HTTP/3: Fast and Secure

HTTP/3 with Optimizely DXP

In the ever-evolving landscape of web technologies, HTTP/3 emerges as a significant advancement, promising faster and more secure communication between clients and servers. As a solution architect, it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest protocols and understand their implications. In this blog post, we will explore what HTTP/3 is, why it is important, and when we can expect its widespread availability.

What is HTTP/3?

HTTP/3, also known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 3, is the next generation of the HTTP protocol. It is being developed to address the limitations and challenges faced by its predecessor, HTTP/2. HTTP/3 is designed to improve the efficiency of web communications by utilizing the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) instead of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).

The Importance of HTTP/3:

  • Enhanced Performance: HTTP/3 leverages the QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) transport protocol, which significantly improves performance. QUIC allows for lower latency and reduced connection setup time, leading to faster loading times for web pages and improved overall browsing experience.
  • Improved Security: HTTP/3 incorporates encryption as a fundamental part of the protocol. This means that data sent using HTTP/3 is encrypted by default, enhancing security and privacy for users. Additionally, the use of QUIC's built-in encryption makes it more resistant to certain types of attacks compared to previous versions of HTTP.
  • Network-Friendly: UDP-based communication used in HTTP/3 ensures better network utilization by reducing the head-of-line blocking problem. This issue often occurs with TCP, where a packet delay or loss can affect the delivery of subsequent packets. HTTP/3's QUIC protocol eliminates this problem, allowing for parallel request and response multiplexing.
  • Seamless Migration: HTTP/3 maintains backward compatibility with previous versions of the HTTP protocol, making it easier for developers to transition their applications. Existing websites and APIs can gradually adopt HTTP/3 without requiring significant changes to the underlying infrastructure.

When will HTTP/3 be available?

HTTP/3 is still in development and actively being deployed by several organizations. However, its widespread availability depends on multiple factors, including browser and server support. As of the time of writing, several major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, have experimental support for HTTP/3. Cloudflare has added support for HTTP/3 and you can easily switch it on, below are some steps on how to achieve this.

Get started using HTTP/3

HTTP/3 is set to revolutionize the web with its improved performance, enhanced security, and better network utilization. As solution architects, it's important to familiarize ourselves with this evolving protocol to leverage its benefits for our clients and users. While HTTP/3 is not widely available just yet, you can start to experiment with HTTP/3 by enabling this in the three most major browsers.

Enabling HTTP/3 in Cloudflare involves a few straightforward steps. Here's a guide on how to enable HTTP/3 for your website:

  1. Log in to your Cloudflare account: Access your Cloudflare account by visiting the Cloudflare website and entering your credentials.
  2. Select your domain: Once logged in, select the domain for which you want to enable HTTP/3. This will open the dashboard for that particular domain.
  3. Go to the "Network" tab: In the Cloudflare dashboard, navigate to the "Network" tab located at the top of the page. Click on it to access the network settings for your domain.
  4. Enable HTTP/3: Within the "Network" tab, scroll down until you find the "HTTP/3" section. Toggle the switch to enable HTTP/3 for your domain.
  5. Save and deploy changes: After enabling HTTP/3, click on the "Save" or "Deploy" button (the exact wording may vary) to save your changes and apply them to your domain.
  6. Verify HTTP/3 activation: Once you have enabled HTTP/3, you can verify its activation by visiting your website and checking the network tab in your browser's developer tools. Look for the protocol being used for your website's requests. If it shows "h3" or "quic" instead of "http/1.1" or "http/2," it means HTTP/3 is successfully enabled.

Please note that enabling HTTP/3 in Cloudflare relies on the browser and client support for HTTP/3. While major browsers have support for HTTP/3, not all clients may be compatible at the time of implementation. Cloudflare automatically negotiates the best protocol available between the client and their servers, falling back to HTTP/2 or HTTP/1.1 if HTTP/3 is not supported.

Optimizely DXP Support HTTP/3

It is worth noting at the time of writing I reached out to Optimizely to see if it is possible to switch on / enable HTTP/3 in the DXP environment. Optimizely  have advised that currently HTTP/3 is not supported in DXP and due to this they won't activate in cloudflare.

They did however suggest that I raise a feature request and the team will consider this in future developments.

I had a quick check of the feature requests first before creating a duplicate request and I found this has already been request. If you too would like this feature implemented I would suggest you vote for this request.


In conclusion, HTTP/3 presents a significant advancement in web communication, offering improved performance, enhanced security, and better network utilization. As solution architects, it's crucial for us to understand the implications of this evolving protocol and leverage its benefits for our clients and users. While HTTP/3 is still being developed and its widespread availability depends on browser and server support, it is possible to start experimenting with HTTP/3 in Cloudflare.

Enabling HTTP/3 in Cloudflare involves straightforward steps outlined in the blog post. However, it's important to note that at the time of writing, Optimizely DXP does not support HTTP/3 in its environment. The Optimizely team suggests raising a feature request and encourages users to vote for its implementation.

As HTTP/3 continues to gain traction and more organizations adopt it, we can anticipate a future where faster, more secure, and efficient web communications become the norm. By staying informed and actively exploring the possibilities of HTTP/3, we can position ourselves as forward-thinking solution architects ready to embrace the future of web technologies.


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