Version 2.0 of the Official AMP for WordPress plugin is now available and comes with a number of useful features for site owners.
The plugin is designed to offer essential tools to assist with the creation of AMP content.
WordPress site owners can use the plugin to build lightning fast pages while minimizing the amount of resources needed.
The update from V1 to V2 brings some major upgrades. Here’s a rundown of what’s available.
Features in Version 2.0 of Official AMP for WordPress Plugin
Version 2.0 of the plugin offers the following features.
Updates to Reader Mode
Any AMP-compatible theme, and all template modes and content types, can be served as AMP.
There is out-of-the box support for all essential features including:
- Navigation menus
- Template design variations
The old Reader mode’s scope and AMP post templates from V1 are kept available for backwards compatibility.
Two themes are used when reader mode is selected, so the AMP plugin will provide two versions of the customizer:
- The default Customizer for the active theme
- The AMP Customizer for the AMP Reader theme
The AMP plugin synchronizes general site settings to maintain brand affinity between AMP and non-AMP pages.
That means the logo, background, color, header, and other elements will be the same on both versions of a site.
The AMP plugin gives site owners the flexibility to decide which parts of a site should and should not be served as AMP.
Also, it’s now possible to enable all templates to be served as AMP, while excluding certain post types to be served as AMP.
CSS Tree Shaking
By default, AMP constrains the use of CSS to no more than 75 KB on any given page.
The AMP plugin makes this easier by “shaking the CSS tree” and removing as much unused CSS as possible.
Updates to Embedded Validation Tools
When editing an AMP page in Gutenberg, invalid elements will be detected and reported to the site owner.
All the validation issues that have been identified in a site will be surfaced on the Error Index screen.
Site owners will be able to see summary information about each issue, as well as a list of URLs affected by a specific issue.
While editing AMP content, the WordPress admin bar will provide information about validation status and percentage of CSS budget used.
Hiding Dev Tools
Previous versions of the AMP plugin enabled developer tools for all users that have permission to edit posts.
Now, developer tools can be turned off for users who aren’t responsible for dealing with any validation issues.
Developer tools are only accessible to administrators, and they can be turned on and off at will.
Admins can now suppress the execution of specific plugins when rendering AMP pages.
This can help with preventing validation issues caused by non-AMP compatible plugins.
Version 2.0 of the AMP plugin offers automatic redirection of mobile visitors to the AMP version of a site.
If automatic mobile redirection is enabled, clicking on internal links will bring visitors to the AMP version of the page (if there is one available).
The AMP plugin allows for automated server-side optimization of AMP pages.
These optimizations are designed to improve key performance metrics, such as Google’s Core Web Vitals.
Updates to Plugin Configuration
Version 2.0 of the AMP plugin comes with an ‘Onboarding Wizard’ that makes configuration more intuitive.
The Onboarding Wizard will indicate which of the three template modes (Standard, Transitional, Reader) may work best for your site.
The settings screen has been completely redesigned for a better user experience.
From the new settings screen, site owners can access the configuration wizard at any time.
A link to the settings screen has been added to the admin bar so site owners can quickly visit it whenever they need it.
Source: AMP Developer Blog
NORAD to track Santa’s annual voyage
A holiday tradition born 66 years ago — by accident — will continue in 2021.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Colorado-based United States and Canadian bi-national military organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in defense of North America, will track Santa and his team of reindeer as they traverse the world delivering toys to good boys and girls.
Starting at 3 a.m. on Dec. 24, visitors to the NORAD Tracks Santa website at www.noradsanta.org can see updates as the jolly elf prepares for his flight.
Then, at 5 a.m., trackers worldwide can call to inquire about Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723), where they will either speak with a live phone operator or hear a recorded update.
Due to COVID concerns, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will have fewer phone operators, so callers who do not reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording as to Santa’s current location.
On Christmas Eve, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. Santa Trackers can also use the Bing search engine to learn of Santa’s location.
The website, which was launched earlier this month, also features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, movie theater, holiday music and webstore. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
Tracking Santa has been a tradition since 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly, but the contact number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD.
Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls.
NORAD has carried on the duties of tracking Santa since it was created in 1958 and reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 each year to millions of children and families worldwide.
The official NORAD Tracks Santa app is available in the Apple App and Google Play stores, so parents and children can count the days until Santa’s launch on their smartphones and tablets.
Tracking opportunities are also offered through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
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