other sources combined accounted for the final 7%(including Smart TVs and other connected devices). Source
Most people have been aware of the trend at some level and responsive site design has been best practice for years now. Designing a site which is both functional and beautiful on a wide array of screen sizes and resolutions has helped make sure people are able to view your site using their preferred device.
Despite building pages intended to work well with mobile devices, performance has not always been ideal. Delays in page loading times affect the user experience, and users are quick to back out if there is even a small amount of lag when bringing up a webpage. This situation has led to the formation of The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project.
The consortium is a veritable who’s who of technology and publishing companies. From tech giants like Google, Twitter and WordPress to content powerhouses like Time, BBC and the New York Times, the list is truly impressive.
The goal is simple, to create mobile optimized content once, which can be delivered nearly instantaneously to the mobile user. Further, the framework is open source and uses existing web technologies.
The main pillars of the focus are as follows:
- Rich content delivered using a shared technology framework
- Initial technical specifications released and made available on GitHub
- Google will be opening up their high performance cache servers to the world free of charge
- Content providers will still host and control their existing content, but with the added benefit of Google’s exceptionally high performance cache of websites
- For sites which depend on advertising revenue to deliver free services content providers will still have their choice of advertising networks
- Paywalls and subscription services will also be natively supported
Look for some exciting things to come from this new initiative. The prospect of a web experience free from lag with imperceptibly fast loading times is benefit to all mobile web users. MoonSoar will be closely following and participating in development as the new AMP technology matures.