What is AMP and How does it work?

What is AMP?
AMP is a way to build web pages for static content that render fast. AMP in action consists of three different parts:

AMP HTML is HTML with some restrictions for reliable performance and some extensions for building rich content beyond basic HTML. The AMP JS library ensures the fast rendering of AMP HTML pages. The Google AMP Cache can be used to serve cached AMP HTML pages.

AMP HTML is basically HTML extended with custom AMP properties. 

The AMP JS library implements all of AMP's best performance practices, manages resource loading and gives you the custom tags mentioned above, all to ensure a fast rendering of your page.

Among the biggest optimizations is the fact that it makes everything that comes from external resources asynchronous, so nothing in the page can block anything from rendering.

Other performance techniques include the sandboxing of all iframes, the pre-calculation of the layout of every element on page before resources are loaded and the disabling of slow CSS selectors.

Google AMP Cache
The Google AMP Cache is a proxy-based content delivery network for delivering all valid AMP documents. It fetches AMP HTML pages, caches them, and improves page performance automatically. When using the Google AMP Cache, the document, all JS files and all images load from the same origin that is using HTTP 2.0 for maximum efficiency.

The cache also comes with a built-in validation system which confirms that the page is guaranteed to work, and that it doesn't depend on external resources. The validation system runs a series of assertions confirming the page’s markup meets the AMP HTML specification.

How does AMP work?
AMP pages can’t include any author-written JavaScript. Instead of using JavaScript, interactive page features are handled in custom AMP elements. The custom AMP elements may have JavaScript under the hood, but they’re carefully designed to make sure they don’t cause performance degradation.

External resources such as images, ads or iframes must state their size in the HTML so that AMP can determine each element’s size and position before resources are downloaded. AMP loads the layout of the page without waiting for any resources to download.

AMP uncouples document layout from resource layout. Only one HTTP request is needed to layout the entire doc (+fonts). Since AMP is optimized to avoid expensive style recalculations and layouts in the browser, there won’t be any re-layout when resources load.

AMP doesn’t let extension mechanisms block page rendering. AMP supports extensions for things like lightboxes, instagram embeds, tweets, etc. While these require additional HTTP requests, those requests do not block page layout and rendering.

AMP pages allow third-party JavaScript but only in sandboxed iframes. By restricting them to iframes, they can’t block the execution of the main page. Even if they trigger multiple style re-calculations, their tiny iframes have very little DOM.

CSS blocks all rendering, it blocks page load, and it tends to get bloated. In AMP HTML pages, only inline styles are allowed. This removes 1 or often more HTTP requests from the critical rendering path compared to most web pages.

The AMP system declares zero HTTP requests until fonts start downloading. This is only possible because all JS in AMP has the async attribute and only inline style sheets are allowed; there’s no HTTP requests blocking the browser from downloading fonts.

In AMP pages, all DOM reads happen first before all the writes. This ensures there’s the max of one recalc of styles per frame.
The rules for animation-related CSS ensure that animations can be GPU-accelerated. Specifically, AMP only allows animating and transitioning on transform and opacity so that page layout isn’t required. 
AMP controls all resource downloads: it prioritizes resource loading, loading only what’s needed, and prefetches lazy-loaded resources.

When AMP downloads resources, it optimizes downloads so that the currently most important resources are downloaded first. Images and ads are only downloaded if they are likely to be seen by the user, above the fold, or if the user is likely to quickly scroll to them.

Courtesy of AMPProject

Need help with AMP for your website? LWEBG can help!


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