VPS Instability Issues & Really Simple Captcha

For the last few years I’ve been having an annoying issue with my WordPress sites on VPS hosting. I’ve gone through 3 different VPS/Cloud hosts and the problem remained.

The problem was basically to do with server stability and uptime. My sites were unresponsive and the server was going down intermittently. Server CPU usage was up and I seemed to be using way more space than seemed right for the files I’d uploaded.

The issue was compounded by the fact that I’m not that well up on VPS management and the hosting companies only support VPS issues for a fee! Recently, I had my current host LetsHost.ie tell me that I reached my Inode limit which is basically the number of individual files and folders you can have on a server. Neither of us could understand why the limit was reached as it meant I must have millions of files hosted which didn’t seem possible for the sites I was running. My actual disk space usage was only 50% too.

Turns out that a couple of wordpress plugins on one of my main sites, “Really Simple Captcha”, and Tribulant’s Newsletter plugin had conspired to create millions of individual files in the captcha “tmp” directory. I upgraded the newsletter plugin and deleted the tmp directory files (had to use SSH) and I gained back nearly 100% Inodes and 25% disk space and so far server stability has been fine.

More info on the problem can be found here.