Moving to HTTP/2

I upgraded my server to Ubuntu 16.04, converted my websites over to HTTPs, and locked them in using HSTS. It would be a shame to stop here without making one last change: upgrading to the HTTP/2 protocol.

The web has been spinning along on HTTP 1.1 since 1997. It’s been a good and faithful servant. However, the protocol is also showing its age, leading to gimmicks and workarounds just to more readily process today’s web pages.

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The Slowness of IPv6

Sunspot on sun obscured by clouds

When I set up my new server and moved my DNS records to my name registrar, I also included records for my server’s IPv6 address (2600:3c00::f03c:91ff:fecf:250d), as well as the familiar IPv4 address (72.14.184.192).  Supporting both is known as dual stack.

I didn’t have to support IPv6 since I do have an IPv4 address, but if I’m going to do the shiny new with my site, I’m going to go shiny, new all the way.

Besides, there’s no more room at the inn with the old IPv4 system. We’ve run out of web addresses under the old IPv4 addressing system.  The current IPv4 system only allows for 4.3 billion addressed, and they’ve all been assigned.

Yeah, haven’t we been prolific on the web.

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Moving to HTTPS: First, you upgrade everything

hummingbird on branch

I was one of the lucky folks who received an email from Google warning me that it was going to start marking input fields in my sites as unsafe. “Time to move to HTTPS”, it smugly informed me.

It irks me that we’ve given a company such power over us that it can force us into using technology before we’re ready. However, I knew it was a matter of time before I’d have to go to HTTPS, so decided to just bite the bullet and get it done.

But if I move to HTTPS, I’m making the task a component of an overall site upgrade.  That was my original intent all along…incorporating HTTPS into a total site makeover. Except my plan was to finish by year-end, rather than October. Best laid plans…

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