You may have noticed that we are using a subdomain for our site: www.test.developmentwork.net. We initially used it to test extensions.
Well, these days are over since the site has become a production site. We have set up another subdomain for tests and also have set up a Joomla site on our home computer using WAMP to test extensions and scripts.
A subdomain is often nothing more than a sub-directory of the main site in which a CMS is installed using Fantastico, Softaculous or other installation scripts available in the CPanel. as such, you can have a subdomain using Wordpress or Drupal while the main site is using Joomla.
Keep in mind that, although the number of subdomains are unlimited with most hosts, traffic and the use of inodes are not. In practice, it seems you can have a total of 12-15 subdomains with Joomla! installed before you reach the limit of a plan that has a maximum of 150,000 inodes (the lower end $5 dollar a month plans like ours that are really sufficient to most users). Joomla is especially resource heavy, so each installation will use many inodes, effectively limiting the number of subdomains.
An inode is a record in a disk table which contains information about a file/folder such as its size and owner. The number of inodes you use represents the number of files/folders you have on your web hosting account. When a file is opened, the file's inode is read by the kernel. The more files/folders you have, the more inodes you use. And the more inodes you use, the more system resources your account consumes.
Siteground, our preferred hosting company.
Delete Old Backups, Plug-ins, Unused Templates and Components
To lower the number of inodes, it is always good to delete old backups from the server since they do take up space and generate inodes. It is also a good idea to remove unused templates, components and plugins from your Joomla installation, since they also use files and folders - generating inodes.
We clean up our server twice a year or so and never reach the limit of our hosting plans.
Exponential Growth of Inodes
We once ran into a situation where the number of inodes was growing exponentially. The maximum number of inodes for a particular shared hosting account was 150,000. Over the course of a few months, it grew to over 450,000 inodes, three times the maximum of what was provided by the hosting company.
It turned out that the client had made a mistake with the cache settings. Instead of having it set for 15 minutes, the client had entered 600 minutes for the cache settings in the backend of Joomla! As a result, the number of files on the server had grown out of proportions.
By clearing the cache and changing the settings to 15 minutes, the situation was resolved and the number of inodes reduced dramatically. The following figure shows the number of inodes before (487,369 on the right side of the figure) and after the settings were changed and the cache was cleared (84,707 on the left side of the figure).
In the CPanel provided by your hosting company, you should be able to check how many inodes you are using. If you are beyond the maximum number of inodes, reduce the number of minutes in the cache settings and clear the cache. To do this automatically, we recommend that you install CacheCleaner by Nonumber. This Joomla! Plug-In automates the process of cache clearing.