HTTP/2 is a major update to HTTP, the hypertext-based communication protocol that handles the majority of data transit on the Internet. This update has been a decade and a half in the making, and it will soon be available to both servers and clients.
What are the benefits of using HTTP/2?
- HTTP/2 improves on the existing HTTP protocol in a number of ways, particularly in terms of page load times, such as:
- Multiple data assets can now be exchanged faster and more efficiently over the same TCP request because connections are now parallel and fully multiplexed.
- The new’server push’ idea allows the server to provide resources ahead of time in anticipation of the client’s demands while still allowing the client to reject the data.
HTTP headers that are compressed to eliminate the need to re-send headers.
What is the compatibility of HTTP/2?
HTTP/2 aims to improve HTTP, but in order to do so, it must function effectively with the internet’s existing infrastructure:
- It works with all browsers, therefore if your site employs HTTP/2, there’s no way a visitor will be unable to view it. Of course, newer browsers that are compatible with HTTP/2 will work, but those that aren’t will fall back to HTTP 1.1 without a hitch. Of course, the new protocol has no effect on the appearance of the site; it just affects how effectively it operates and how quickly it loads.
- You won’t need to make any changes because it will function with your existing TLS certificate. However, keep in mind that only secured domains currently offer HTTP/2, though this could change as more browsers add cleartext support.
- HTTP/2 can be used with large existing services like Cloudflare, which support up to HTTP/3.
- HTTP/2 is enabled by default on most hosting services. Verpex’s HTTP/2 web server, for example, works right out of the box.
We can use online tools like KeyCDN’s HTTP/2 Test (https://tools.keycdn.com/http2-test) to confirm that HTTP/2 is enabled on your website and that it is running properly.