HTTP⁄ 2 overview

Overview

HTTP/2 is a major update to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the underlying communication protocol used to move data back and forth over the web. It’s the first major update to HTTP is nearly 15 years, and is rapidly seeing adoption growth and support in both browsers and web servers. DreamPress servers come with Nginx and HTTP/2 by default for SSL/TLS.

FAQs

What benefits does HTTP/2 provide?

HTTP/2 brings a number of new features to the table, including:

  • A binary protocol, making it more compact to ship over the wire
  • Fully multiplexed, parallel connections allow for faster, more efficient data transfer
  • Server push functionality, which allows web designers to build sites that proactively send assets that are needed by a web page

Will my site be compatible with HTTP/2?

Yes! Browsers that support HTTP/2 will automatically use the newer protocol when connecting to an HTTP/2 webserver; browsers that don’t support HTTP/2 will seamlessly use HTTP/1.1, just as they currently do now. Websites won't display any differently over HTTP/2 than over HTTP/1.1, apart from potential performance increases and faster loading times.

Is my TLS certificate compatible over HTTP/2?

Yes. Your current Sectigo, Let’s Encrypt, or third-party TLS certificate will work out of the box over HTTP/2.

Can I use HTTP/2 for non-secured hosting domains?

At this time, only secured hosting domains with a TLS certificate support HTTP/2. This is largely due to the current browser implementation landscape; there are no browsers currently supporting HTTP/2 connections over cleartext.

Can I use HTTP/2 with Cloudflare?

Yes, Cloudflare supports HTTP/2. For more information, see the following Cloudflare article:

Is HTTP/2 available for Shared hosting?

No. HTTP/2 is currently only supported for domains on DreamPress. Shared hosting currently does not support an HTTP/2 connection.

Is HTTP/2 server push available at DreamHost?

Not yet. HTTP/2 server push allows a server to provide content to clients without waiting for a request. This can improve the time to retrieve a resource, particularly when a large number of subsequent resources must also be retrieved (e.g., a web page linking to dozens of JS and CSS files). Since the open source release of Nginx that provides HTTP/2 support does not include support for server push, HTTP/2 server push is not available on DreamHost servers at this time.

Enabling HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is automatically added and configured for DreamPress—no further action is needed.

Confirming HTTP/2 is working

You can test your site on a website such as this:

See also

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Article last updated PST.