Once again we participated in this year JandBeyond edition, and what an edition it was! This time, the Joomla! crowd of more than 200 gathered in sunny Barcelona.
As usual, the event spans 3 days, with a fairly busy schedule of talks and keynotes, but it also leaves plenty of times for discussions and informal meetings - most of times with plenty of food an drinks availables! There are 4 synchronized tracks, meaning you can switch from one to another at any time. I'll get back to the programme in a minute, but this time, something happened that made this year very, very special:
wbAMP was selected as Joomla!
innovation of the year!
A regular fixture at JandBeyond is the J.O.S.C.A.R.S. event. Attendees pick the finest extensions, templates, sites or services of the year. This year recipients include such famous Joomla names as Akeeba Backup, AcyMailing, Gantry and individuals such as Brian Teeman, Radek Suski or Jean-Marie Simonet. But as they put it on the internet, you won't believe what happened next...
Quick note, just back from travelling to Paris for this year JoomlaDay France, where I had a chance to present how Google Accelerated Mobile Pages can be implemented on a Joomla site.
The nice location, downtown Paris, was packed with an attendance of nearly 200 (keynote image), and gathered French-speaking Joomla! enthusiasts from France, Belgium, Switzerland and Sénégal. Kudos to Afuj, the French-language Joomla User Association for putting this event together again.
This is just a quick update on changes we brought to weeblr.com in the last few days: a new download page for development versions of our products, and the discontinuation of our bundle plan.
New development versions download area
This new page is visible to all our subscribers and can be accessed from the user menu:
We will publish on that page the current development versions of our extensions, as long as we think they are stable enough to be offered for download. Each record also includes the changelog for that version since the last publicly released version, allowing you to decide if you want to give it a go.
The ability to download development version will give our subscribers early access to bug fixes or new features for testing and feedback. We previously were using temporary downloads from cloud storage, but the being able to push development versions directly on the site makes it easy for you and us to get frequently updated software.
Since last week public release of wbAMP, we have been working very hard to iron out the issues reported by our users, but also to bring in new features and refine existing ones. Today, we are releasing wbAMP version 1.1. The full changelog for this release can be found in the documentation section, but there are a few things I'd like to outline here that may be useful if (when?) you start implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages on your site.
Select your content
Validate before you submit
The short story: AMP pages are designed to be used by Google in their search results. That's their selling point to site owners. And Google will only accept pages that validates against the AMP specification. So if you spend any time on adding AMP to yoursite, be sure that your pages are valid, otherwise this will be mostly wasted efforts.
Validation is described on this page of our documentation, and includes 2 steps:
- a syntax validation, which can be tested in the Chome browser (and there are already services popping-up to help you with that)
- a more thorough Structured data validation, using Google own testing tool
wbAMP in its latest release will pretty much ensure that you get syntax validation automatically, though you may have to manually adjust a few things, especially if you want your AMP page to have a different content than your regular site HTML pages.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are now showing on many occasions in Google mobile search results, and are really delivering on instantly displaying web pages. Not only that, but as can be seen on the above screenshot, they take a very prominent spot in the search results. As outlined by some, even if AMP is not a ranking factor yet, simply being one of the results on this cards is enough to justify going AMP! And did I say those pages display instantly!
And so, after last week release of the Community edition of wbAMP, I am pleased today to announce the availability of wbAMP full edition.
Like the Community edition, wbAMP generates automatically an Accelerated Mobile Pages version of pages you choose on your site, by converting HTML on the fly to the AMP specification. But with it you'll also get much more control on the content of your AMP pages, with features such as:
- Custom embed tags for full control of media embedding (Youtube, Tweet, Facebook, Instagram,..)
- Analytics: Google Analytics for your AMP pages
- Social buttons: insert static versions of usual social sharing buttons, suitable for AMP pages + Analytics connector
- Use standard Joomla! custom HTML modules to create parts of your pages, such as header, footer and navigation
- Display user notifications, with button
- K2 meta data extraction
- Common Ads Networks integration
Google has announced that tomorrow, february 24, they will start showing Accelerated Mobile Pages in their search results pages. This is big news for everyone involved in publishing information on the Web!
AMP use a modified version of your web site pages, so that display on mobile phones is incredibly fast. Users like fast, and so Google is putting a lot of effort in that program. Its robots have started indexing AMP pages on websites offering them, and those pages will get a front row in searches made from a mobile device. And of course, users will love them, asking for more.
The AMP project was announced last year, with many famous partners, including The Guardian, the New York Times or Wordpress.com being part of the initiative. This will certainly push adoption, with the Wordpress project having published some weeks ago a dedicated plugin.
We believe having an AMP version of your informational pages is going to be a major advantage in getting mobile traffic to your site. Being an SEO and content company, we have decided to bring this ability to Joomla!
So I am very pleased to announce that wbAMP, our new plugin for Joomla Accelerated Mobile Pages is available as of now.