Required tasks to add IPv6 support to your web server

Here is what I have done when I have decided to add IPv6 support.

  • You need to add IPv6 connectivity to the network configuration of your server. I have added two static IPv6 address and one IPv6 gateway.
  • You need to add an IPv6 IP6table to my Linux server. I have duplicated the IPv4 iptable configuration file. It wasn’t simple because I have hardcoded IPv4  addresses and I had also to create an additional rule for ICMPv6.
  • Your nameservers need IPv6 AAAA records and IPv6 AAAA glue records.
  • Every website needs an AAAA record.

Why it is useless to add IPv6 support to your website.

IPv6 is useless for now on

IPv6 will be useful when there will be users who will connect to IPv6 only networks in native mode. It is not the case today and I don’t know if it will happen any. However, all the networks today are either IPv4 or dual stack (IPv4/Ipv6). There are some networks where people connect to the Internet thanks to an IPv6. However, these networks have a translation module to map IPv6 to IPv6 and vice versa. It is called NAT64. So let’s imagine an Internet Service provider with 500 millions of devices connecting to the Internet thanks to an IPv6, they will be able to connect to IPv4 only websites thanks to NAT. IPv6 could useful someday if the IPv4 gets so expensive so that new servers will only have an IPv6 in native mode. We can postpone this problem by allocating IPv4 addresses from clients to servers.

Very few websites support IPv6 in 2018

I have tested the most popular websites (amazon.com,ebay.com) and I discovered that very few of them supported IPv6.

If Airbnb, Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart don’t support IPv6 why should you support IPv6?

IPv6 has no benefits for your website

IPv6 does not bring additional security, performance. It does not have any SEO benefits. It does not help to reach a new audience.

IPv6 could be bad for google SEO

In December 2017, I have decided to turn off the IPV4 on my computer and browse the internet in IPv6. I first noticed that most of the websites didn’t work in IPv6. I expected it. Then, I visited my own websites and discovered that embedded videos, advertisements, scripts didn’t work because their external websites were not available in IPv4. For instance, amazon.com, vimeo.com have no IPv6 support.

Then, I discovered it could raise many issues with crawling from bots. We never know the reaction of bots that would crawl my website using IPv6 and be perhaps unable to visit scripts, images, and other resources because they aren’t available through IPv6.

No trust

I have found that very few major websites accepted IPv6. On top of that, those websites don’t have embedded content from other external websites or few. There aren’t enough proof that IPv6 is not harmful to SEO because IPv6 didn’t prove its worth.

Bad

Why I deactivated IPv6 on my websites in Whm/Cpanel

It started with a WHM/Cpanel problem

On my WHM/Cpanel server, I had two websites. I am going to call them website A and B. There were no redirections between them. However, When I typed res.websitea.com, it redirected to website B. I rebuilt the HTTPD configuration file. I have deactivated features. I have checked all .conf files, and I could not find the root cause of the problem. One day, I decided to deactivate IPv6 and the redirection was gone in an IPv4 only environment. I have deleted my IPv6 settings and recreated my IPv6 settings. Then, I re-activated IPv6 and the redirection didn’t come back. However, I didn’t trust IPv6 anymore.

 

Ipv6 raises some concerns

This problem was a very serious problem because it created a redirection from one account to another. IPv6 does not bring any benefits for webmasters (speed, security, SEO). So, if it generates additional problems it is useless to activate IPv6 for your websites.  After this issue with IPv6, I wondered if IPv6 could not trigger SEO problems and be responsible for a drop in traffic. At the beginning, I thought that all the big websites had an IPv6 support but I have discovered most of them don’t have IPv6 support. Then, we can start wondering if IPv6 is well accepted by Googlebot and bingbot because the number of websites with IPv6 support is very small.

List of popular websites with no IPv6 support as per December 2017

  • accuweather.com
  • airbnb.com
  • alexa.com
  • amazon.com
  • apple.com
  • bankofamerica.com
  • booking.com
  • bbc.co.uk
  • craiglist.com
  • ebay.com
  • github.com
  • ft.com
  • microsoft.com
  • moz.com
  • nytimes.com
  • quora.com
  • reddit.com
  • stackoverflow.com
  • twitter.com
  • uber.com
  • walmart.com
  • wordpress.com

It was a big surprise to discover that major worldwide websites didn’t support IPv6. This may make you change your mind about IPv6. Ipv6 is more a geeky gadget than anything else today since there is no IPv6 only visitors that would require your website to have an IPv6 support.