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AMP: Can we make the web fast again?

Ever wondered what the web would be like if every site just gave you the content, without the clutter, in an easy to read format? Many of you may use the “Reader” mode on the Safari browser (how did I live without it?). Others – like me – may use RSS readers and lament the fact that this technology didn’t become the default for reading web pages. All of you may approve of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) Project.

This open source initiative, being pushed by Google, describes itself as follows:

“Today, the expectation is that content should load super fast and be easy to explore. The reality is that content can take several seconds to load, or, because the user abandons the slow page, never fully loads at all. Accelerated Mobile Pages are web pages designed to load instantaneously – they are a step towards a better mobile web for all.

“Accelerated Mobile Pages are just like any other HTML page, but with a limited set of allowed technical functionality that is defined and governed by the open source AMP spec. Just like all web pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages will load in any modern browser or app webview. AMP files take advantage of various technical and architectural approaches that prioritize speed to provide a faster experience for users. The goal is not to homogenize how content looks and feels, but instead to build a more common technical core between pages that speeds up load times.”

So, for example, we’ve now provided AMP versions of the posts on this blog, which you can access by adding /amp/ on the end of the URL, like this:

While this is not currently a critical development for standard product websites, there’s a lot in it for news sites, and perhaps for your own news or blog pages. It’s worth doing some reading around the subject. This introductory video is worth a watch, as is this one.

Your website developers, if you’re close to them, might like to read some technical articles like this one.

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