How Switching to HTTP2 Enhances Website Performance
With its increasing adoption amongst website owners, HTTP2 has been in the headlines frequently in the past few months. Always in step with new technology, we used our business website www.geoffresh.com as a test bed to see what we would find in terms of benefits and potential pitfalls for our website performance.
What is HTTP2?
HTTP2 is the newest take on the HTTP Protocol. The last time the HTTP protocol was updated was back in 1999 with HTTP 1.1. With close to 17 years of time between updates (and in a digital age 17 years is an eternity) it was time to change it up.
With websites becoming more and more hefty, web developers were challenged with how to get their great content to their visitors, while making sure it works on their tablet, mobile device, and desktop computers. With increasing server load demands, it was hard to have a sparse website with just the data the visitors needed, they would also have to factor in branding, large images, video, GIFs, and make sure that everything looked great to the visitor.
With HTTP2, the developers could breathe a sigh of relief as the speed could help get all that great content to their visitors quickly - allowing for them to push the envelope further for larger amounts of data to be displayed on the website in more interesting ways.
HTTP2 and SEO Effects
With the speed increase, it is expected that HTTP2 could help with SEO. One of the ranking factors published by the search engines is a page speed score. This score can help bump a website up a search ranking or two or send it flying down to the bottom. This is because users do not want to wait 10 seconds for a page to load. The search engines want to make sure they are giving not only the correct data searched for, but also to ensure they are sending visitors to websites with good user experience. After all, would you trust a friend if they sent you to a restaurant that had the food you wanted but you had terrible service that took forever to get you what you wanted?
Geoffresh HTTP2 Test Results
We have an HTTP2 case study that details the effects that we are currently experiencing. The bottom line is that we have seen a performance increase in both the server performance on desktop, mobile, and tablet, as well as a slight SEO increase in our target.
Some details are:
- 92% decrease in TTFB
- 35% decrease in page load time
- 94% score on page speed tests
- 83% score on YSlow tests
A Great Innovation That Can Increase Site Speed and SEO Efforts
So far, there has been a large performance increase and a small SEO increase. At the time of this writing, the test has been going on for about 2 weeks. I would expect SEO performance to increase slightly over time.