HTTP/2 is a new version for how HTTP expressed itself on the web. Though it is not an overall replacement of the protocols used, it simply focuses more on performance, end-user perceived latency, network and server resource usage. The main aim of HTTP/2 is to allow the use of a single connection from a browser to a website.
HTTP1 and HTTP1.1 were developed in a very different scenario than what the web is today. Earlier, speed was not a big issue for people due to fewer contents available for uploading on the web. Even if it was a bothering factor, people knew that this issue is independent of web servers nevertheless; the main limiting factor was the internet connection.
Today the scenario is totally different, today if a site takes more than 5 seconds to give a response it results in a huge loss perspective of online business. under this situation where speed is all that matters, HTTP version 1 and 1.1 failed to fulfill users expectations. Thus, HTTP/2 was brought to solve all these issues. Its goals are to resolve a number of problems which have become more important as the web grows larger and larger websites with many more CSS, JS and image files.
What went wrong with HTTP1 and 1.1?
The sudden up gradation of HTTP left many users to think about issues related to HTTP. Here are some of those issues listed below.
1) HTTP 1.x is text based: While developing HTTP1.x, the idea was to make it fully readable to users, this was only possible if the commands were text based, this sometimes landed in major blunders in programming such as whitespace, linkbreaks, capitalization and much more.
2) Only one file is in transfer at any one time: this was the major drawback of version 1.x, just imagine how much time consuming would it be if there was thousands of file exchange to transfer at an instance.
3) Hundreds of requests are required for websites these days: Every website today needs different and new themes and images. Doing this, the size of the website and number of resources grow. but as I said before it can transfer one file at a time only.
4) Each connection is a heavy technical process: As the users grow more so does the connections too. each connection needs separate time and effort because HTTP 1 cannot access multiple operations at a time, this makes clumsy for users as very milliseconds counts for them.
Why HTTP version 2 is a better choice?
Here I mentioned some benefits of using version 2. Once you go through it, you will understand the necessity to upgrade your version today!
1) It is fully functional by machines: No humanly efforts in coding. On top of that, it uses binary coding rather than text based, this solves the issue of data transfer too.
2) Multiple file transfer at one time: It fixes the issue where occurred on first place. This solves the problem of time consumption.
3) Server push to send files which will be required by browser: In HTTP 1.x, every time your browser needs any resources, it asks your web server to fetch it. HTTP2 Server Push sends all those resources to the web server from before the time that your web browser will need. Sounds more intelligent right?
4) Secure Certificates: Companies wanted HTTP in a fully encrypted mode as for security and privacy reasons. so, they bought this “Let’s Encrypt” to allow free secure certificates. At first, these certificates were really expensive but now the overall cost to acquire this certificate is much cheaper than before.
Upgrading your HTTP server for 1.x to version 2 is not a matter of choice for you but for your web hosting companies. You must seek an advice for this by an expertise in the technical field or if that matters, even your web hosting company can guide you.