The HTTP 1.1 protocol has been serving the internet for more than 18 years. But during those years the internet has changed quite a lot. Instead of static sites focused on sharing texts, now we have websites full of media and interactive content. While you can still stick to the HTTP 1.1, now we have the HTTP/2 protocol which is set to offer you a lot more control and better value as a whole.
What is the HTTP/2 protocol?
This is a major revision to the HTTP network protocol. While it’s not focused on changing how current web apps work, it does focus on making new apps faster and improve their speed. Most of the URIs, header fields, status codes, and methods are remaining the same. However, the way data is framed and how it’s transported between the client and the server is definitely changed, which is actually a great thing to have.
HTTP/2 makes it easy for the server to push content. It will respond with data for multiple queries than the client requested in the first place. So it will be able to share all the info that the web browser will need to render the page, all without having to wait for the browser to examine the response. It leads to much faster loading time and better efficiency as a whole.
Another great thing about HTTP/2 is that it multiplexes requests and responses. This actually comes in handy because it helps avoid some of the HTTP1 head of the line blocking, request prioritization, and header compression. Such issues might still appear, but they are way rarer, and that’s something to keep in mind.
Also, HTTP/2 doesn’t offer support for the chunked transfer encoding mechanism. The reason why they stopped that mechanism is that they came with their own data streaming mechanism. This one is a lot better and more efficient, all while still bringing in a whole lot of value and quality.
As we mentioned earlier, HTTP/2 is multiplexing so it can send multiple requests in parallel. As a result, the user has all the information ready to go, and it can be delivered quicker than ever before. HTTP/2 is also fully binary and not textual when compared to the previous version.
They use a dedicated header compression HPACK in order to reduce overhead, and it also makes it easy for servers to push responses to the cache. The additional round trip times are reduced, so the sites end uploading a lot faster. Asset concatenation and domain sharding are not necessary anymore, and that means you have better efficiency too.
HTTP/2 is surely created with a focus on speed and faster loading times. But it’s also offering much better support for complex websites when compared to the previous versions. It’s definitely reliable, super efficient and it works amazingly well. If you really want to focus on getting the best value, then you should totally upgrade your server to the HTTP/2 protocol to access all these benefits!