Every day, more and more people are using the internet, especially on mobile devices. Companies and individuals are producing websites for business and personal use. The content on these sites is increasing exponentially over time as people around the world constantly continue to search for answers to their questions, products, and services.
To keep up with the internet’s growth, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, has undergone a significant update. Websites are now using HTTP/2 to improve their businesses and attract more customers. With this update, loading times are faster, search engine rankings are rising, customer satisfaction is more likely, and website security is improving.
The History of HTTP
HTTP is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Websites first started using it in 1991. In 1999, the internet updated to HTTP/1.1. Websites have used HTTP/1.1 for years as the internet continued to develop and advance.
The most recent update was in 2015 with HTTP/2. Users have noticed HTTP/2 is faster and pages are loading more efficiently than HTTP/1.1. Today, about 76 percent of browsers in the United States and 67 percent of browsers around the world use HTTP/2. This update lessens the amount of time needed for devices and servers to communicate, although it still depends on how far away the device is from the server and the connection speed. However, it is a major improvement compared to the beginnings of HTTP.
Why HTTP/2 Is Better
HTTP/2 has made significant improvements to the previous system. These improvements are:
- Using a single connection
- Making multiple requests
- Header compression
- Utilizing binary
- Servers pushing responses
- Improved security
Instead of setting up multiple TCP connections, websites only need one connection. As long as the website is open, the connection will stay open as well. In addition, that single connection can handle multiple requests at a time. This new feature is multiplexing. In the past, one transfer would have to finish before another transfer could begin.
HTTP/2 also uses HPACK compressions that compress headers. Compressing headers decreases overhead and reduces headers by about 30 percent, which speeds up loading times even more. In the past, HTTP would use text to transmit server requests and responses. This would slow down a website because a computer’s primary language is binary. HTTP/2 uses binary code, which reduces the amount of data and errors, is more compact, and improves a website’s performance.
HTTP/2 also assigns different dependency levels to requests so servers can show resources that are high-priority first. Additionally, servers push responses into client caches for use in the future. An important feature of HTTP/2 is better security. HTTP/2 supports non-secure and secure connections, but there are more companies coming out with security certificates. This is a good step to safer internet browsing. Businesses can use these services to add a security certificate to their site with HTTP/2.
These reasons and more are why websites should switch over to using HTTP/2. The main difference between previous versions of HTTP and HTTP/2 is how fast websites respond, which is extremely important for a satisfying user experience.
Benefits of HTTP/2
With the most recent update of HTTP/2, websites are seeing several benefits. Some of these include:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Higher search rankings
- More web traffic
The positive aspect of these benefits is that they all connect to each other. When web pages load faster on desktop computers and mobile devices it improves customer satisfaction. Studies show that users are more likely to stay on a website if the site loads quickly. Slower loading sites may experience a higher percentage of bounce rate, which is when users visit a site, but leave without clicking on anything else.
Slower loading times also affect a site’s Google ranking. With HTTP/2, sites show up faster, leading to a higher Google ranking. When a website has higher rankings, it increases the chances that a customer will click on the website, since people see these sites first. As Google and other search engines continue to rank websites on the first page of searches, a company or personal website will see an increase in popularity and traffic.
How Does HTTP/2 Affect SEO?
HTTP/2 makes an indirect impact on SEO for websites and companies. It’s not a factor in Google’s algorithms, but it improves user experience. Since people can expect faster loading times and higher search rankings from HTTP 2, it will improve SEO performance over time.
Overall, the main point of HTTP’s update to HTTP 2 is how much faster it is, and the positive benefits it has on businesses. When companies convert to HTTP 2, they can expect their traffic and Google rankings to steadily rise as well as safer internet browsing.
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