You’ve probably heard of HTTP before, right? It’s the basic coding protocol that virtually all sites on the Internet use today. It controls the connections between your site’s server and the final product that displays on your user’s browsers and screens.
Basically, it’s the backbone of any web presence.
But HTTP was created in 1999 – back when Clinton was president, boy bands were still in, and we didn’t even have Facebook. Makes it seem pretty antiquated, doesn’t it?
Well, a new version of HTTP has finally been released, and it’s poised to make some very serious changes to the online landscape.
How HTTP/2 Changes Things
HTTP/2 comes with a number of very advantageous changes. The first, and probably the biggest one, is that it will speed up page loading times.
Because HTTP/1.1 uses multiple connections and requests to download a page (and page sizes have increased over time), it slows down servers and bogs down page loading times. HTTP/2, on the other hand, is able to transport these same sites over a single, stronger connection, thus increasing loading speed exponentially.
HTTP/2 also comes with a slew of other additions, including:
Header compression, which allows headers to be downloaded faster and more seamlessly
Server push technologies, which enable websites to push cached content out to users without waiting on the browser’s response. This also helps ensure your cache is updated in more often, in case of emergency.
More encryption, as HTTP/2 makes running SSL easier and more manageable
Though it may take some time for the web to completely fall in line with HTTP/2, there’s one thing for certain: things are going to change – and for the better.
Benefits of HTTP/2 on Your Site
Aside from the obvious advantages (faster loading times), HTTP/2 also offers your website – and your customers – a ton of long-term benefits. These can improve your site’s performance, increase your leads and sales, improve customer satisfaction and much, much more.
Here are just a few of the benefits HTTP/2 can have for on your site:
Usability – First off, HTTP/2 will make websites infinitely easier to use. Visitors will no longer have to waste valuable time waiting on headers to load, pages to show up, or links, buttons and forms to work. These will be faster, simpler and more seamless.
Mobile friendliness – HTTP/2 will also help the web be more mobile and tablet friendly. Bulky headers and data-filled pages have long been a hurdle for websites, causing them to load extremely slowing – and often improperly – on phones, tables and other alternate devices.
SEO – As page speed, mobile friendliness and usability are all huge considerations in search engine rankings, it’s no secret that HTTP/2 can help your SEO efforts, too. In fact, if you follow HTTP/2 protocol, it may be just what you need to move your site to page one.
Customer satisfaction – Web users are in a hurry, and If your site takes too long to long or is too bulky to load on their phones, they’re going to close that window in seconds. With HTTP/2, your customers can enjoy lightning-fast speeds and seamless page loads that won’t frustrate or annoy them. In the end, that means more customer satisfaction, a higher chance of sales and conversions, and more repeat business.
Safer interactions – HTTP/2 is best used with an encryption, commonly known as an SSL layer. Because of this, many more websites will be switching from traditional servers to encrypted ones, offering users more safety and security than ever before.
Less server/network usage – Bogged down servers affecting your ability to work? HTTP/2 will help alleviate this issue, and ensure your networks and servers are never overloaded or overwhelmed. It may even be able to lower your bandwidth costs.
The Internet Engineering Task Force, or IESG, presented HTTP/2 for review on Feb. 17, so make sure your developer or web manager is up-to-date on all the changes afoot.
Want to learn more about HTTP/2 and how it could improve your SEO? Need help with your online presence or your digital marketing efforts? Then contact Steadfast Creative today. Our experts can help.