Adam Gent

Adam Gent

Senior Search Strategist

There’s been a lot of chat around version 2.0 of the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). So to help those who want to identify what HTTP version their website is served on, I have listed three free tools to test your site.

Be aware that one of the requirements of HTTP/2 is that your site must be on HTTPS (TLS over HTTP). Chances are that if you are not on HTTPS, you are not on version 2.0 of the new protocol. To read more on what the requirements of HTTP/2, I recommend reading this post by Rachel Andrew from Smashing Magazine.

The Google Chrome Developer Tool

If you are still not opening the Chrome Developer Toolkit then I suggest that you start integrating it into your SEO and web analysis. I would read 10 Chrome Dev Tool Hacks by James Porter at Distilled and My Favourite SEO Tool Isn’t An SEO Tool by AJ KOHN to see the benefits of using this tool. I cannot stress enough how awesome it is (and it’s free!).

To check your site using the Developer tool, you will need to add the protocol column to the Network tab. To do this, open the Developer toolkit by hitting F12 or right clicking and inspect element in Chrome. Then navigate to the Network tab and right click on one of the headings, then click protocol in the drop down menu.

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This will add a new protocol column to the Network tab and let you know which HTTP protocol version each resource (HTML, CSS, JS, font, etc.) is being served on.

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From there you will be able to identify if any of your own internal resources are being served over HTTP/2. As you can see from the screenshot above, https://www.branded3.com/ is on HTTP/2, but some of the CSS and JS files from Google are still on SPDY.

Browser Extensions

If you prefer a quicker alternative, then there is one notable browser extension for checking HTTP/2.0. The HTTP/2 and SPDY Indicator extension for chrome adds a lightning bolt to your browser and changes colour to let you know if there is SPDY or HTTP/2. There is an extension for Firefox as well, if you don’t like using Chrome.

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If a blue lightning bolt appears when a page is loaded, the webpage was served using HTTP/2.

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A red lightning bolt indicates that the webpage was served using SPDY.

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A grey lightning bolt indicates that the webpage was served using neither SPDY or HTTP/2.

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Online Tool

If you can’t use Chrome Developer tools or add extensions to your browser, then you can check using a HTTP/2 online testing tool from keycdn.com.

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Further Reading on HTTP/2

If you feel like you want to read up more on HTTP/2, the below sites will help:

  1. For more information on what HTTP/2 is, I suggest heading over to the High Performance Browser Network
  2. A community of developers at GitHub have created a comprehensive list of tools for analysing and debugging HTTP/2
  3. Visit the FAQ pages on the HTTP/2 micro site on GitHub for further reading

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