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As a newish protocol for the transport of data over the web, HTTP/2 has the potential to significantly speed up your website, as well as help you with your SEO efforts. The ‘old’ HTTP1.1 protocol only allows web servers to send one file at a time as each file must be sent down a single line, and the line must be opened and closed at the end of each file transfer which can take a long time to complete. 

Because HTTP/2 allows the line to remain open and a large amount of data can be sent simultaneously, this dramatically increases speed. This article aims to provide an overview of HTTP/2, why it’s a good thing for your SEO, and how it can be implemented on your website.

How does HTTP/2 work?

When clicking on a link takes you to a website, a request is made to the server to display the webpage. In response to my request, the server responds with an error message and a piece of information about the files on that website. Then, to download, the browser asks for them after viewing the list. HTTP/2 differs from HTTP 1.1.

Imagine that you would like to buy a new LEGO set. To buy LEGO, the first step is to go to the store and purchase it. You open the box when you get home and inspect the instructions on the side of the box, which tell you precisely what to do: one brick at a time, as you bring it inside. Hence, to determine which brick should be used next, you need to refer to the instructions for every brick. Similarly, the next brick should be placed, and so on. Until you have completed the entire LEGO set, you will have to go back and forth until you have finished this process. The number of bricks in your set is 3,300, so it will take quite some time for you to build it. 

HTTP/2 can handle more things at once

You can speed up your loading times with HTTP/2 by taking advantage of its cool features. One of the most important of these techniques is full multiplexing, which refers to the fact that multiple requests can be handled over a single connection through the entire transfer process, meaning that various requests can be held simultaneously. 

In addition, there is something cool called Server Push; this starts as a single request, but the server then notices that the HTML requires multiple assets, so it sends them all together without any further requests. So again, it is possible that this could be a good fit for your site, but it depends on several factors that are too complex for us to go into detail.

Implementing HTTP/2

The HTTP2 Pro site has a tool that you can use to test whether or not your server HTTP/2. Find out what your options are by contacting your hosting provider. Make sure your CDN features a complete HTTP/2 solution called Content Delivery Network. An HTTPS connection is required if you want to implement HTTP/2. Get a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate if you do not have one already to upgrade to HTTP/2.

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