What is a inode?

When comparing web hosting services, you may notice that some providers impose inode limits. Placing limits on inodes can particularly be common with companies that offer unlimited web hosting services.

While this is not necessarily a negative thing, its useful to understand what an inode is. 

An inode is short for index node, and is a type of record used to keep information on a file on your hosting account; it contains information about files and folders. The information includes items such as who owns it, how large it is and so forth.

Not all companies will place limits on inodes, however, if you are using a cPanel based web hosting provider. You can easily see the number of inodes you are using by looking at the file usage: 

Where to check your inode usage in cPanel (Paper Lantern theme)

Where to view inode usage in cPaenl (Retro Theme)

The total number of inodes, in simple terms, represents the total number of files and folders you have on your web hosting account. 

How do I reduce the number of inodes used?

As we discussed, some web hosting providers place a limit on the number of inodes available within your web hosting account. If you are reaching you inode limit, you can reduce the amount of inodes that your account consumes. To reduce the number of used inodes, delete any unused files or emails.

What if I exceed the inode limit?

Each web hosting provider will have their own ‘rules’ in their terms and conditions. Generally, when you exceed the number, most web hosting providers that place limits will exclude you from their regular backups.

While most web hosts don’t place hard limits on the number of inodes used, some may suspend accounts that go over their limit. Therefore, we strongly recommend keeping your inodes to a minimum where possible.

If you have any questions about inodes or web hosting in general, please feel free to get in contact with your web hosting questions and answers team or by leaving a comment.