To AMP or not to AMP: Or How to Succeed with WordPress

I am often asked why I advocate for AMP in general, and AMP in WordPress in particular. Beyond my advocacy work, the actual question should be: do I, as a content publisher, or site owner, or developer, need AMP to power my WordPress site? The literal and very short answer is: no.  I don’t need AMP for the sake of AMP. Instead, what I need is to be able to succeed with my web content strategy. Thus, the fundamental question is:

What does it take to succeed as a WordPress publisher?

Succeeding as a WordPress publisher entails many things, including:

  1. Deep knowledge of our audience
  2. Ongoing creative flow of timely and engaging content
  3. Effective discoverability via outstanding SEO and strategic amplification of our content
  4. Predictably high-performance. UX is super importance for successful content strategies, and UX is directly related to the performance. Therefore, our content needs to be served with consistently high-performance to all our users, everywhere, on every device, under challenging network conditions, all (or almost all) the time.
  5. Measuring their behavior and the performance of our content as perceived by users in the wild
  6. Sustainable monetization strategies. Without revenue the other goals are virtually unattainable  

Phew! That’s a lot. And there are still more hurdles to overcome.

How much does all this cost?

Achieving all these goals costs quite a bit of money. There is a full economy thriving on satisfying the needs of users on each of the above topics:

  • There are folks and companies that specialize in doing user and market research (1)
  • Content creators, be at companies/organization or individuals, invest quite a bit of resources on creating awesome content (2)
  • There are companies and an army of individual entrepreneurs that specialize on the area of discoverability via SEO and marketing (3)
  • Highly-skilled (and expensive) Software Engineers offer their services to squeeze performance out of sites (4)
  • There are lots of products for addressing the need of measuring the performance of content via analytics solutions (5)
  • There are what it seems as zillions of monetization options, Ad types, ad networks, ad exchanges, etc. (6)

Thus, achieving the requirements for our success as publishers, we have two options. We can either: hire help on some or all these dimensions, or do the work ourselves.

How do I go about achieving this?

The first option requires capital. Depending on our site characteristic and goals, the investment level may be significant. If we don’t have the money to invest, the situation is kind of difficult since we cannot monetize our site yet because we need to have all the above elements going our way to get the needed revenue. We may be able to cover the costs for some of the aspects (e.g. getting an awesome SEO plugin), but some tasks are left for us to tackle them. We are left with one option, achieve the goals above ourselves.

Let’s stop this post here and think about this for a bit. Remember: we are not discussing yet using or not using AMP; we just want to answer: how do we go about addressing some or all of the aforementioned elements of success for web content creators and publishers to have a real shot at achieving them. We will follow the discussion in upcoming posts.

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