AMP or No AMP? The Need for Speed





Blog Date

June 3, 2024


UK, Manchester

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AMP or No AMP? The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed in the Digital Age

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where milliseconds can make or break a website’s success, the question of whether to embrace Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or not has become a hotly debated topic. As the founder and CEO of Manchester SEO, a leading search engine optimization agency in the UK, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of website speed on user experience and search engine rankings.

The AMP Promise: Faster, Leaner, and More Efficient?

When Google introduced AMP in 2015, the promise was clear: a faster, leaner, and more efficient way to deliver content on mobile devices. The idea behind AMP was to create a stripped-down version of a webpage, optimized for lightning-fast loading times, with the goal of improving user experience and boosting search engine performance.

The Reality Check: Uncovering the Tradeoffs

However, as our team at Manchester SEO dug deeper into the world of AMP, we uncovered some surprising insights. While AMP undoubtedly delivers on its promise of speed for individual pages, the real-world implications for website performance and scalability can be more complex.

One of our clients, a data analytics company, had a similar experience. They enabled AMP on their Alteryx Server and migrated the majority of their workflows to use the AMP engine. However, instead of the promised “significant performance and efficiency improvements,” they experienced a dramatic decrease in overall server performance.

The Parallel Processing Conundrum

The root of the problem, as our client discovered, lies in the way AMP utilizes system resources. While AMP can dramatically improve the performance of a single workflow, it doesn’t necessarily scale well when it comes to running multiple workflows in parallel. The AMP engine’s heavy reliance on multi-threading can actually limit the number of concurrent jobs that can be executed effectively, resulting in a significant slowdown compared to the original engine.

Balancing Performance and Scalability

This tradeoff between individual workflow performance and overall system scalability is a critical factor to consider when deciding whether to implement AMP. As the example with the data analytics company demonstrated, even with a powerful 10-core server, they experienced a 50% decrease in overall performance when running five workflows simultaneously using AMP, compared to the original engine.

The Importance of Proper Configuration and Resource Allocation

To unlock the full potential of AMP, it’s essential to configure your system resources properly. The Alteryx Server documentation suggests that AMP performs best when you can dedicate 6-8 logical cores and at least 8 GB of RAM to each simultaneous job. This means that to truly benefit from AMP’s performance improvements, you may need to significantly increase your server’s CPU and memory resources, which can quickly become a costly endeavor.

The Verdict: Weighing the Pros and Cons

So, where does this leave us in the AMP vs. No AMP debate? The answer, as is often the case, lies in finding the right balance between the competing priorities of speed, scalability, and cost.

For websites with a heavy focus on content delivery, where individual page load times are paramount, AMP can be a game-changer. The speed and efficiency it offers can directly translate into improved user experience, increased engagement, and better search engine rankings.

However, for websites with complex, data-driven applications or the need to run multiple processes in parallel, the trade-offs of AMP may outweigh the benefits. The potential performance degradation and the significant investment required in server resources could make a traditional, non-AMP approach a more viable option.

The Path Forward: Choosing Wisely, Measuring Carefully

Ultimately, the decision to adopt AMP or not should be based on a thorough understanding of your website’s specific needs, user behavior, and the available resources. At Manchester SEO, we work closely with our clients to analyze their requirements, test different configurations, and measure the real-world impact on performance, scalability, and cost.

By taking a data-driven approach and staying vigilant to the evolving landscape of web technologies, we can help our clients navigate the AMP or No AMP conundrum and achieve the perfect balance of speed, efficiency, and scalability for their digital presence. After all, in the race for online success, the need for speed is undeniable, but it’s crucial to choose the right path to get there.

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