WPWeekly Episode 309 – All AMPed Up

WPCampus Scheduled for July 12-14 in St. Louis, MO

In this episode, I’m joined by Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate working with the Web Content Ecosystems Team at Google, and Weston Ruter, CTO of XWP. We have a candid conversation about Google’s AMP Project. We start by learning why the project was created, what its main goal is, and the technology behind it.

We also dive into some of the controversy surrounding the project by discussing whether or not AMP is a threat to the Open Web. Medina and Ruter provide insight into AMP’s transformation from focusing on the mobile web to providing a great user experience across the entire web. Last but not least, we learn about the relationship between Automattic, XWP, and the AMP team and how it’s helping to shape the future of the project.

Notable Links Mentioned:

AMP for WordPress Plugin
AMP for WordPress GitHub Repository
AMP GitHub Repository
Video presentation from AMP Conf 2018 showcasing the work that’s gone into the AMP for WordPress plugin
Official blog post outlining the future of the AMP Project

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, March 28th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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WPWeekly Episode 308 – Wildcard SSL Certificates For All

WPWeekly Episode 296 – Gutenberg, Telemetry, Calypso, and More With Matt Mullenweg

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week including the results from the 2018 Stack Overflow survey, Tech Crunch’s rebuild, and Let’s Encrypt adding support for wildcard certificates. We also talk about Google working towards AMP or parts of it becoming official web standards. I ranted about how the mobile experience on the web sucks, and we end the show with some event news.

Stories Discussed:

Stack Overflow Survey Respondents Still Rank WordPress Among the Most Dreadful Platforms
Inside Google’s plan to make the whole web as fast as AMP
ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live
TechCrunch rebuilt using the REST API
WPCampus Scheduled for July 12-14 in St. Louis, MO

Picks of the Week:

Designing Themes with Gutenberg Blocks and Sketch

DDJ-1000 The 4-channel professional performance DJ controller for rekordbox dj

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, March 21st 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #308:

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WPWeekly Episode 306 – AMP, GDPR, and Brewing Beer At The Boss’ House

WPWeekly Episode 296 – Gutenberg, Telemetry, Calypso, and More With Matt Mullenweg

In this episode, John James Jacoby joins me live from Hutchinson, KS, to talk about the news of the week. We started off the show discussing the GDPR and the number of things that need to be considered surrounding the right to be forgotten.

We also have a lengthy conversation about AMP, the open web, and Automattic’s relationship with Google. Last but not least, we discussed Automattic’s recent hiring of Kinsey Wilson to be president of the company.

Stories Discussed:

Matt Cromwell Hosts Matt Mullenweg in Q&A Gutenberg Interview
New Team Forms to Facilitate GDPR Compliance in WordPress Core
For one-time NPR and NYT digital chief, a new adventure: WordPress

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, March 7th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Doc Pop’s News Drop: Is Google’s AMP bad for WordPress?

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Is Google’s AMP bad for WordPress?

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

In this week’s News Drop, Doc talks about the AMP Letter, an easy accusing Google of anti-competitive practices.

While Google AMP speeds up loading times on articles found via Google mobile searches, some developers are worried that Google is creating a walled garden. Either “opt in” to AMP or take a hit in mobile search results. What do you think?

Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

Even if you’ve never heard of it, there’s a good chance that you’ve viewed a Google AMP article. Especially if you are heavy user of the mobile web.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is an open source framework that developers can use to create fast loading pages with static content.

To speed up loading times, AMP strips away javascript (and third party services) and stores a version of your website in Google’s cloud.

So basically, AMP is a diet version of your site that Google displays to viewers during a mobile search.

Studies show that users have a 40% drop off rate after waiting more than 3 seconds for a page to load. Now most web developers aren’t intentionally trying to slow down their sites, but they are trying to monetize their users as best that can. So while they may be optimizing images and loading times, they may also install ad services, pop ups, and other third party plugins to take full advantage of what users they may have.

While some developers love AMPs benefits, others see AMP as a potential threat to the open web.

Recently, a group of web developers published The AMPletter, an essay accusing Google of engaging in anti-competitive tactics and propossing solutions on how to improve the Accelerated Mobile Pages project.

You can view it on ampletter.org

The big issues that these developers see are:

Google should not give sites that use AMP preferential treatment over all other results.

And

Whenever a user navigates from Google to a piece of content, they are, unwittingly, remaining within Google’s ecosystem.

To address these issues, the AMPletter proposes two big changes:

1) Instead of granting AMP articles premium placement in search results, provide the same perks to all pages that meet an objective performance criterion, such as a Speed Index.

2) Don’t display third-party content within a Google page unless it is clear to the user that they are looking at a Google product.

In other words, it’s not acceptable to display a page from a third party website on a Google URL. Nor is acceptable to require that third party to use Google’s hosting in order to appear in search results.

Now to that last point, Google has announced that AMP pages will now appear under publishers’ URLs instead of the google.com/amp URL. This announcement came on the same day that the AMPletter was published, but it’s unclear if that’s just a coincidence or a direct result.

If you are WordPress developer looking to take advantage of AMP there are several plugins out there. And if you are a developer who is interested in signing the AMPletter, can make a pull request on Github and add your signature.

Some of my publishing friends love how AMP has improved loading times from mobile traffic, but I’m concerned that AMP might just be another walled garden, similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles. Both Google and Facebook benefit from keeping traffic on their own pages rather than sending them to external websites, and I think that’s a reason to be concerned.

But I’d like to know what you think. Do the benefits that AMP gives to consumers outway the cons, or is it dangerous for developers to give even more control to one of the web’s most influential companies. Let us know in the comments below and as always, thanks for liking and subscribing to our weekly WordPress news drop.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: Is Google’s AMP bad for WordPress? appeared first on Torque.



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