WP AMP Themes Review: Google AMP Themes for WordPress
One thing we didn’t talk about, though, is how you can actually create Google AMP designs on WordPress that don’t look like the basic cookie-cutter version in the official Automattic AMP plugin.
Well, if you’ve been struggling with how to make the Google AMP version of your WordPress site look good, you’re in luck because that’s the topic of today’s review.
WP AMP Themes lets you easily add custom Google AMP themes to your WordPress site without needing to know any code. It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can choose from 19 different themes.
If you’re intrigued, keep reading my WP AMP Themes review for a look at how everything works.
WP AMP Themes Review: What Does It Do?
In a nutshell, WP AMP Themes is a free plugin that gives you access to one free AMP theme, as well as the ability to install a number of premium (but affordable) themes that WP AMP Themes sells.
You can then further style these various themes using the native WordPress Customizer.
Beyond that, WP AMP Themes also helps you:
- Add Google Analytics tracking
- Set up your Facebook App ID
- Display push notifications on AMP pages using the OneSignal plugin
Below, I’ll give you a hands-on look at how WP AMP Themes works.
Hands-on With WP AMP Themes
The developers gave me a test site to play around with. But I was interested in how the actual setup process works. So before I jump over to their test site, I’m going to quickly run through setting up the plugin on my own test site just to see how it works.
Setting up WP AMP Themes
WP AMP Themes is available for free at WordPress.org, so you can install and activate it like any other plugin.
Once you do that, the plugin is live…but you’re not quite done yet. See, you still need to activate AMP functionality.
To do that, the WP AMP Themes will prompt you to install the free AMP plugin from Automattic (if you haven’t done so already):
And once you do that, you’re ready to go!
At this point, I’m now going to hop over to the test site the devs gave me for the rest of the review.
Exploring the WP AMP Themes Dashboard and Choosing a Theme
The WP AMP Themes dashboard lets you do two things:
- Choose the actual theme to use for the AMP version of your site.
- Configure basic details like Google Analytics tracking, Facebook App ID, and OneSignal push notifications
If you want to set up OneSignal push notifications for your Google AMP pages, all you need to do is configure the OneSignal plugin as normal. Then, check the box and WP AMP Themes will automatically start working with push notifications.
On my test site, I only have access to Obliq, the free theme that comes with the plugin. But there are also a number of premium themes that you can purchase (more on those later).
All in all, there’s not much you need to do to get going with WP AMP Themes…which is pretty much the benefit of the plugin. It makes it easy to create an AMP version of your site that actually looks good.
But there is one other cool thing that you can do…
Just like with regular WordPress themes, you can click the Customize button in your WP AMP Themes dashboard to open the native WordPress Customizer:
Customizing Your WP AMP Theme
If you’re familiar with the native WordPress Customizer, you should feel right at home. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a live preview of the AMP version of your site. And on the left-hand side, you can change up all of the colors used in your theme.
Whenever you make a change, you’ll see that change reflected in the live preview:
At least for the free theme, all of the customizations deal with color choices. That is, you can’t change anything about the layout of your theme – just the style.
A Look At The Premium Themes from WP AMP Themes
At the time of writing this post, WP AMP Themes is working on 18 premium themes in addition to the free theme that comes with the plugin. You can view a full list of the themes here. With that being said, many of the themes are currently in pre-order status. So, while they’re coming soon, they’re not available yet.
For now, here’s a look at some of the available themes:
How Much Does WP AMP Themes Cost?
As I mentioned, the core plugin is free. The plugin also includes the free Obliq theme that you saw in the screenshots of the WordPress Customizer above.
You only need to pay if you want to purchase one of the 18 premium themes.
The vast majority of the premium themes cost $14.99 because they’re still in pre-order phase. That is, they’re not available quite yet, but they’re coming soon. You can save some money by pre-ordering them. The full-priced themes cost ~$25-35.
Final Thoughts on WP AMP Themes
WP AMP Themes makes it incredibly easy to get set up with a custom-looking design for the Google AMP version of your WordPress site.
There’s a good variety of themes for you to choose from and it makes good use of the WordPress Customizer for style tweaks.
Additionally, the OneSignal integration is nice if you use push notifications. And I like how easy it is to integrate Google Analytics tracking.
With that being said, it’s a little light on actual functionality changes. Don’t get me wrong – the themes look great, but if you’re more focused on functionality than looks, something like AMP for WP gives you more flexibility when it comes to things like ads and such. So if you want to configure lots of advanced functionality by yourself, that one might make you happier.
But if you just want an easy, affordable way to create a great-looking AMP website, WP AMP Themes is definitely a good choice.