What is 304 Not Modified?

304 Not Modified - a status code that indicates a request from the client to the server for some resource. If there are no changes made to the requested resource since last time, then server responds with this status code. In other words, it means that data hasn't been modified and browser can use cached version of requested resource.

This technique helps us save bandwidth usage and decrease load times as well.

The name of the status code is derived from its meaning: "not modified". When we talk about HTTP requests, any time you download something such as an image or a JavaScript file, you're making an HTTP request akin to opening up your web browser and typing in a URL or clicking on a link. When you make this kind of request, your web browser sends out various bits of information including what's called headers which provide metadata about what it is exactly that you're requesting. This header will include an If-Modified-Since timestamp value which basically tells the server when was the most recent time this content was downloaded by the browser.

Benefits of 304 Not Modified Status Code

The first benefit associated with using 304 Not Modified response message is reduction in bandwidth costs.The second major benefit associated with HTTP 304 response message is faster page loading times for websites since caching reduces latency between requester (browser) & provider (webserver).

Caching dynamic pages also reduces database queries required to generate pages thus reducing overall CPU usage and reducing hosting costs by not having to scale hardware capacity exponentially based on traffic demand spikes.

In summary, using 304 http Response Messages greatly improves website load speeds by enabling clients’ browsers to fetch resources from their cache instead of having every object transferred again from servers over network protocols.

How to Implement 304 Not Modified Status Code

To implement the 304 Not Modified, developers need to understand how caching works in conjunction with HTTP headers. The server must respond with a Last-Modified header and the client should store this value for future requests If subsequent requests are made within a certain period of time, they will include an If-Modified-Since header containing that date/time. When using the same URL to make an HTTP request, if the timestamp is unchanged, your browser will display its cached version of that resource rather than downloading it again.

Another way - ETag which provides stronger validation guarantee than Last-Modified approach.Thus, Adding such information not only accelerates response times but also helps in reducing network overheads.

Caching is one of many techniques that make web faster and more responsive by decreasing load times improving website performance.This technique should be implemented carefully because certain types of data should never be cached because it’s private or been changed frequently.