Hostmonster 50000 files limit

I have been using Hostmonster for more than 2 years, and I was quite satisfied until now. When I registered in 2006, Hostmonster gives more than enough disk space, and bandwidth for me. Few months ago, I decided to extend my registration for another 3 years, I am doing this because the uptime of the server is excellent, and they are responsive to questions and requests (such as adding DNS record, or resolving some problem with CPanel).

Three days ago, I got an email from abuse department, it says that I have been storing to many files. I have about 300 thousands files, and their limit (that they just set on May) is 50 thousands file. You may think that 50 thousands file is a lot, but in reality it is not. Many software uses thousands of small files, for example there are more than 1800 files on gallery2 (typical install, english only), there are more than 1000 files for wordpress. Joomla with virtuemart will use more than 6000 files. I think this new limit has something to do with their new UNLIMITED HOSTING offer.

That is only the default install. Many web applications uses more files. For example, gallery2 will cache the resized sizes (thumnail, normal view, full view, etc) so if you upload 1000 pictures, it may end up becoming 3000 files or more. I got quite many blog entries (because I have been blogging in my Indonesian blog for 3 years), so I need to install wp-cache to speed things up. The cache is file based, so in just one of my blog, I use about around 4000 files.

The worst part is Hostmonster also counts their configuration files, empty directories, log files, and emails in the total. So if you have several email account, and you haven’t pop your email for a while, your file count will be high. If you use IMAP, then you can not have many messages, because every message is a file.

After cleaning up my files, removing my photos, uninstalling gallery, I finally lowered down my file count to around 44000. Now I only use about 1.7 GB of the disk space. So much for unlimited space hosting 🙁

Hotlink Protection in Hostmonster's CPanel

So far I have been quite happy with hostmonster’s performance and quality. It is not really that good, but for the price, I get what I pay for. There is this one problem in the Hotlink Protection that I never bother to fix.  Sometimes ago, I enabled hotlink protection, and when I tried to disable it, suddenly all of my WordPress blogs permalinks stops working. I didn’t know what was wrong, and I just re-enabled the hotlink protection. Today I found out that the problem is in CPanel, it removes the "RewriteEngine  on" line from the .htaccess files when you turn off the hotlink protection (after turning it on).

Re-adding the "RewriteEngine on" to the first line of the .htaccess files fixed that. I have several blogs, so editing one by one will take a long time, so I did the editing from command line. Inserting a text to the first line of a file can be done using sed:

sed -i '1i\RewriteEngine on' $i filename

And to change a lot of files at once you can do this (bash shell):

for i in dir1/.htaccess dir2/.htaccess  ; do sed -i '1i\RewriteEngine on' $i; done

Hostmonster Tips

I have been using hostmonster for about a month. This web hosting is not perfect, but I think it has a good price/features. Some of the things that I have learned from using this web hosting are:

  1. If you want to use PHP5, you must indicate that to the customer service upfront. The default server uses PHP4, and your data must be moved if you choose PHP5 at a later time (which will cause your web to be down for a while).
  2. Be careful when adding domain and subdomain. For example: When I add the tool will suggest the directory “yohanes” for that domain, and when I add, it will also suggest “yohanes” for that domain. The result is that both will point to the same content (which I didn’t want). You can fix it later but it will waste your time.
  3. Use the live chat if possible, they respond quicker compared to using the trouble ticket.
  4. If you are sure that you have read the documentation and still get an error message, just contact the tech support. I think their software is a bit buggy, but the tech support can override the buggy part.

After a week, it seems that everything on my site has been set up properly. Email works just fine, bandwidth is no longer a problem for me, and I have installed several programs without a problem (latest WordPress, latest Mediawiki, latest Galerry).

I am interested in writing Ruby On Rails application but doesn’t have an idea yet.