Everyone wants their website to perform better. And as a WP Engine customer, you rely on us to ensure your site is hitting all of your performance goals and providing your visitors with an amazing digital experience. Today, we’re happy to announce that WP Engine now supports HTTP/2, the latest version of HTTP, which can reduce web page latency and improve SEO.
HTTP/2—or simply “H2” for those in the know—accelerates the transmission of data over HTTP, including encrypted traffic over SSL/TLS.
Starting today, we’re rolling our customers’ sites to HTTP/2 so you can enjoy the speed and SEO benefits. The move to HTTP/2 requires no intervention from you if you already have SSL/TLS certificates—you don’t have to make any changes to your content or code. But browsers do require SSL/TLS certificates for HTTP/2 to work, so if you don’t already have certificates for your site, you can purchase them by using the User Portal. Check here to see if HTTP/2 is working for your site.
We used WP Engine Page Performance to measure the impact of HTTP/2, and we found that our most trafficked pages on wpengine.com achieved an average page load time improvement of 17 percent using HTTP/2 versus HTTP/1.1 (results may vary depending on your site). CloudFlare has also published statistics that compare page load times for HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2. In CloudFlare’s study, HTTP/2 more than halved page load times.
HTTP/2 eliminates the need for you to choose between site performance, security, or SEO. With HTTP 1.1, sites using SSL often took longer to load due to latency while establishing a secure connection. With HTTP/2, you can use SSL certificates without compromising the experience for your site visitors. Additionally, Google considers speed a page ranking factor, and GoogleBot will soon support HTTP/2, which means websites on HTTP/2 may get a rankings boost because of the additional speed. It’s a win-win-win.
HTTP/2 is the latest in a number of key product launches aimed at improving your site’s speed. Earlier this month, we released the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin, a solution you can use to test your WordPress site’s readiness for PHP 7, which has been proven to make WordPress sites twice as fast as previous PHP versions. We also recently unveiled Page Performance, a Performance Intelligence tool that analyzes your site’s performance and provides actionable data and recommendations for how you can speed up your site.
HTTP/2 support is one more step toward achieving the fastest WordPress experience on the web.