Web Hosting & Inode Policy

web hosting inode policy

Most web hosting providers have an inode policy within their terms of use. The eye-catching headlines are usually unlimited websites, disk space, to name a few, where consumers look for on websites. However, the often overlooked fine print is the inode policy, which sets a limit to the resource you get.

What is an Inode?

The inode is a data structure in a Unix-style file system. It describes a file-system object such as a file or a directory. In other words, the number of inodes indicates the number of files and folders you have.

Therefore, if you have a server that contains only 1 folder and 1 file within it, inode is 2. If you have an email with 5 attachments in it, inode is 6.

Do Web Hosting Providers really impose inode limit?

Yes. As of writing, some of the popular hosting company have inode limit as follow:

  • GoDaddy’s inode limit is 250,000 across their plans
  • SiteGround’s inode limit ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 depending on the plan
  • HostGator’s limit is 100,000
  • Bluehost from 50,000 to 300,000
  • Hostinger is 250,000
  • … and so on

How accurate can inode policy be in web hosting?

Any hosting provider is able to track inode easily, since this is a Unix file system. The example below shows the file anaconda-ks.cfg has an inode number of 100663428

[root@localhost ~]# ls -li anaconda-ks.cfg
100663428 -rw-------. 1 root root 1025 Jun 13 17:02 anaconda-ks.cfg

In the server, every file and folder has its own inode number. So adding these inode numbers up can accurately give the hosting provider the ability to track your inode usage.


Most web hosting providers offer unlimited disk space on surface. However, underneath the bonnet it is this inode that sets a limit to how much you can store in your account. If you truly need freedom without hidden restrictions to your website or email, consider VPS services or Dedicated Servers.

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