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I am working on a project to convert some documentation into a mobile-friendly form. The current documentation is outdated and is using MediaWiki, and the formatting is extremely unfriendly for mobile. In addition it is organized in an extremely confusing way. Since I am doing this as a third party, unrelated to the company that wrote the original documentation, I have more or less free reign on designing the site.

I was considering developing a Progressive Web App to display AMP content, as I found that recommendation in AMP's documentation, although the page now seems to be a 404. Part of my reasoning is that my main motivation for developing this site is to make the documentation better for mobile and better organized, and adopting AMP would force me to develop with that in mind. It may also help improve search rankings.

Although AMP is said to be designed for static content, most information around it, including Google's example for PWA+AMP, seems to focus on blogs and news articles. Now a Wiki-esque documentation is not a periodical-publication like a news article or blog.

Is AMP a suitable format for non-periodical websites? Or should I simply stick with making the website responsive using something like Bootstrap?

I apologize if I haven't been very specific in regards to what is "suitable" as I'm still going through the AMP documentation, so I don't have very specific questions yet.

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    You should keep in mind that AMP is used to create fast-loading mobile web pages, and contain many restrictions as a result (such as file size under 50K, limited JavaScript and CSS restrictions, etc...). There's also a limitation in what browsers can access it (i.e., it may require service workers). Sites that offer AMP also offer non-AMP versions of the same content for desktops and older browsers. Unlike MediaWiki, there is no framework... – dan Mar 3 '18 at 5:19
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    or database backend, unless you use a platform like WordPress with a plugin for AMP. In short, it seems like a you're thinking about the extreme direction of mobile development, when you probably should consider a more responsive one first, which you can add AMP and PWA's to complement for strictly mobile users. – dan Mar 3 '18 at 5:22
  • Thanks, I wasn't aware of some of those restrictions. Part of my reasoning for pursuing mobile-first development was because that is the tool I personally need. It may be best though to pursue a responsive design first though. I was aware of some of the limitations across browsers, but none of the limited features (push notifications, background sync, etc) seemed like they would be necessary for what I'm working on. – Rob Rose Mar 3 '18 at 6:39
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    No problem. I'd suggest looking at WordPress, which offers numerous responsive templates and plugins, as well as an AMP plugin. That might provide the framework that you're probably used to, with an easy pathway to add mobile specific content. Good luck! – dan Mar 3 '18 at 7:47
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    If I'm not mistaken, AMP is for caching websites so that they load faster for mobile users. If I were you, I would check to see how long the cache lasts on AMP and how often it's refreshed. Do you want your wiki pages to publish immediately after an update or do you want the server to wait? I imagine that if users can't immediately see their wiki edits published that this might discourage them from updating wiki pages. – Michael d Mar 3 '18 at 9:02
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I asked myself the same question a time ago and decided to create several sites only in AMP. They had different content (static, blog, forum...).

In general, I achieved better user metrics (time on site, pages per session, bounce rate) and improved some SEO ranking. Best of all, I had only one version of the page to maintain.

On the other hand, the limitations you have been told on the comments, but there is always a workaround.

I recommend you to watch the AMP Keynote Conf 2018, especially how Aliexpress migrate to AMP.

  • If there is a workaround for AMP then you have two problems, not one. – Rob Mar 5 '18 at 12:09
  • Did you see the first video? – Emirodgar Mar 5 '18 at 12:30
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My answer to your question if AMP is a suitable format for non-periodical websites is: YES. AMP is targeted more on the page speed load of a website. Think of it as a mobile version with faster loading speed (responsive to all mobile devices) of your main site. I don't think it's only applicable to news sites. I am not sure if you've heard that Google is now using AMP on its email. So most likely, big G is going to roll out a notification requiring web admins to make their websites AMP validated. AMP is now integrated in the Google Search Console.

I think the best thing to do is to use a better CMS to your content (like Wordpress) to easily create the AMP version of your website. It will also be easier to manage content as opposed to the outdated MediaWIKI.

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