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The difference between HTTP / 1 and HTTP / 2

Introduction

What is HTTP / 2?

You may have heard or read about HTTP / 2. The HTTP (S) protocol is the protocol about which your web browser requests information from the server. At the moment, HTTP / 1.1 is still the most used, but this version dates back to 1997. The new version, HTTP / 2, is not just an idea anymore but a serious new version that is slowly starting to take its place. progressive web hosting. Based on the new HTTP / 2 content is unloaded up to more than five times faster compared to HTTP / 1.1.

 

Some facts about HTTP / 2:

  1. All recent versions of browsers support HTTP / 2
  2. To take full advantage of HTTP / 2 a website needs to complete with SSL certificate to turn. A number of browsers otherwise use the HTTP / 1.1 protocol.
  3. HTTP / 2 is up to more than five times faster for consulting pages than HTTP / 1.1
  4. Hoasted runs on all HTTP / 2 servers, with many providers that is not yet the case. One of the reasons why websites run faster with Hoasted than with other webhosters.

 

Visible difference between old and new

If you want to see the actual difference in loading times between both versions, take a look at http://www.httpvshttps.com/. Nowadays common websites are not built from 360 elements, but it gives a good idea of the speed difference with pages with many elements that need to be loaded.

 

The operation of HTTP / 2

Background

For the people who want to know more about how HTTP / 2 works exactly, we have summarized this briefly. HTTP / 2, released in 2015, is one of the biggest changes in how the web works since HTTP version 1.1 was released in 1999. This new protocol ensures that web pages load significantly faster. It is based on the SPDY protocol developed by Google. All more recent browsers are now set to use HTTP / 2 (in addition to that they still support HTTP / 1.1). Hereafter some technical background, making it clear that this is really a beautiful revolutionary development, which ensures highly efficient communication between browser and web server.

Multiplexing / pipelining

Modern websites often have 100 or more connections per page between browser and web server. In the old protocol, browsers could process up to ten connections in parallel. Moreover, a request had to be received for a follow-up request.
With the new protocol the user can send a multitude of requests and the browser can receive them in random order from the server. Because it is no longer necessary to receive the answer to a request for the follow-up, an enormous speed gain is made. In a diagram with the browser (left arrow up) and the server (right arrow) and the communication flow between them:

Dependence on the stream

A page is composed of parts such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and images. To ensure that, for example, the CSS is not sent to the browser until the end, the browser specifies priorities when requesting a page with content. Otherwise the page would only start to look good when the CSS has arrived.

 

Header compression
The headers contain the information about what information is needed and how it can be delivered. With HTTP / 1.1, every request requires header information. HTTP / 2 can control all headers at once using compression.

 

Server push

HTTP / 2 allows the server to send information that has not yet been requested by the browser.

 

HTTP / 2 at Hoasted

 

At Hoasted we are always busy with maximizing performance. Like many other techniques, HTTP / 2 was also a priority for us. Since the beginning of 2017 we have deployed HTTP / 2 on the entire hosting platform. This means that you too can fully utilize all the benefits. However, it is important that your connection runs over SSL with full activation. Browsers only support the protocol in combination with HTTPS. Hoasted offers Let's Encrypt certificates for this, or paid Comodo certificates that optionally have more extensive verification and can be ordered directly for several years.

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