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Unlimited Hosting vs Inodes

Hostgator offers unlimited hosting capacity. But what does ‘unlimited’ means? Does ‘unlimited’ means that you can now store unlimited files in your Hostgator account?

The answer is NO.

Surprised? As a smart consumer, you should know that all unlimited hosting offers are actually limited. While storage capacity and bandwidth offered are unlimited, hosting companies often set limits in CPU processing power or number of files. Yes, it’s true that hosting companies are able to offer as much as hosting power their users want under normal circumstances; unlimited hosting offer in reality, however, is more like a marketing gimmick that’s used to attract shopper’s eyeballs. You might want to read further on the truth about unlimited hosting offer here but what we’ll discuss in this post is the file storage limitation in Hostgator account.

Inodes limitation in Hostgator

Yes, Hostgator limits number of files you can store in their hosting account. Or more accurately, Hostgator sets limits in inodes.

Illustration of inodes

What’s inodes?

Inodes the data structure on a traditional Unix-style file system such as UFS. An inode stores basic information about a regular file, directory, or other file system object. In brief, inode is the count of files created or uploaded to a server. At the time of writing, the inodes quota in my Hostgator account is 250,000 – this means that I can only upload or create, by maximum, 250,000 files in my unlimited hosting account.

I feel cheated! They said they are offering unlimited hosting!

Don’t be. Folks at Hostgator had never hide anything about these fact about inodes quota and the inode usages are showed clearly in every account’s cPanel front page. Hostgator, in fact, is the very few hosting companies that is such transparent towards their shoppers.

Bluehost and Hostmonster mentioned about account suspension for overused CPU quota (but not inodes!) and Lunarpages talked about inodes count on their wikipage but nothing specific are mentioned. Not to say that these other hosting companies are bad, but at least you can see that unlimited hosting packages by others are not ‘unlimited’ after all.

So if inodes limitation is not cheating then what does inodes has to do with me?

Basically nothing – unless you plan to run your site on a buggy database scripts or use your Hostgator account for spamming purpose. 250,000 inodes indeed, is a huge number and it’s pretty hard to fill up the quota. I runs 5 websites on my Hostgator account and yet I used less than 3% of the inodes quota given.


So please, don’t misunderstand that I’m writing this blog post to complain Hostgator. Instead, I’m trying to make you stay informed with what you’re buying. Hostgator, is still, very much recommended and I introduce them to my friends and families every time I was asked.

Hostgator Physical Address

Wish to contact Hostgator via snail mail, or wish to go visit them in the office? Now here’re the details you need! mailing address
11251 Northwest Freeway, Suite 400 Houston, TX 77092, United States of America
Tel #: 1-866-964-2867, 1-713-574-5287

P/S: Yeah, I know, it feels better when you know the physical location of the guys who’re dealing with your credit card.