“Indicates the resource has not been modified since last requested. Typically, the HTTP client provides a header like the If-Modified-Since header to provide a time against which to compare. Using this saves bandwidth and reprocessing on both the server and client, as only the header data must be sent and received in comparison to the entirety of the page being re-processed by the server, then sent again using more bandwidth of the server and client.“ — wikipedia
“If the client has performed a conditional GET request and access is allowed, but the document has not been modified, the server SHOULD respond with this status code. The 304 response MUST NOT contain a message-body, and thus is always terminated by the first empty line after the header fields.
The response MUST include the following header fields:
Date, unless its omission is required
If a clockless origin server obeys these rules, and proxies and clients add their own Date to any response received without one (as already specified by RFC 2068), caches will operate correctly.
ETag and/or Content-Location, if the header would have been sent in a 200 response to the same request
Expires, Cache-Control, and/or Vary, if the field-value might differ from that sent in any previous response for the same variant
If the conditional GET used a strong cache validator, the response SHOULD NOT include other entity-headers. Otherwise (i.e., the conditional GET used a weak validator), the response MUST NOT include other entity-headers; this prevents inconsistencies between cached entity-bodies and updated headers.
If a 304 response indicates an entity not currently cached, then the cache MUST disregard the response and repeat the request without the conditional.
If a cache uses a received 304 response to update a cache entry, the cache MUST update the entry to reflect any new field values given in the response.“ — ietf