What exactly is HTTP/2? We didn’t even know about it until we heard that GoogleBot will start to support it later this year or early next year. Because we like to stay on top of such things to better serve our clients, we scoured the Internet for information. We found out lots of information about HTTP/2 and the Internet itself. (For instance, did you know that there’s an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)? Yeah. That’s a real thing.)
Building Upon What’s Already There
HTTP/2 — formerly HTTP/2.0 — is the second major version of HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used by the World Wide Web. The IETF’s HTTP working group developed HTTP/2 largely based on Google’s SPDY protocol. SPDY — pronounced speedy — is an open network protocol that reduces web page load latency and improves security. HTTP/2 is HTTP/1.1’s successor, and it’s a much-needed update because the Web has changed since 1999. The update brings improved efficiency, speed and security, making a much better experience for users. Busy users simply don’t have time to wait for an outdated website to load. The faster your website is, the more conversions you’ll see.
HTTP/2’s Major Improvements
- Single Connection – Websites only require one server connection to load, and that connection stays open as long as the website is open.
- Binary – HTTP/2 is binary, which makes it more compact and less prone to errors. No additional time is wasted translating text to binary — which is your computer’s native language, anyway. Faster speeds mean more conversions for you because your web traffic won’t leave because of slow load times.
- Multiplexing – Multiple requests can happen at the same time and on the same connection, making things much more efficient. HTTP/1.1 required each new transfer to wait for other transfers to finish. Speed is the name of the game, and website efficiency can mean business growth for you.