What is HTTP/1.1

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a top-level network protocol for transferring hypertext and random data over the Internet.

HTTP is a basic network protocol that allows you to transfer hypermedia documents to the Web, usually between a browser and a server, so that people can read them. It is a protocol without saving the state, i.e., the server does not store any data between two request-response pairs.

What is HTTP/2

In 2015, was created HTTP/2 for low-latency transport of content over the World Wide Web, the second version of the famous HTTP network protocol. This protocol allows to share text and multimedia information using so-called web links between unattached hosts such as a browser and a server.

You can learn more about HTTP/2 here.

HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1

So let’s see if HTTP/2 really speeds up the loading of sites so much and is the right way to improve the performance of the site.

The contents of each stream are HTTP/1.1 requests and responses, just encoded and packed up differently. HTTP/2 is a binary protocol that adds several features to manage the streams but leaves old semantics untouched.

HTTP/2 supports most of the high-level HTTP/1.1 syntax version. For example, request methods or status codes are the same. The most important changes are the way data packets are created and transmitted between nodes.

The server can transfer data to the client even if the browser has not yet requested it, but the browser must display the page completely. Additional queries can be multiplexed (combined queries or responses) and forwarded in a conveyor manner (multiple queries without waiting for the corresponding responses) with a single TCP connection. These improvements reduce latency and lead to better page loading speed.

Also, the HTTP/2 protocol has the following features:

  • multiple requests can be sent over a single TCP connection, and responses can be received in any order;
  • the client can set priorities for the server – which type of resources are more vital for it than the others;
  • the size of the HTTP header can be reduced;
  • the server can send data to the client that the client has not yet requested, for example, based on what page the users are opening next.

HTTP/1 vs HTTP/2 Results

HTTP/1.1 is the most common protocol and is used by default. And it will be used by most users in the near future.

But gradually, most of the Internet traffic will go through the second version of the HTTP protocol. This will not only make life easier for Internet users by increasing the speed of page loading but will also have a positive impact on ranking due to behavioral factors. As a consequence of the fast loading of the site, there will be less failure rate, and accordingly, the user will spend more time on the page. And this, in turn, will affect the ranking of the page in search and last for SEO-promotion.