Foreword

As someone who’s devoted much of his career to web performance, I welcome the continued adoption of HTTP/2. HTTP/1x has had a good run, but it’s about time we have a new standard that addresses the many inherent performance weaknesses of the data exchange protocol the Web runs on.

But performance is a journey, not a destination. HTTP/2 represents a very important milestone on that journey, but the journey will continue just the same. HTTP/2 supports a much more efficient “handshake” between the client browser and the server it’s trying to connect to, as this report by Ilya Grigorik details. These efficiencies can cut page load times in half over HTTP/1.1.

But a lot can still go wrong when the browser makes a request to the web server, whether that problem is with the browser itself, the HTML code, the local network, the DNS lookup, the nearest Internet backbone, an API request, a third-party tag, or the CDN. CDNs will be more important than ever in an HTTP/2 world since increased network latency diminishes HTTP/2’s benefits.

At Catchpoint, we like the “peeling the onion” metaphor to describe the monitoring and managing of web performance, with many layers to uncover and examine. And the onion is constantly moving, and growing. HTTP/2 may decrease page load times, but the global infrastructure that delivers your web pages remains as complex as ever.

We hope you enjoy this report and join with us in embracing HTTP/2 and all the possibilities it offers for improved web performance. ...

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