Will AMP HTML Replace Responsive Web Development?

Why AMP HTML Pages Won’t Replace Responsive Website Pages

Boy oh boy, if you look at the changes that Google is looking for website owners to make in 2016, you might just wet the bed every night knowing you have to ask for more web dev budget from you clients. Examples:

_ Moving from HTTP to HTTPS
_ Working HTTP2 into your web dev strategies
_ Creating AMP HTML pages for lightening quick mobile loading of content

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What is AMP HTML?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Page. At its core, it’s a stripped down version of HTML (with less inclusion of your own Javascript and limited CSS) that makes pages load super quickly on a mobile device.

Google loves to rank websites that load quickly — this is especially true for mobile pages. And because Google is all about great user experiences, the faster you can get a page to load, the idea is that quick loading AMP pages are going to make your visitors happier.

Though, in early 2015, Google placed a huge emphasis on making site responsive. Remember Mobilegeddon!?

Does AMP Replace Responsive?

First of all, AMP (while getting a hefty push from Google) is still in its infancy stages. This is not to say it won’t be quickly adopted, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Ugh, that’s a terrible saying.

Here’s why I don’t think you should adopt AMP as the only system for content delivery:

AMP and its stripped down HTML is a little limiting and the user experience that straight HTML and responsive websites are still a super viable way of delivering a useful, valuable experience.
There are other channels by which you’ll serve your website content. And these channels don’t all beg for AMP:

_ Um, desktop is not dead!
_ Email Marketing via mobile is just fine by serving responsive pages
_ Various tablet sizes (being generally larger than a phone) are still mobile, but might not be as visually stimulating with AMP stripped down HTML
_ Multi-device browsing (again referencing desktop) doesn’t always require a fast loading AMP page — especially when it comes to large-item eCommerce decisions. Larger items are often viewed and purchased via a desktop machine.

While I’m a firm believer in the need for AMP, you also have to understand that it isn’t yet ‘industry standard’. It’s more of a strong suggestion based on the hope that it will be widely adopted. So instead of skipping responsive design and development and stopping everything down to increase speed, my strong suggestion (if client budgets allow), is to keep your responsive sites and their updates, but do offer AMP developed pages. Think of it as another strong avenue for increasing visitor satisfaction, while serving multiple versions based on screen and actual need.

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