HTTP Headers: Boosting Website Performance

In the age of digital marketing, businesses depend on two things – website performance and user experience. If your business website isn’t performing according to the most recent expectations of your consumers, it could cost you your business.

With poor user experience (UX), you can easily miss good opportunities to drive more traffic to your website, convert prospects into loyal consumers, build a loyal audience, nurture your relationship with your prospects. In essence, you won’t be able to get ahead of your competitors by taking a customer-centric approach.

Since UX and website performance are the foundation of your digital business, they are essential for your business success in the modern online business landscape. Let’s talk about the importance of UX, why it matters today, and how HTTP headers can help improve it.

User experience is more important than ever

UX is more important today than ever before for many different reasons, but here are the top ones.

It helps differentiate your brand

Implementing top UX allows your brand to stand out and helps you connect with your customers. It also helps consumers recognize your brand.

On the other hand, great UX also provides each consumer with a great customer experience, as it means your website is fully optimized for all platforms and easy to navigate. Consumers are more likely to buy your products if they can easily find what they need on your website.

UX increases customer retention and is cost-effective

Top UX is an excellent way to ensure your customers keep coming back for more. If your website leaves a positive impact on your customers, you can increase customer loyalty. That is why so many modern businesses constantly improve their websites and customer experience.

A customer-centric, fully optimized website that provides your consumer base with real value, reliable service, and great UX every time is a sure way to foster reliability and trust. In addition, you can make minor UX improvements as you go without breaking your budget.

UX is essential for improving lead generation and conversion rates as it helps keep your customers on your website longer, leading to enhanced revenues.

Common issues websites have that affect UX

There are six key elements that make great UX. If any of these elements isn’t working, it can cause issues that could affect the overall UX. These elements include:

  • Adaptability – you should optimize your website to function correctly across all customers’ devices.
  • Design – modern web design is essential to captivating your customers and keeping them engaged.
  • Functionality – whether it’s a link or a button, every element on your website should be fully functional and purposeful.
  • Navigation – if your customers can’t find what they’re looking for easily, they’ll look elsewhere. Site navigation is critical to boosting website performance.
  • Usability – tailor your site’s structure to cater to your customers’ needs.
  • Value – everything on your site should clearly convey your brand value and message.

If any of these elements is missing or isn’t working, your site will perform poorly, resulting in unhappy customers. To ensure your website is working in the best manner possible, here are common UX and website issues modern businesses are experiencing today:

  • Poor contrast, fonts, and colors
  • Lack of clarity
  • No social sign-up
  • Broken links
  • Unreachable pages
  • Poor navigation
  • Lack of responsive design
  • Excessive pop-ups
  • Inconsistent content and design
  • Poor ad placement
  • Lengthy contact forms
  • Long loading time

All these issues prevent your website from working correctly, resulting in providing each visitor with poor UX. Thankfully, you can quickly fix this by using common HTTP headers.

Introducing HTTP headers

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and refers to the internet protocol that handles data transfer between internet users and servers. They essentially allow internet users to receive the content they want to see by establishing communication between them and the online servers.

In 2015, HTTP headers received an updated version of the protocol, HTTP/2, that set a new standard by improving website speed and performance. Since HTTP headers are pieces of code essential for the exchange of information between the users’ browsers and responsive servers, they handle essential elements to the look and feel of modern websites, including javascript, CSS, HTML, etc.

In other words, you can improve your site performance by adding common HTTP headers that can ensure each customer receives the requested content in the most efficient way.

How HTTP headers can improve website performance

Adding common HTTP headers can impact your website performance in many different ways, including:

  • Caching common website elements – helps reduce the load on the network and speeds up your loading times.
  • Minimizing content load – each time a new prospect visits your website, the amount of content loaded will be minimized to expedite the site’s responsiveness.
  • Less data transferring during page rendering – reducing the amount of data transferring between users and servers during page rendering ensures extra speed.
  • Speeding up page load times.
  • Ensuring maximum uptime during higher traffic loads.

When you put these elements together, you get a fully optimized, responsive, and functional website that keeps prospects engaged.

Common uses

While there are many HTTP headers, we’re going to briefly mention the most common HTTP headers for boosting website performance.

Caching headers

Caching headers handle page elements and unchanging scripts on a local or cache server to speed up loading times. The most common caching headers include:

  • Cache-control
  • ETag
  • Vary
  • Expires

Compression headers

Compression headers use compression to reduce file sizes and speed up data transmission, ensuring better website performance. Common compression headers include:

  • Content-encoding
  • Vary
  • Content-length

Security headers

These headers define the security policies that must be maintained during each HTTP session to discover and patch any security vulnerabilities and protect websites from cyber threats. Common security headers include:

  • Content-security
  • Public-key-pins
  • Strict-transport-security
  • X-content-type-options
  • X-frame-options
  • X-XSS-protection

Properly implementing the right combination of these common HTTP headers can improve UX and take your website performance to the next level. If you are interested to know more about specific scenarios, check Oxylabs’s piece on common HTTP headers.


Website performance is crucial to receiving positive feedback from your customers. You can significantly improve your site performance by using HTTP headers to optimize your content and page load times and ensure each visitor receives nothing but a top-class, enterprise-grade user experience.


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