The world’s most popular WordPress theme framework, Genesis, just got a whole lot more powerful.
Genesis is already used by more than 600,000 WordPress sites because it comes with the security, design, layout, SEO, and performance features needed to power a professional website.
Today, WP Engine is releasing Genesis 3.0, the latest version of the Genesis Framework, which builds on all of those great features and doubles down on a pain point that continues to pose a challenge: the mobile device user experience (UX).
The Trouble with Mobile UX
In 2018, 58% of web traffic came from mobile devices, while the average mobile bounce rate was 50%. More people are visiting websites on their mobile devices but performance issues and bad user experiences are causing them to flee, quickly. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project is a publishing format created by Google to tackle that challenge head-on and enhance site performance for mobile website users. AMP pages are specially designed for search users to quickly load website pages without using any extraneous or unnecessary data.
At its core, AMP began in response to the negative effect monetization was having on many websites, including excess ads resulting in displaced content, slow load times, and bad overall user experience. AMP works via three core components: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache. AMP HTML is a restricted subset of HTML that enables the HTML to work better with AMP JS and AMP Cache, resulting in a fast and efficient mobile experience.
A Trajectory of Success
Within the first two years of its launch (2015-2017), AMP grew from a select few domains and web pages to more than 25 million domains publishing more than 4 billion AMP pages. During this initial period, AMP was primarily used by publishers to speed up page load times, improve retention, and increase page views. Sites like The Washington Post, which now publishes more than 1,000 articles using AMP every day, saw a 23% increase in mobile users who return within seven days.
AMP’s ability to increase page views is undeniable. In recent years, the project has evolved to include brands in many other ways. Today, leveraging AMP is essential for lead generation and revenue growth, because, in addition to faster load times, AMP sites see better SERP (Search Engine Results Page) benefits. AMP caching, which “prefetches” your website from the Google search engine, delivers near-instant page load times! In June 2018, Google began testing the AMP lightning bolt on mobile search ads and today, a significant amount of top paid search results include AMP pages.
Merging AMP Into Genesis Core
Genesis 3.0 brings AMP functionality directly into Genesis core, making it easier for developers to build AMP compatible themes and sites with Genesis. By bringing this functionality into the Genesis Framework, sites see faster load times, better SERP (Search Engine Results Page) benefits, and the benefits of AMP caching on mobile. Previously, AMP could be utilized in Genesis via third-party apps and plugins. By merging AMP functionality into Genesis 3.0, Genesis users can now use the powerful theme framework as a one-stop-shop for incorporating AMP in their sites.
Start Enjoying All The Benefits of AMP in Genesis 3.0 and via Atomic Blocks
Speed up development time, customize your mobile and desktop experiences, and increase mobile satisfaction with Genesis 3.0 + AMP. When using Genesis 3.0, customers will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the Genesis framework plus a convenient, easy-to-use tool for adding AMP to any page.
In addition to the AMP tool within the framework, Genesis users can also experiment with AMP using specialized themes. We will be incorporating AMP-functionality into the Genesis Sample Theme (free with all Genesis purchases) and the Essence Pro Theme. Finally, Atomic Blocks, which is a beautiful collection of page-building blocks designed for the new WordPress post editor, is now AMP-ready.