In 2015, HTTP/2 became publicly available, nearly 20 years after the initial version of HTTP. Today (in 2020) about 33% of all websites are making use of it, compared to 22% last year. Find out what the buzz is about and why we have decided to implement it in our hosting network, free to use for our clients. Hint: IT’S FAST!!!
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
Let’s dive right in by looking at a modern URL (‘Universal Resource Locator’, or the ‘address’), taking a recent post from our blog:
It’s clear that ‘socialnicole.com’ refers to the website domain and ‘targeting-the-right-customers-during-covid-19’ to the exact location of the information, in this case, an article.
https:// stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol’, and the ‘S’ indicates that the communication over the network is secured. HTTP is the underlying protocol for the world wide web: the rules of the functioning of the internet. When you enter a URL in your browser it sends an HTTP command to the web server and it will direct to load the requested web page. It also controls HTML which covers how web pages are formatted and displayed, as well as how way web pages are loaded.
The internet depends heavily on the use of hyperlinks (links), for example, in the form of an address or a button. To realize this function became possible after the implementation of HTTP in 1996 provides some perspective on the vast influence of it!
The Big Difference Between HTTP and HTTP/2
Short answer: HTTP/2 can handle more things at once and is therefore much faster. This does not only mean a better user experience for your visitors but also a boost for your site’s SEO, as loading speed has been a ranking factor for years. While HTTP needs a single connection to be opened and closed for every file to build the site, HTTP/2 is able to multitask.
Silent Internet Revolution
We depend on the internet for information, shopping, communication with daily services, to express ourselves as individuals and to maintain our social contacts; and indeed, to represent our businesses and generate income. Loading speed is a huge factor, and a protocol that enhances loading speed this radically is truly invaluable, especially when you realize that the use of mobile devices–a medium obviously challenged by it’s size–already accounts for more than 50% of web traffic worldwide.
HTTP/2: Some Context
We’ll have to agree that since the internet officially became available for public on August 6 of 1991, it has slowly but surely started to change daily life at its very core. To think that the first image was not uploaded until a year later in 1992, and to compare this to the way we are using the internet nowadays, I’d say that’s pretty radical.
A huge step towards expanding the use of the internet to what it is now was the roll out of HTTP version 1.0 in 1996. This allowed (among other things) the use of hyperlinks–a wildly used function across all segments of the web. In short, HTTP provided the foundation of data communication over the internet. After the update to version 1.1 in 1997, it was not until 2015 that it released its second update: HTTP/2.
Following the release of HTTP/2 in 2015. its safe to say the world has caught up to its possibilities. The growing adaption across the WWW over the last several years definitely supports this. Good hosting providers and Content Management Systems (like WordPress) have made its use widely available: are you ready to take advantage of it?