What are the inodes and how to reduce their use

Welcome to our community

Be apart of something great, join today!


Reaction score
Hello Members,

If you have ever received a notice of excessive use of inodes (or inodes ) from your hosting company, you should know that you have a problem that can affect the performance of your WordPress website, and you should solve it as soon as possible.

But what are the Inode or Inodes?

The inode, inode, inode or inodes are only elements of a file system based on Unix, and each represents a log file, folder, with proprietary indicators, weight, etc.

To understand it easier, an inode is any element that occupies space on a hard disk, regardless of its size or type.

Therefore, the number of inodes is the number of files and folders you have in your hosting, no matter if the folders are empty or if the files are empty, it is a number that refers to the amount of items, not their Weight or even utility.

No matter if they are scripts, Html, images, folders and temporary files, each record on the disk is an inode. And this is important that you remember.

If you are interested in the topic, here are the articles that can expand your information:


Why let me know about excessive use of Inodes if I have plenty of disk space in my hosting?

This is the critical question to understand what I said in the previous point.

When you receive a notice from your hosting company of excessive use of inodes, the available disk space does not matter. It refers to the number of inodes housed in your hosting plan, regardless of its weight or size.

Limits of use of inodes

Hosting companies usually have inode usage limits, generally of 2 types:

Soft: It is a kind of the previous limit. You can still upload files and execute actions on your site, but performance will be limited.

Hard: When you reach the hard limit, you will not be able to upload files or create folders, and the performance of everything hosted on your plan will be severely compromised.

When you reach the hard limit, you will have to expand your hosting account, the limit of inodes per account, or what your hosting company allows.

I repeat: it doesn't matter the weight of your files. You may encounter these contradictory situations:

You have reached the limit of disk space but with few inodes: You probably have few files, but they are very heavy.

You have reached the limit of inodes, but you still have a lot of disk space: You have many files in your accommodation, probably most of them very small.

In both cases, you must expand the hosting plan.

In the first case, it would be very obvious. Usually, you will be aware of it, in the second not so much, and hence the objective of this article that you are reading.

How do I know that I am reaching the limit of use of inodes?

You will notice, there are several possible symptoms:
  • You cannot send emails.
  • You do not receive emails.
  • WordPress file upload always fails.
  • Plugins and themes installations fail.
  • WordPress updates, plugins and themes fail.
  • You cannot create posts or pages.
  • You cannot modify entries or pages.
  • Users cannot access.

Where do I see the use of inodes?

If you use cPanel, it is very easy, and you have it in the statistics.


In the previous example, everything is correct, controlled, but it is very common to have a lot of available disk space and, nevertheless, have reached the limit of inodes and have problems with your web (s).

Why does the inode limit affect WordPress performance?

If you have read the previous points, you will probably imagine the answer.

When you reach the ( hard ) limit of inodes, neither you nor any application (WordPress) can create files, either temporary, and your website will be severely affected by performance problems.

You cannot create temporary files, nor update the cache, nothing. If your mobile phone has ever run out of space, you know what I'm talking about.

Everything slows down to unbearable extremes, leaving your site virtually unusable, and occasionally showing connection errors and all kinds.

How do I reduce the use of inodes?

Well, at this point, I think you already know that you must reduce the number of files or folders, no matter what they weigh.

And there are some pretty simple good practices that you can do to reduce the use of inodes.

Delete themes and plugins that you don't use

If you have themes or inactive plugins installed, delete them, it makes no sense to have plugins taking up disk space and inodes if you are not using them.

In addition to that, it is a security risk to have inactive plugins and themes, usually unattended for updates.

No matter if you are going to use them from time to time, delete them and you will install them when you need them.

Empty the caches

If you have problems with excessive inodes, change the automatic emptying time of the disk caches you are using on your site.

Disk cache systems, some WordPress optimisation plugins, and even themes fill your hosting's hard drive with temporary cache files, which are what they use to display them instead of the dynamic content of your site.

All cache plugins have a setting to configure how often the caches will be emptied, so check them and shorten the times to a balance point between performance and inode use. A good starting point would be once a week.

Additionally, if your site is very large, you may have to do some manual emptying, or reduce the period of automatic emptying, or even dispense with the use of disk caches.

Delete temporary files

All WordPress installations, and almost any CMS, and their applications create and store temporary files.

If you are touching the inode limit, search for temporary files and delete them.

In WordPress, you can find temporary files in the following folders quite frequently:
  • / wp-content / upgrade / : This folder should exist but always be empty. It is the one that uses WordPress as a temporary repository for updates and installations.
  • / wp-content / temp / : Temporary file storage folder, usually created by plugins or themes.
  • / wp-content / tmp / : A variant of the above. Sometimes you will find both because each plugin/theme creates temporary folders with different names.
  • / wp-content / uploads / tmp / : Also in the uploads folder you can find temporary subfolders of plugins and themes.

In addition to these, it does not hurt to review the folders of your plugins and themes, because sometimes they also include subfolders for temporary file storage.

And, don't forget to check if there are also temporary file folders outside the WordPress installation.

Be austere with the images

Here I will not get heavy with the weight and size of the images, but with their quantity, no matter the weight and size. I think you understand me.

Use the images you need to illustrate your content but do not use your hosting as a store of photos that you will not use, for that there are more efficient services, even free, such as Google Photos, Flickr, even Instagram.

Also remember that WordPress creates copies of the images you upload, as well as many plugins and themes. Control the quantity to just those you need.

You can do it manually in WordPress settings or through functions.

Do not store unnecessary files for your website

Do not use the space of your hosting to host mp3 files, documents, anything. The hosting space in hosting is costly, not only because of the theme of the inodes.

Buy an external hard drive and save your stuff there, it is cheaper, and you will not compromise the performance of your website.

Empty email trash

Another of the elements that are stored in your hosting are the emails of the account associated with your domain.

Do not incur a kind of digital Diogenes syndrome and stores years of mail.

From time to time, download your mail to an external hard drive and empty those hosted on your server. Everything will be better, and it will be much cheaper.

Delete old and / or unnecessary backups

Also, check the folders where you save backup copies of both hosting and plugins, and delete old ones that you no longer need.

If you use a backup plugin, check the frequency of creating backups and the maximum period or maximum storage amount of them to keep their number at something reasonable, that does not compromise your disk space or use of inodes.

Delete temporary and residuals from the database

Yes, the database must also be in your sights. Do not leave there temporary files or old options that are taking up space and, in passing, slowing down your WordPress.

I hope this article has helped you to be aware of one more element that can affect the performance of your Wordpress site, the inodes, as well as your checking account.

Do not become obsessed but control the inodes, and also learn that it is another element to review the next time you hire a hosting for your Website.
  • Advertisement
  • Abigail

    Reaction score
    Thanks for the Information. Enlighening !
    I will make sure i use optimum number of files to allocate the necessary amount of data on my hosting.


    Reaction score
    that's a great piece of information for those clients who bough unlimited packages and came to know that they have limitation on nodes.


    Reaction score
    Almost all the hosting provider's set the inode limit in their hosting account.
    And if inode limit exceeded then it will show create issue in creating new files, creating database, receive emails etc.


    Banned User
    Reaction score
    Inodes are a part of the Linux file system that act as a directory index. The index contains information about the files and directories in the filesystem. This can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to search for a particular file or directory. Inodes can also be used to track changes to files, which can speed up file access times. By reducing the number of inodes used on your filesystem, you can save both space and performance.
  • Advertisement

    Reaction score
    Does anybody know how to limit inodes without CloudLinux?

    Such as using Linux/Unix limit or something else?