HTTP/2 – what is it, and why should you care?

Author - Alex Price

Posted By Alex Price Founder

Date posted 22nd Dec 2015

Category Blog, WordPress


HTTP are those 4 letters that sit at the start of a web address that we’re all familiar with, but may not really be sure what they mean – they stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This is the mechanism by which a web browser speaks to a web server to request information and then display you a web page on your screen.

HTTP has been around since the beginning of the internet – in fact you could consider the protocol the very foundations of the internet. In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee made the first successful communication between a HTTP client and a web server. But HTTP/1.1, the version that we have all been using since 1999, is soon to be refreshed. HTTP/2 is on the way, but what will it mean for the average website or web user?

What is it?

HTTP/2 will update the way in which web browsers speak to servers. By using new and more efficient means of transporting data between a web browser and a server, the end result should be a faster internet for everyone. The greater efficiency means that a browser will no longer need to repeatedly make requests to a server for different resources until a website loads – a server can instead respond with a greater number of resources than originally requested. A web browser will also be able to make requests for more than one piece of data at the same time.

What will it mean for you?

Put simply, a faster web browsing experience. Internet speeds are gradually increasing already, as are mobile network speeds, so this progress paired with HTTP/2 will result in a speedier web experience from any device.


When is it arriving?

The updated protocol has already been rolled out and support included in the latest version of most modern browsers. However, according to W3Techs, only 2.3% of the top 10 million websites supported HTTP/2.

Images: HttpWatch

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