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Best Practices for HTTP1.1 Becoming Bad Practices for HTTP/2

  • Best Practices for HTTP1.1 Becoming Bad Practices for HTTP/2-

    CSS Sprites and Images Consolidation

    Another common practice that existed during the time of HTTP 1.1 was the consolidation of multiple images and using CSS sprites, which reduce the number of image resources per page, and thus the number of requests required to deliver the page to the browser. The tradeoff of this best practice is that by consolidating multiple images together, one would reduce the likelihood that those images could be reused later on from the browser's cache, thus hurting performance instead of improving it.

    As the number of requests per page is no longer an issue with HTTP/2, it is better to avoid consolidating images, in turn maximizing caching efficiency.

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Best Practices for HTTP1.1 Becoming Bad Practices for HTTP/2

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  • Best Practices for HTTP1.1 Becoming Bad Practices for HTTP/2-3

    CSS Sprites and Images Consolidation

    Another common practice that existed during the time of HTTP 1.1 was the consolidation of multiple images and using CSS sprites, which reduce the number of image resources per page, and thus the number of requests required to deliver the page to the browser. The tradeoff of this best practice is that by consolidating multiple images together, one would reduce the likelihood that those images could be reused later on from the browser's cache, thus hurting performance instead of improving it.

    As the number of requests per page is no longer an issue with HTTP/2, it is better to avoid consolidating images, in turn maximizing caching efficiency.

The Internet has evolved significantly since HTTP 1.1 was introduced 17 years ago. During this evolution, we've seen many enhancements to improve a user's online experience, such as the development of rich content. However, delivering these improvements came at one particular cost: performance. These evolving performance challenges were something that HTTP 1.1 was not designed to handle.

In February 2015, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an international community of network designers, operators, vendors and researchers concerned with the evolution of Internet architecture, released a new HTTP/2 version to address those challenges and adapt to the progression that Internet content has undergone.

As HTTP/2 took a long time to arrive, many interim best practices were developed to bypass the performance bottlenecks of HTTP 1.1. However, we learned that many of those HTTP 1.1 performance-enhancing practices would actually contribute to slowing web application delivery rather than accelerating it when using the new HTTP/2 protocol. In this slideshow, Radware's Yaron Azerual takes a look at a few examples organizations should consider.