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Using the HTTP / 2 protocol in company website can improve performance, satisfy customers and improve search engine rankings. Each of those factors can help your website generate more traffic, more conversions and in the end – more profit. According to W3Techs data, since March 2018, 25.4% of the 10 million most popular websites support HTTP / 2.
The HTTP / 2 standard is a significant improvement of the HTTP / 1.1 protocol, which has been used without major changes since 1991. The content of websites on the Internet has changed radically since 1991 when it was mainly text. HTTP / 2 recognizes these changes and works to reduce the time it takes to communicate clients and servers with the HTTP / 1.1 protocol. HTTP / 2 has origins in the experimental SPDY protocol developed by Google specialists.
What changes introduces HTTP / 2?
In a nutshell, HTTP / 2 is designed to make applications faster, simpler and more reliable. It allows you to solve problems in the transport layer itself, which also opens up a whole new range of possibilities for optimizing our applications and improving performance.
The primary goal for HTTP / 2 is reducing latencies by enabling full multiplexing of requests and responses, minimizing overheads by efficiently compressing HTTP header fields, and adding support for server request and push requests. To meet these requirements, there are a large number of other protocol improvements, such as new flow control, error handling and update mechanisms, but these are the most important features that any web developer should understand and use in their applications.
All basic concepts such as HTTP methods, status codes, URIs and header fields remain the same as ever. Instead, HTTP / 2 modifies the way data is formatted and is transported between the client and the server, both of which manage the entire process, and hides the entire complexity of our applications in the new layer of frames. As a result, all existing applications can be delivered without modification.
What does it mean for an ordinary person?
HTTP / 2 will load most websites faster than previous HTTP standards on all devices most of the time. This is a big advantage. The relative speed of the HTTP / 2 protocol can also affect the user experience. Buyers – people coming to the website to make a purchase – prefer websites that load instantly.
Search engines like Google also want to please customers. When a user types a search query into Google, Google wants to return a list of useful and useful links. Google wants each suggested link to meet the needs of users. As a result, Google has added page speed as a ranking factor in its search algorithms since at least 2010
Enabling HTTP / 2 protocol
The next step is the implementation of HTTP / 2 for your site. Good news is that you can already do it. Many websites can use the HTTP / 2 protocol and enjoy all the related benefits without even knowing about it. A simple way to check is to open browser development tools and check network traffic.
To install the HTTP / 2 protocol, you must meet the following requirements:
- Start using HTTPS for each page on your website. The vast majority of HTTP / 2 deployments require Transport Layer Security (TLS). So for most companies, the first step to enable HTTP / 2 is to get an SSL or TLS certificate and create each page on the HTTPS protocol.
- Use CDN HTTP / 2 for static resources. Consider placing static network resources, such as product photography, in a content delivery network that supports the HTTP / 2 protocol. Static assets represent many, if not most, server calls from a typical web page using HTTP / 1.1. Changing the way they are delivered can improve performance.
- Implement the HTTP / 2 protocol on your network server. If your company manages your web server, you also have the option of implementing the HTTP / 2 protocol yourself. This can be as simple as updating the server software. You can also add HTTP / 2 support to older versions of these servers.
- Check your implementation. Test the HTTP / 2 implementation as if you were testing other important changes on your server. Consider implementing HTTP / 2 on the development server before deploying it to the production environment.
- Design with HTTP / 2 in mind. The final step will be making decisions regarding design and development around HTTP / 2.
HTTP / 2 domination in the cybernetic world is inevitable. It seems that the application’s protocol will continue the legacy of HTTP1.x, which has transformed the cybernetic world into revolutionary data transmission capabilities. The HTTP / 2 protocol replicates its predecessors with technological superiority far greater than the innovation gap that HTTP1.x set up in comparison with traditional data communication mechanisms.
Enabling HTTP / 2 is only one step of an expansive journey to increase the speed of the page. Software development with the HTTP / 2 protocol should already be the norm for most companies.