How to Disable Google AMP on WordPress – Safely and Easily

We recently decided to disable Google AMP on a WordPress site. Which one? This one. Learn how to safely remove Google AMP pages (and why you may want to) below.

What are Google AMP Pages?

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, is a project undertaken by Google and Twitter. Stated goals of the AMP project were to enable the easy building of fast, user-centered websites. AMP can be thought of as a subset or relative of HTML.

A highly optimized version of HTML and JavaScript

In fact, AMP very much looks like a stripped down version of HTML and JavaScript, ,and that is a pretty good way to think of it. Since AMP’s goal was to create pages that load very, very fast, removing bloat was definitely one of the ways of achieving that goal.

The other way? AMP pages are cached by one of two AMP cache providers – Google and Bing. Storing stripped-down AMP pages on the fastest of fast web servers, allowed incredibly fast response times.

Looking for WordPress hosting that’s so fast, you don’t need Google AMP? Read our Rocket.net review and see why we switched to their managed hosting. Exclusive: Visit Rocket.net and use code ZUZIKO at checkout and get 30% off for 3 months!

Benefits of Google AMP to website owners and publishers

Upon release, Google also touted a few benefits that AMP pages would have over those on the average web server with average HTML. First, Google noted the benefits of a better browsing experience.

“AMP provides you with the tools needed to build websites that meet Page Experience ranking signals while remaining flexible and customizable to your needs. Page experience is a set of signals from Google that measure how users perceive their experience interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value. AMP is a straightforward way to a high page experience score. Domains built with AMP are 5 times more likely to pass Core Web Vitals metrics than non-AMP!”

Google

A bit further down they road, featured articles that appeared at the top of Google search results on mobile devices were all AMP pages.

Even if you had a WordPress site full of great content, if you weren’t using a Google AMP Plugin or AMP HTML markup, your content wouldn’t be considered for those coveted positions.

AMP Pages Gained Wide Adoption Fast

Over the years website owners have flocked to Google AMP Pages. One of the biggest reasons why is that user experience and page load speed aren’t just good for visitors, it’s also now a Google ranking factor for SERPs (search engine results pages).

If you can’t afford the fastest web server in the world or to optimize the lumbering concoction of plugins and PHP that is WordPress, you could still fight for top ranking. And, it’s all free.

When WordPress, the largest CMS on the planet, released its first AMP Plugin WordPress adoption skyrocketed.

Why disable AMP Pages on your WordPress site?

This whole AMP things sounds pretty fantastic so far. So, why would anyone want to remove AMP pages from their WordPress (or any other) website?

As it turns out, there’s no shortage of reasons to disable AMP Pages from a website. Reasons vary, starting with the discomfort of a (very) big business caching and serving your content.

On a more practical level, here’s why publishers disable AMP Pages:

  1. Many publishers never saw a traffic boost from enabling Google AMP.
  2. Today, Google will include any article, AMP or not, in prime SERP positions as long as it has a good customer experience (including responsiveness and load time).
  3. Your WordPress hosting and caching setup provides a site fast enough to not need Google AMP to rapidly serve content.
  4. Google AMP pages remove many user experience oriented features on a WordPress site requiring custom coding and even maintaining more than one style.
  5. A good number of studies have shown a significant increase in user engagement after disabling Google Accelerated Mobile Pages.

If you’ve decided to switch back and remove Google AMP from your WordPress site, it’s relatively easy to do.

Why you need to be careful when removing Google AMP Pages

The Google giveth and the Google taketh away! If you’ve ever made a major change to your WordPress Blog that affected your URL structure,, you’re well aware of how this goes.

If you simply disable the WordPress AMP plugin you’ve been using your WordPress site won’t serve AMP pages. But, there’s more to it than that!

To keep in Google’s good graces you also need to take care of a few more things where AMP pages are concerned.

How to disable Google AMP in WordPress

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to disable Google AMP and set up redirects for those AMP pages. First, let’s review what Google says about removing AMP pages from WordPress.

To disable AMP, check your CMS provider’s help page or contact your CMS provider. If your site is hosted on a CMS domain, the CMS can redirect users to the canonical non-AMP page after AMP is disabled. If the redirect doesn’t occur, contact your CMS provider for assistance.

Okay. Our CMS provider doesn’t have a help page. But, that’s why you’re here. What it does say above is that we need to do two things. First, we need to disable the serving of AMP pages. Next we need to ensure that visitors looking for those pages are redirected to the non-AMP pages. Pretty straightforward. We’ll add a few more steps for good measure, but this should take you 10 minutes (if that).

Step-by-step: Disable Google AMP on WordPress

Total Time: 10 minutes

Back-up your WordPress Site and Database

Backup your entire WordPress site using a reliable backup plugin or if your web hosting provider includes backups, use their functionality. Be sure to back up the site, plugins, themes, content and database.

If something unexpected does go wrong, you will be able to revert to this backup.

Set up redirects for existing AMP pages

Setting up redirects will ensure that no AMP pages 404 after disable Google AMP by turning off the Google AMP Plugin.

First, look at the structure of your AMP URLs. For our site, they look like this: https://zuziko.com/{slug}/amp/

Important: Other WordPress AMP URLs may look different. If so, you’ll need to find a regular expression to handle how those AMP URLs are formed. If you need a hand, contact us.

We need to setup a redirect that takes any request that ends in /amp/ and redirects it to use the domain and slug, like so: https://zuziko.com/{slug}/.

We’ll be doing our redirects using the free Redirection plugin. Instead of redirecting every page individually we’ll write a regular expression which handles all AMP page redirection. Here’s our redirect:

AMP requests that match this regular expression:
/(.*)\/amp/
will be redirected to the page’s original URL (without the ‘/amp/’):
https://zuziko.com/$1/
Redirect Google AMP URLs in WordPress

Disable your WordPress AMP plugin

Form the WordPress dashboard, click on the Plugins option in the left-hand navigation. Locate your AMP plugin and click the disable option.

After disabling the AMP plugin clear any Caches of your site such as WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache as well as any hosting provider level caching.Disable Google AMP WordPress Plugin

Ensure the Redirects are working correctly

Test an AMP URL and verify that it redirects to the non-AMP page. If you’ve encountered an issue that you cannot figure out you can restore the site to its previous configuration using the backup from Step 1.

What to expect after disabling Google AMP

First, if you do see a dip in organic traffic over the course of a few days, possibly even a week, that doesn’t mean you did it wrong.

Even if you do everything correctly, Google often reacts to big changes on any website by taking a brief wait-and-see approach. How brief it is depends upon your site itself.

Watch Google Search Console for notification of any errors. You’ll likely see or even get email alerts about AMP pages being missing. Again, that doesn’t mean there is an issue.

What you want to look out for are indexing issues, and specifically any issues that aren’t handled by the redirections you’ve done. If you do see errors, correct them.

Why are so many sites slow in the first place?

Many websites are slow because they have not optimized their website content (images, plugins, etc.), and importantly, because they are using a website hosting package that doesn’t offer a fast web page serving experience and CDN.

What is your take on AMP pages?

It’s your turn! Turning AMP pages off (or on) is a decision that is unique to the site owner. What is your experience with Google AMP? Are you using AMP pages on your site. If so, what advantages are you seeing?

How do I de-index the AMP version of the pages?

If you have redirected your old AMP URLs, disabled your WordPress AMP plugin and tested that pages were redirecting correctly, you do not need to de-index the AMP pages. Google will recognize the change and update their index.

Will removing Google AMP from WordPress affect my site’s ranking on Google?

It is possible. If your site relies on Google AMP traffic for a significant amount of traffic, consider a more advanced approach which disables AMP for a set of pages. Then, monitor those pages over 7 to 14 days to understand any potential negative impact.

David Green

My name is David and I am the founder and author of Zuziko. I love WordPress and have built sites, themes and plugins. I am passionate about web development and have created Zuziko as a way to share my knowledge and experience with the world. My WordPress user profile.

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