Chris Phillips started JustHost back in 2002 in Glendale, California. Fast forward to 2012, and it was acquired by EIG.
To give them a fair chance, we set-up a WordPress website on the JustHost ‘Shared’ plan in June of 2015. Since then, we’ve been monitoring their uptime and speed closely in anticipation of providing you with this fair, unbiased review.
Here are the results so far:
Pros of Using Justhost Hosting
If you’ve read any of our other hosting reviews, you might notice that something is missing here (like the ‘Big 3’ including uptime, speed, and service).
There’s a reason for that…
However, before we get to that, let’s focus on the positives.
1. Instant Server Provisioning
Some hosts require a lengthy sign-up process for most new accounts, which means you (yes, even the international ones) might have to jump on the phone to verify who you are.
That means you can expect a SLOW process (not to mention frustrating and slightly irritating too). Or the occasional odd-hour phone call requirement.
The good news is that JustHost offers instant server provisioning if you want to go with their premium, VPS, or dedicated services.
2. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee and Add-Ons
JustHost offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with your initial experience. That’s just about (see what we did there?) industry average for those of you keeping track at home.
It’s important to note that the refund only applies to the hosting service.
It doesn’t apply to other products, like domains. Since free domains are included, JustHost deducts a non-refundable domain fee of $15.99 from your refund to cover their costs.
You can then transfer the domain name you have chosen to another web host. Be aware that you can’t transfer newly registered domains to another host within 60 days of activation.
JustHost easily integrates with popular platforms like Google Apps, in addition to over 100 other open source applications.
They will also throw in free Google and Bing advertising credits, which is a handy little bonus if you’re ready to start generating online sales.
3. Free Domain Name
New account sign-ups will also get a free domain name (regardless of the hosting plan you choose).
4. Free Script Library
With every JustHost account, you’ll get a full script library for free.
SimpleScripts can automatically install any of the scripts you choose the right to your site. Available scripts include WordPress, osCommerce, phpBB, and Joomla.
That way, you can install the scripts you need without having to be a coding genius.
5. Good Security
When choosing a web host, security should be one of your top priorities.
Thankfully, JustHost offers tons of different forms of site security. They use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), secure shell (SSH), solid-state drive (SSD), and more.
They also provide SiteLock, which includes:
- Daily 360-degree vulnerability scanning
- Dashboard Reports
- Alerts & Email Notifications
- A dynamic verifiable security badge
- Security Maintenance
- 360-degree scanning (defacement, drive-by downloads, database vulnerabilities and application vulnerabilities)
You’ll also receive instant alerts and reports to your email address and dashboard if a threat is detected. That way, you can take action against harmful content before your site is blacklisted.
JustHost claims that you can contact their team to clean up malicious files if you don’t know how to remove them yourself.
6. Improved Page Loading Times
A previous 24-month review of their page loading times has finally shown above-average performance.
JustHost has come in around 756ms, which is 16% faster than the 890ms industry average we’ve seen.
If they keep up the good performance, then that’s good news because speed (or lack thereof) is one of the primary reasons people leave your site (without becoming a client or customer). Visitors bounce, page views fall, conversions take a hit, and customer satisfaction across the board declines.
Last 16 month average load time:
Cons of Using Justhost Hosting
The most important features that a hosting provider delivers are:
- Uptime: The average amount of time your website is online and available (not ‘down’, where visitors can’t access it because of server errors or issues)
- Speed: How quickly (or slowly) your pages load all content, images, and more. As a general rule, the slower the website, the lower the conversions.
- Customer Support: Good service should go above and beyond to help you figure out how to make your site experience the best while troubleshooting common issues when they pop up. That’s especially true if you’re not the most technical person in the world.
And if you read the PROS section (gotcha — skimmers!), you’ll notice that two out of three features haven’t appeared yet.
That’s… not a good sign. Take a look:
1. Poor Customer Support
In overall our experience with their customer support was rather okay. JustHost support connected within 3 minutes and reply to our question was provided relatively quickly.
However, a background check revealed mixed reviews from other customers..
It seems like JustHost’s quality of customer service may have taken a turn for the worse back in 2015.
Just look at the exchange that Twitter user @_MichaelTanner had with JustHost in March of 2015:
It seems that JustHost has used the same approach on Twitter as they do in their live chat service. The company sent Michael a link in their response that didn’t seem to be helpful.
And he’s not the only customer to take to Twitter to complain.
In January of 2016, Twitter user @natecyph said that though he’s been with JustHost for a long time, their customer service is unacceptable.
The company replied to him, but it looks like they might have been too late.
Another web hosting company named “Cut All The Shit” also replied and encouraged him to migrate his site to their servers.
The exchange goes to show how much web host users value quality customer service.
If access to an effective, 24/7 customer support is important to you, you may want to think twice about committing to JustHost.
2. Below-Average Uptime of 99.90%
Over the past 24 months, JustHost’s uptime came in at an average of 99.90% which is a little below industry-standard of 99.94%.
It’s a pity because, in the past 12 months, JustHost has shown pretty decent results and even kept their uptime 100% in consecutive 4 months (December 2018-March 2019). However, it wasn’t enough to boost up their average uptime during our testing period.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- November 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- October 2019 average uptime: 98.20%
- September 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- August 2019 average uptime: 99.97%
- July 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- June 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- April 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- March 2019 average uptime: 100%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
- January 2019 average uptime: 100%
- December 2018 average uptime: 100%
3. Cheapest Price ONLY With 3 Year, Upfront Payment
JustHost appears inexpensive on the face of it, with a stated $3.45 monthly rate.
Note that you need to pay for three years, all at once upfront if you want to lock in that great rate. Otherwise, a shorter-term (like 12 months) will set you back with $5.95 a month instead (again – paid upfront).
To make matters worse, once this ‘promotional’ rate expires when your plan ends, your pricing options will rise again.
When adjusted for the effective price, it puts JustHost in direction competition with some of the best hosts we’ve reviewed. (You know, the ones with far better speed and support too.)
4. Weekly Backups Aren’t Guaranteed
JustHost offers weekly backups.
While that offer is not great (some other hosts offer daily or nightly ones in comparison), it’s good (on the face of it). Having at least a weekly copy laying around in case of emergencies is helpful and nice to know.
JustHost doesn’t guarantee the weekly backups they offer. They technically offer one but don’t support or stand behind it.
Obviously, you can’t really bank the security and future of your website on that less-than-inspiring claim.
You might want to find a plan B just in case.
5. The Quantity of Upsell(s) Was Too High
Any company should be free to try and drive revenue however they see fit.
Unfortunately, the amount of upsells you’re bombarded with when signing up for JustHost is rather frustrating.
Many others have already complained about this practice, but unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped the constant rush of upsells.
JustHost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the hosting plans they offer:
- Basic plan: This plan costs $3.95 per month and supports 1 website. It comes with 50GB disk space and supports 5 email accounts (with 100MB storage per account) and 25 subdomains.
- Plus plan: This plan costs $6.95 per month and supports 10 websites. It comes with 150GB disk space, supports 50 subdomain names, 100 email accounts (500MB per account) and comes with a CDN.
- Prime plan: This plan costs $6.95 per month and supports unlimited websites. It allows unlimited sub-domains, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited storage. It comes with 1 SSL certificate, 1 dedicated IP, and premium backup protection.
- Free domain? Yes.
- Ease of Signup: Quick, two-step signup process.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Shared hosting accounts have a limit of 200,000 inodes, 1,000 database tables, and 3GB total MySQL/PostgreSQL databases. Exceeding this limit may lead to termination of your account with or without notice.
- Upsells: Lots of upsells.
- Account Activation: Quick activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Their own heavily customized cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): “One-click installs” option for installing popular apps and CMSs.
Do We Recommend JustHost?
No, we do not.
Even though their speed is decent, JustHost fails in two out of the three major services as a web host.
The quality of their customer support was marginal at best and JustHost’s uptime is also below average that we would like to see.
In addition, their true pricing put them in direct competition with some MUCH better hosts at a similar price range.
It might be worth checking those out first to save yourself some time, money, nerves and, hassle in the long run.
Have you used JustHost? Please leave an honest and transparent review below – good or bad, we appreciate both!