Isn’t technology wonderful? Those words come to mind when I read Billy Hoffman’s article on Moz. HTTP/2: A Fast, Secure Bedrock for the Future of SEO is a well-written explanation of why HTTP/2 has been developed, what it can do for your site, and how to add HTTP/2 support to your site.
Why Is HTTP/2 A Good Idea?
To use the illustration in the article, HTTP/1 is like the narrow, bumpy roads that worked fine when we were all using horses but aren’t so great now that we all drive cars on those roads. There is more traffic, we are trying to go faster, and the road isn’t designed for that type of use. The way that HTTP/1 works is like single requests, back and forth between the server and the browser. HTTP/2 can bundle those requests (multiplexing) and be more efficient.
To use another of Hoffman’s illustrations:
Think of multiplexing like going to the grocery store and calling your spouse just once to get the full list: “Okay we need milk, eggs, and butter. Check.”
Compare this to HTTP/1.1 which is like calling your spouse over and over: “Do we need milk? Okay, bye.” “Hello me again—do we need eggs too? Yep, okay.”, “Okay, sorry, one last question, do we need flour too? Nope, good.”
This efficient communication does more than speed up the performance of your site — it also helps a lot with security. Both are good reasons to add this support to your site, but what happens to all that HTTP/1 interaction when you do?
Add Advantage Without Losing Old Benefits
HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 are like two different languages. As long as browser and server speak both languages, there’s no problem. Therefore your HTML markup, redirects or 404 pages, URLs, page content, etc. are still good. Adding HTTP/2 support gives a safer, faster option to those who want it, but the older HTTP/1 is still in place for those who can’t go that fast.
Should you do it? Well, it’s a good idea to do an online health checkup regularly, and this is definitely something to consider when you do. It looks like there’s nothing to lose, and a lot to gain by adding HTTP/2.