I’ve been a paying customer for JustHost for the last 37 months. During that time, I’ve monitored their performance – avg. load time and uptime.
This review relies strongly on data, such as uptime, load time (speed) and customer support experience.
What is JustHost?
Chris Phillips started Just Host back in 2002 in Glendale, California.
Fast forward to 2012, and it was acquired by EIG.
Cue dramatic sound effect: Dun Dun Duuuun.
That gives us an inkling of what results to expect based on reviewing many other EIG brand’s so far (spoiler alert: not good results).
But to give them a fair chance, we set-up a WordPress website on the Just Host ‘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
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.
However, before we get to that, let’s focus on the positives.
1. Average Uptime of 99.98%
When we first signed up for an account and set up our WordPress site, the uptime results we saw were pretty below average. (For example, the last years month April saw an uptime of only 99.03%, which translates into almost 7 full hours of downtime in a single month!)
However, over the past eight months, JustHost’s uptime came in at an average of 99.98%, which is better than the industry average of 99.94%, not bad.
It seems like they’ve straightened things out since the beginning, and have consistently provided above industry average uptime for the last months.
Here’s to more of the same!
- September average uptime: 99.99%
- October average uptime: 99.95%
- November average uptime: 99.95%
- December average uptime: 99.98%
- January average uptime: 99.97%
- February average uptime: 99.98%
- March average uptime: 99.99%
- April average uptime: 100%
Just Host: Page Load Speed and Uptime (Last 12 months, full data can be found here.)
2. Instant Server Provisioning
Some hosts require a lengthy signup process for most new accounts, which means you (yes, even you 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 Just Host offers instant server provisioning if you want to go with their premium, VPS, or dedicated services.
3. 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Just Host offers a standard 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your initial experience. That’s just about (see what I did there?) industry average for those 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, Just Host 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. However, you can’t transfer newly registered domains to another host within 60 days of activation.
4. Many Add-Ons and Integrations
Just Host 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.
5. Free Domain Name
New account sign-ups will also get a free domain name (regardless of the hosting plan you choose).
6. Free Script Library
With every Just Host account, you’ll get a full script library for free.
SimpleScripts can automatically install any of the scripts you choose 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.
7. Good Security
When choosing a web host, security should be one of your top priorities.
Thankfully, Just Host 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.
Just Host claims that you can contact their team to clean up malicious files if you don’t know how to remove them yourself.
Cons of using JustHost
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) it takes your pages to 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, helping 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, either.
And if you read the PROS section (gotcha — skimmers!), you’ll notice that all THREE out of three features haven’t appeared yet.
That’s… not a good sign. Take a look.
1. Below Average Page Loading Times
Consistency is good.
Consistently bad, is not.
A eight-month review of their page loading times also shows below average performance. Across the board. Pretty much every single month.
JustHost has come in around 1,226ms, which is 37.75% slower than the 890ms industry average we’ve seen.
That’s bad 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 8 month average load time
- September average speed: 1,646ms
- October average speed: 1,508ms
- November average speed: 1,457ms
- December average speed: 1,370ms
- January average speed: 1,283ms
- February average speed: 1,132ms
- March average speed: 951ms
- April average speed: 460ms
2. Poor Customer Support
Unfortunately, Just Host fell short on customer support too.
It took about 10 minutes to get us connected, and a majority of the answers they provided were simply just linking to their Frequently Asked Questions (if you can believe that).
A background check revealed similarly mixed reviews from other customers as well.
It seems like Just Host’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 Just Host in March of 2015:
It seems that Just Host 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 Just Host 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 effective, 24/7 customer support is important to you, then you may want to think twice about committing to Just Host.
3. Cheapest price ONLY with 3 Year, Upfront Payment
Just Host appears inexpensive on the face of it, with a stated $3.45 monthly rate.
However, 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 $4.95 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 Just Host 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
Just Host offers weekly backups.
While 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.
Just Host doesn’t guarantee the weekly backups they offer.
So 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.
Might want to find a plan B just in case.
5. The Quantity of Upsell(s) was Sickening
Any company should be free to try and drive revenue however they see fit.
However, the amount of upsells you’re bombarded with when signing up for Just Host is truly maddening.
Like, timeshare-salesperson maddening.
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 $3.49 per month and supports 1 website. It comes with 50GB disk space and supports 5 emails accounts (with 100MB storage per account) and 25 sub domains.
- Plus plan: This plan costs $5.95 per month and supports 10 websites. It comes with 150GB disk space, supports 50 sub domain 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 Just Host?
No, we do not.
Just Host fails in two out of the three major services of a web host.
While their uptime comes in right around industry average, their page speeds are slow (and getting slower).
And the quality of their customer support was marginal at best.
In addition, their true pricing put them in direct competition with some MUCH better host with a similar price.
It might be worth checking those out first to save yourself some time, money and hassle in the long run.
What’s good about Just Host?
- Instant server provisioning
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Many add-ons and integrations
- Free domain name
- Access to a free script library
- High-quality security
What’s bad about Just Host?
- Average uptime of 99.82%
- Below average page loading times 1,384ms
- Poor customer support
- Must commit to 3 years and upfront payment to receive the cheapest price
- Weekly backups aren’t guaranteed
- Crazy amount of upsells
Have you used Just Host? Please leave an honest and transparent review below – good or bad!