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HTTP/2 is coming – does anyone care yet?

Privacy and Performance.

The current HTTP/1.1 wasn’t designed for the complexity of delivering modern-day digital services – time to say hello to HTTP/2 and a better, faster and more secure web.

Most folks have never even heard of HTTP/1.1 so why might this be significant?

The old standard put some major restrictions on how web pages load, specifically the load order and the number of resources that are loaded simultaneously. These problems are well understood, and consequently there are workarounds to speed up websites.

Much of that is going to be redundant when HTTP/2 comes along. In fact, some of the workarounds that were used to make sites fast will in the future make them slower!

When?

HTTP/2 is here now and being used by organisations such as Twitter. What’s holding it up at the moment is full browser support and widespread use of TLS/SSL. HTTP/s is already fully supported in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Safari is supposed to have released it in Safari 9, but we’ve not seen to in action yet.

As the browser is the driving force, websites will still need to support the old HTTP/1.1 standard for a while. But do consider using HTTP/2 functions at the cost of slightly lower performance for legacy browsers.

So no major rush, then. The RFC was only published in May – it will take a while to become a standard, but if you’re contemplating a new web project in the short term you’d be advised to include it part of the specification.

Note: While SSL/TLS is not technically required to use HTTP/2, it is likely that browsers will only support secure connections. So, if your site is not secured, then you need to think about doing that now. We’ve been 100% secure for all of our digital services since September 2014, for good reasons and can help you to secure your sites if you need to.