What a nightmare! I recently installed Monster Insights on two of my blogs. I really like the reporting so far (I’m just a few days in), and it may be well worth the fee. I don’t know yet.
What I do know is that it recommended installing AMP Plugin. I read a little about the plugin before installing it. It seemed like it was basically another tool to optimize pageviews for mobile viewing.
I figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try. Except, a couple of days later I noticed that now where I had one URL showing in analytics, I had two for the same page.
It looked like this:
The colored bars are all the same. One is the correct url with the structure of https://domainname.com/slug and the other one is https://domainname.com/slug/amp.
If the AMP plugin had done anything differently. Anything besides changing the slug, I probably would have been OK with it. But I am in Analytics ALL THE TIME. Splitting pageviews up so they report as two separate line items in Google Analytics is just plain dumb.
This turned my top 10 list into maybe a top 6 list. Perhaps I am naive and there is some other miraculous way people look at their data where it isn’t all screwed up like this. I knew the easy answer for me was to uninstall the stupid thing.
Let the AMP Nightmare Begin
Uninstall the plugin they say. It will be easy they say. Truth is, I don’t know if THEY say it but, it usually is that easy with most plugins.
Not this one.
Even though it had only been a day or two, the damage had been done. Those links, the /amp/ ones, seemed to have proliferated through the search engine in just a few days.
Because I had deactivated the plugin, those pages now led nowhere and so people were getting 404 errors. This is what it looked like:
Do I Need AMP Plugin? Should I Have It?
The easy fix, of course, would be to reinstall the plugin. But, I was pretty sure I didn’t need it. I decided to Google it anyway.
Mediavine, my ad network for the two sites I installed this on, says it isn’t necessary in this post: https://www.mediavine.com/what-is-amp-and-should-you-run-it/
In fact, in this one they go through some steps to fix if your site ran AMP. It has a lot of helpful information: https://help.mediavine.com/en/articles/548204-how-to-walk-back-your-amp-without-redirects-or-404s
I decided because this had happened so recently, to try the HTAccess modification instead. My host is awesome. I told them what was going on and the solution I had found I thought would fix it.
I wasn’t sure if I needed to clear Cloudflare cache, site cache, server cache, all the caches so I let them handle it. I will hands down always recommend BigScoots because of their excellent customer service.
How to Fix 404 Errors after AMP Plugin Uninstall
The above, was the very first thing I googled. I really hope this article finds you before you broke your site and not after.
I had trouble finding my HTAccess file for this site. It’s on a different hosting package with BigScoots than my smaller sites (managed vs. shared) so the files are in a different spot.
I reached out to BigScoots support with the issue, what I wanted to happen and the article I found with a possible solution.
They were able to fix it and everything was back to normal about an hour after I discovered the problem.
AMP might be a good thing. It might actually do good stuff and make a site perform better on mobile but, I don’t have the patience for the way it messed up my analytics reports.
If I was a smarter person, there might be a way to configure Google to show combined data for a post accessed directly and through the /amp/ url but it is not something I had time to research or deal with so my big concern was rolling it back.
Lesson learned for me to be way more careful with installing plugins and monitoring my sites for how they might be affected.