How SSL Improves Your Webpage Load Speed
Are you worried about your website’s speed and how you can improve it? If so, then you are on the right track. According to reports, page load speed directly impacts the bounce rate, and websites that load fast tend to drive more engagement. So, if you are worried about how to speed up your website, then one way of doing that is by making use of SSL certificates that run on the HTTP/2 protocol. Wondering what that means? Stick with us and we will tell you all you need to know about it.
What is an SSL Certificate?
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate or an SSL certificate is a digital certificate that enables the secure exchange of data between the client and the server. Back in 1989, when the internet was being conceptualized, the development of HTTP was initiated. After persistent efforts, the HTTP was released in 1997, but it was less than perfect and was soon replaced by an advanced version in 1999.
However, there were two major flaws in the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and that was its plain-text transmission of data and low-latency. Therefore, developers had to bring in the HTTP/2 in 2015 and end their support towards the HTTP protocol.
Webmasters still running on the HTTP protocol can shift to HTTP/2 by installing a single or multi-domain SSL Certificate based on their website’s structure. In the case of multiple subdomains, the webmaster may consider Wildcard SSL Certificates.
We would also like to point out that you must buy an SSL certificate issued by a reliable certifying authority and not a self-signed one. As most browsers carry the public keys of recognized CAs only, they may not vouch for your self-signed SSL certificate. Before we move further to discuss how SSL improves your website’s speed, let’s figure out the benefits of using SSL certificates and why website speed matters.
Key Benefits of Using SSL Certificates
- Ensures secure transmission of data through encryption
- Provides SEO advantage
- Helps build more credibility with security cues
- Protects from cyberattacks like phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks
- Can be useful for regulatory compliance
Why is the Website’s Speed important?
Google, the world’s No.1 search engine receives over 60% of search queries from mobile device users. This includes smartphones, iPads, and other portable communication devices that require high-speed page loading. Since most mobile device users run searches on-the-go, they have little time to wait.
Plus, attention spans are reducing, and people continuously lookout for quick and efficient solutions. According to Oracle’s study, the average attention span has been reduced to eight seconds. So, if your web page takes too long to load, the reader will bounce off
Other benefits of a high-speed website include better user experience, improved SEO, and better overall website ranking. We shall now explore why HTTP/2 can speed up your website more effectively than its predecessors.
How does SSL Improve the Website’s Speed?
SSL certificates that work with HTTP/2 over HTTPS can significantly improve the website’s speed by accelerating data transmission between the client and the server. However, to take advantage of this, you must confirm with the hosting service provider if the HTTP/2 is available particularly for your sites.
Below mentioned are some of the core functionalities of the HTTP/2 protocol, which makes your website faster.
High-Speed Data Transfer with Multiplexing
The HTTP/2 allows the browser to simultaneously request multiple web elements and that too through a single connection. Unlike the archaic HTTP protocol, it does not make single requests for the web elements.
In the HTTP protocol, each request sent by the browser is individually processed and responded to by the server, which makes the entire process slow and time-consuming. So, the HTTP/2 protocol developers worked towards overcoming this through full request and response multiplexing, which makes the whole process much faster.
In the HTTP Protocol, the browser first loads the HTML document and then parses the code. It then checks for the required assets and makes subsequent individual requests. That was how the HTTP worked, which was ok when websites had fewer assets but not anymore.
The present-day website requires a faster response and so the HTTP/2 was developed with the Server Push functionality. So, when a web page loads and a request is made, the server can push additional assets along with the HTML document. It is the server that determines what additional assets the browser would need. Overall, it reduces the server load time and increases the response rate considerably.
Header Compression for better speed
The internet works by transmitting data from source to destination through internet packets, and how this is done is important. Since the headers pass on essential information to the server, they accompany each request. So, the size of the header matters as it deeply impacts network latency.
In HTTP, the headers were heavy and added-up an extra 500 bytes or more to each request causing low latency. The HTTP/2 overcame this through HPACK, a robust header compression algorithm that can significantly reduce the header’s size and compress it to just a couple of bytes.
Overall, the HTTP/2 delivers better website speed than its predecessors through multiplexing, server push, HPACK header compression, and content prioritization. All of that while retaining the HTTP’s original application semantics. So, the HTTP/2 only changes how the data is formatted and transmitted, which increases the website’s speed considerably.