Here are 4 question you need to ask about HTTP/2
I will answer these 4 questions about HTTP/2 throughout this post.
(1) So what changed exactly?
(2) Can I use it already?
(3) Do I need a CDN?
(4) Does the old optimization process still work?
I’m sure there are other questions that may be lingering in your mind right now, but the most important thing to know about HTTP/2 is that it no longer requires a new request for each file, which makes everything quite a bit faster.
We all know that the web has dramatically evolved over the years. HTTP, the protocol your browser uses to connect to your site has been in use since 1997. Don’t you think it’s about time it got updated to speed up our web performance?
I mean…everything else gets updates right? So why not this?
But how does this update affect you?
If your just an average web user you shouldn’t be too worried about this update; you can just enjoy sites that load much faster.
However, if you’re a web developer, then you might want to dig deep because this update will change how you do performance optimization.
Here are a few key points of what it has to offer
- No longer requires a new request for each file
- If your site is running on HTTPS then all major current browsers support HTTP/2
When can I use it?
You can use it right now if your site is running on HTTPS but you are you hosting company might have to change your server configuration to make sure it supports HTTP/2. Since it’s a lot faster you should start using this as soon as possible so your visitors will benefit hugely.
Do I still need a CDN?
Yes. The truth is… even with HTTP/2 you will still need a CDN. A CDN delivers content a lot faster than your average server ever will, so in short, your site will still benefit enormously from having one. And every proper CDN will already support HTTP/2.
With HTTP/2 here is something you no longer need to do when using it:
- Concatenating CSS and JS files
- Image spriting
- Domain sharding
- Inlining CSS and JS
Google Page Speed and HTTP/2
Google’s PageSpeed tool and many other web performance testing tools are rather slow in their adoption of HTTP/2 and they should be changing their guidelines. If a simple HTTP/2 test shows you that a site is capable of using HTTP/2, quite a few of the site speed suggestions are moot. Their documentation speaks of “networking round trips” that simply, in an HTTP/2 environment, don’t happen.
There are people at Google that understand this, of course.
Joost de Valk is the founder and CEO of Yoast. He’s a WordPress / Web developer, SEO & and an Open Source fanatic. He’s also (and more importantly) the father of three sons called Tycho, Ravi and Borre, a daughter called Wende and the husband of the lovely Marieke, who also works at Yoast. Read all about Joost »
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