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What Is An Inode Limit?
What Is An Inode Limit?

Demystify what inodes are and how they affect your account.

Jamie G. avatar
Written by Jamie G.
Updated over a week ago

At NameHero we limit the number of Inodes per cPanel account on Shared and Reseller accounts. See details about our generous resource limits here!

What the heck is an inode and why is it limited?

An inode is a data structure in a Unix-style file system that describes a filesystem object such as a file or a directory. Each inode stores the attributes and disk block location(s) of the object’s data. Filesystem object attributes may include metadata (times of last change, access, modification), as well as owner and permission data. Directories are lists of names assigned to inodes. A directory contains an entry for itself, its parent, and each of its children.

That’s the best definition I could get provided by Wikipedia. But in short, I just tell customers to consider an inode a file. We place these type of limits on our Shared and Reseller hosting packages to optimize for performance. If we didn’t have such limits in place, we wouldn’t be able to provide servers with blazing fast speed.

How many inodes does the average website use?

The average small business WordPress website uses around 5,000 Inodes. This amount greatly increases if you utilize email on your web hosting account. The majority of websites looking for shared or reseller hosting won’t ever have to worry about this limit. However websites with a lot of files that aren’t properly maintained will run into these type of issues.

Keep your file structure clean

Especially for those that have had their website online for many years, it’s easy to start accumulating files that are no longer needed. If you utilize a caching plugin for WordPress, it’s possible you need to truncate your caching directory a couple of times a month to keep things clean and organized. Another big reason for increased Inodes is storing large amounts of email on the server. Users should download these emails to their computer or at least make sure to truncate / clean their spam box regularly.

Limit the number of add-on domains

I’ve blogged a lot about the best practices when it comes to hosting multiple domains / websites. This is the biggest reason why you should invest in a Reseller hosting package if you’re wanting to host more than one website as the Inode limit will be “fresh” with each cPanel account you create. If you have lots of add-on and sub domains, you’ll quickly increase the number of Inodes on your account.

What happens if you hit the limit?

As you near your account inode limit, the account will still function but you’ll have a warning message in your cPanel. At this point in time there isn’t a need to panic, but it should serve as a reminder to start doing some basic website “house keeping” to reduce the limit. As stated above, this may include deleting some old files and/or emails.

Once you hit the limit the account will cease to function. Meaning you’ll no longer be able to upload new files, receive emails, etc. until you bring that number down or upgrade your account.

Upgrades available

Most customers that reach the limit find that cleaning up their file structure solves their problem. For those that still have inode limit issues may need to upgrade to the next tier of hosting packages. Accounts that reach the highest level of Shared hosting, Business Cloud limit (500,000 inodes), may simply be too big for shared hosting and need their own Virtual Private Server. Our VPS hosting & Flex VPS hosting packages do not include any type of Inode limit.

We’re here to help

As said above, we place these type of limits on our accounts to keep our servers running at optimal performance. When I first started Name Hero, I said I didn’t want to impose such limits, but quickly learned that wasn’t a reality if I wanted to be able to offer extremely fast web hosting coupled with 99.9% uptime. Therefore if you have any questions over these limits or would like to know how you can clean-up your account, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to help!

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