Remember the good old days of dial up? You clicked on the internet icon then walked the dog, came back, clicked on the user icon. Maybe went to make a sandwich to finally come back to find yourself just a few dial tones away from connecting to the web. Since the days of anxiously waiting to connect to the internet are behind us, we have grown to only know one type of browsing. Now enters HTTP/2.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the process your browser uses to request information from a server to display it on your screen. But what’s the big hullabaloo about HTTP/2? Well, for starters there hasn’t been an update since 1999. After 16 years with HTTP/1.1 the draft for HTTP/2 has been published.
I know what you’re thinking, it’s great and all, but what does this mean to me? For years we’ve gritted our teeth, hit our computers, reloaded pages, all to make things go a little faster (I’ll even admit to viciously threatening mine). To you, HTTP/2 can mean a faster browser and maybe even the chance for you to develop a healthier relationship with your computer.
Why is HTTP/2 Important?
Let me start off by saying I’m not an ageist. But while HTTP/1.1 has been giving us its all these past 16 years, there are some web components that it simply wasn’t designed to comprehend. Since the birth of HTTP/1.1 webpages have developed many different components, including:
- Advanced design elements (CSS)
- Flash animation
These components make your webpages look great but can create a headache while HTTP/1.1 tries to load it. To transfer the information, your browser must create multiple connections to a server. Each connection containing data about the source, its destination, and the contents of the page you’re trying to access. This puts a ton of stress on your browser. If you had to picture it, think of an 80 year old man trying to carry a 90lb box. If he could manage to do it all, it would be a pretty slow process.
It makes sense then that Google, being the all-knowing and comprehending source that it is, decided in its omnipotence to create SPDY, which is what HTTP/2 is based on. Google introduced SPDY in 2009 to help speed up webpages by allowing your browser to make multiple requests to a server through one connection. The results were amazing, speeding up web browsers by a minimum of 10%. With the success of SPDY, Google wanted to take web browsing to the next level, and thus, in 2012 began the adventure of creating HTTP/2.
What will HTTP/2 do for you?
The simple answer is it will save you time, frustration, and maybe keep you from abusing your computer. This will happen mainly by providing you with one constant connection between your browser and the server instead of creating multiple connections every time you request another piece of content.
Other features of HTTP/2 include:
- Sending and receiving multiple messages at the same time
- Prioritizing the transfer of data by importance
- Compressing the information being transferred into smaller groups
- Intuitive servers that will predict what your next action will be to send the data ahead of time
Tests so far have shown the HTTP/2 improves on HTTP/1.1 on an averages of 30% before it has even been optimized. Once finalization of HTTP/2 is complete it could improve on browser speeds even more.
When can you access HTTP/2?
While there is no definite start date for HTTP/2, the draft was published on February 11th of this year and must be approved with the necessary changes by August 15th. I know, that seems like a long way off when your browser is frustrating you in the here and now. But if you can keep a secret I’ll tell you something that may help. The HTTP/2 technology is already with you.
Even though HTTP/2 is in draft form it has already been combined with certain web browsers and supports certain servers, like:
- Internet Explorer under Windows 10 technical preview
- Mozilla versions after Firefox Beta 36
- IIS (Windows web server)
While Google Chrome automatically disables it, by typing in Chrome://flag and hitting enable for HTTP/2 you can start using it today. And it’s expected that soon many more servers will adopt HTTP/2 like Apache and Nginx. In the very near future you may not even know that your web browser is running on HTTP/2. The only clue of the change being your reduced stress level.
With the Update of HTTP/2, it is Time to Update your Website
Browser speed is important for your business to be able to retain the attention and patience of consumers. If you don’t have a website that takes advantage of the power of the browser, what’s the point? Here at Biznet our expert programmers and web engineers use advanced components to develop a website that empowers and advances your business. You don’t want to be the business version of HTTP/1.1 and wait 16 years to update. An out of date website can harm your brand’s image, customer security, and reputation. Don’t be outdated. Learn more about how we can work together to improve your image by checking out our website today.