http/2 supported on web hosting and cloud hosting

We’re happy to announce HTTP/2 is now available on all Ecenica web hosting and cloud hosting servers. HTTP/2 significantly increases the speed your web pages load, with improvements up of to 50% and more.

At Ecenica we focus our web hosting plans around speed and security. This is why we strive to ensure we include the latest web technologies in our web hosting plans. Today, we’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of HTTP/2 on our Web Hosting and Managed Cloud Servers.

Key points:

  • New HTTP/2 available on new Ecenica web hosting and cloud hosting servers
  • HTTP/2 improves performance and security of your websites
  • Web page load times over 50% faster
  • Only works with https:// so SSL certificate required, which we include free.

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is the latest version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol created by Tim Berners-Lee. Skipping the ultra techy details, HTTP makes it possible to read news, shop online and watch videos.

The last version, HTTP 1.1, was released in 1999 and although it’s helped us all build an awesome, diverse web, the older protocol was beginning to show it’s age, so HTTP/2 was developed to provide new features to speed up all sites on the web.

What’s new in HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 focuses on performance improvements. We’ve outlined the key improvements below:

Multiplexed Streams

The biggest speed improvement HTTP/2 provides. With HTTP 1.1, when a visitor reaches your website they download the assets which make up your website (Images, CSS, JavaScript) one at a time.

Here’s a typical example of someone visiting your website which is hosted on a HTTP 1.1 server.

  1. Visitor opens your website in their web browser and requests your web page -> They wait for your web page to download.
  2. Your visitor’s web browser then requests the CSS which styles your website -> They wait for your CSS to download.
  3. They then see they need and image, so request first image -> Wait for image to download
  4. The process is repeated for the other images, JavaScript, etc. which make up your website.

As you can see, a lot of time is wasted waiting for a response and then new request. This was OK in the past when a website was made up of few images and very little JavaScript and CSS style files. But modern websites often consist of 50 to 100+ resources. So the time wasted quickly adds up.

HTTP/2 resolves this by allowing you to make multiple requests on the same connection and allowing the server to respond in any order. This means your website visitors do not to waste time waiting for resources to be requested and loaded, as there are fewer connections. The less wasted time means your website pages will load faster.

Header Compression

Second big improvement of HTTP/2 is the compression of HTTP headers. Each asset on your web page includes headers (Cookies, referer, etc) so on a page with 70-80 assets (again a low number) it can easily take 7-8 round trips just to get the headers out to the client. This causes a delay to page load times, particularly on mobiles where the round trip times are higher due to network latency.

With HTTP/2 the headers are compressed. This reduces the size of the headers and only sends the headers once per connection.

This means your web pages will load faster as only one round trip is required to send all the headers.

Priority Page Asset Loading

HTTP/2 also introduces built-in prioritisation of assets. Some web page assets are more important than others. On a typical web page, for example, you’d want to load the CSS before the images so the website can be displayed properly. With multiplexed streams this isn’t guaranteed.

So the creators of HTTP/2 have fixed this by introducing prioritisation and handed control to your web browser. This means assets can be requested with a priority by your web browser and the server will then make a decision about which assets should be delivered first.

This is great as it means web developers do not need to worry about making changes to their website apps as it’s handled automatically by your web browser.

How can I start using HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is enabled and in use on all new Ecenica web hosting plans and cloud hosting servers. All you need is a SSL certificate, which we include free, a modern web browser such as the latest Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, etc and then start accessing your website using the secure https:// link.

You’ll start benefitting immediately from the faster speeds and security our HTTP/2 web hosting provides.

Have a question about how HTTP/2 Web Hosting or our Managed Cloud Hosting can benefit you? Contact us.

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