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Why I Disabled AMP On My Website

Why I Disabled AMP On My Website

Just because we have a new technology, doesn’t mean we all need to scramble on to it. Or more precisely, we should try out everything, and choose to keep what works. Discard the rest. For years now, Google has been pushing AMP for websites to display on mobile phones we did signed up for it all this while. But we have now decided to disable AMP for good on some client sites. This are some of our reasoning behind it that decision.

 

Slow Gutenberg Editing and Preview – Thanks Quarantine!

For a while now, I knew that something was wrong on some of our clients sites. It loaded fine but editing posts in the WordPress Gutenberg editor was painfully slow. more often it takes a full 30 seconds for even a slight update to any post or page and sometimes the preview functionality was so broken as to be completely unusable. It often take up to a minute for the preview to show!

Strangely our clients had gotten used to it but requested that we look at their site as part of a periodic review and debug the site. And the culprit was the official AMP for WordPress plugin.

After failing to find the cause using any “debug queries” plugin, we decided to go the old-fashioned way by creating a staging environment for the site WP-Tweaks and started with the most obvious culprit – Jetpack. To my surprise, Jetpack wasn’t it! Neither was it iThemes – a security plugin. So we started moving more and more systematically until we isolated the flaw – AMP for WordPress.

This is not to knock AMP itself. It could just be a flaw with the particular plugin. Or perhaps it was some deeper issue on the site that was causing some weird interaction. Either way, it made us re-evaluate the benefits of AMP to see if we really wanted to keep it by using some other plugin instead.

 

Javascript Breaking on AMP Pages

We rely on a few JavaScript snippets to enhance the CTA’s. Like automatically copying some text. With AMP, all of this is stripped, and the CTAs looses that extra “oomph”. Yes, we aware that there are ways to restructure the JavaScript so that it can be included in AMP pages, but honestly, it’s not worth the hassle.

Another area where this is a problem is on the Table of Contents sections. We use a plugin that utilises JavaScript to scan the headlines of my post and create a TOC. On AMP pages, this plugin fails, and we are left with a blank content section in place of the TOC itself. Small annoyances like this work against AMP, even though I understand the reasons behind the restrictions.

As far as JavaScript goes, you’ll be surprised at how much JavaScript even ordinary pages use. You don’t need a complex, flashy website with sophisticated functionality. Even relatively static and banal pages can use JavaScript that performs essential functions.

 

The Most Valuable Traffic of this Website is Desktop Based

This websites customer base has mostly desktop users hence  most of the conversions happen on a desktop. Because of this, AMP is less valuable. Now I realise this isn’t the case for everyone, but it should be something you consider when making a decision.

 

My Page Load Speed is Pretty Decent Already

For the most part, We’ve done everything to ensure a fast page loading experience and know we made the best compromise between speed and utility and happy with it as it stands. As a result, we can forgo the benefits of AMP without impacting the site too much!

After all, that’s the true purpose of AMP isn’t it? If you’re confident that your page loads reasonably fast, what else do you need? Using a hosting provider like GTG means a faster experience so really not needed at the moment.

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