Just Host is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer a standard selection of Linux-based web hosting solutions from shared hosting to VPS to dedicated servers, though they focus on marketing their shared hosting solution (which is what most website owners need/want).
Their datacenter is located in Provo, Utah within (what appears to be) the same facilities as their sister brand Bluehost. Like most shared hosting companies, Just Host also provides email and various complementary services to web hosting.
You can check out Just Host’s plans and pricing here.
I have a marketing client who uses Just Host, and also gave them a try myself while shopping for a discount home for a WordPress-based side project.
Here’s my Just Host Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer (and consultant to a customer of Just Host).
Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All opinion and data is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of Just Host Hosting
There are a lot of Just Host reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. As I’ve said in other hosting reviews, there is no such thing as a “best” web host. The “best” is the right fit for your project based on your goals, budget, experience & expertise. Here’s the pros (advantages) for considering Just Host.
Clean, Simple cPanel Backend
Setting up a website can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. You want the actual process of set up to be simple and straightforward. You want simplicity to change settings and pay your bill and do what you need to do.
And even if you have done run websites/email/scripts before, you still want a straightforward way to do what you need to do.
Just Host uses cPanel as the backend of its hosting accounts. cPanel is industry-standard, so there’s plenty of help and guides on the Internet. It’s also very simple and straightforward.
Just Host also helps by integrating their billing and profile settings directly into cPanel – and not cluttering it up (too much) with upsells and ads. Here’s what the backend looks like –
Their backend is the first thing you see after signing up, so you can dive right into your project without any intermediate screens. The most common options are front and center with server information on the side.
Simple App Install
The one-click WordPress install process has a few ads and upsells, but is simple and useful.
Since they use MOJO marketplace, Just Host has a solid selection of apps and scripts available. Again, all with MOJO ads, but otherwise straightforward to use and install.
Not a huge advantage, but solid pro anyway compared to other hosting providers.
Just Host’s actual plans and pricing are a disadvantage (which I’ll cover in the cons section). However, I will say that they do deep discounting for the first year across all their products.
If you are trying to get started and save a good bit of money for the first year, Just Host will often discount their Basic plan down to $2.50/mo and their Plus plan down to $4.50/mo.
Both those numbers have a lot of context to them (ie, what you’re actually getting). However, if you are starting one small website for a year, then their deep discounts are an advantage.
Cons of Just Host Hosting
Like any web host, Just Host has disadvantages. There are plenty of Just Host complaints around the Internet. Some are very valid – and some are anecdotal. Here are the bigger picture cons / disadvantages that I found while using Just Host for hosting.
Value & Long-Term Pricing
Comparing pricing across different hosting providers is tricky. Most offer several plans with different caps, pricing and bonus features.
Just Host is no different. Despite what you might guess from their homepage, they actually offer 3 shared hosting plans – Basic, Plus and Prime. They start at a regular rate of $9.49/mo and go up to $14.99/mo (but see “Deep Discounting “in the pros section). They also offer upgraded servers in a “Pro” package.
To figure out exactly what you’re getting for this pricing, I like to break features into 2 groups – “core hosting features” and “bonus features.”
Core hosting features are what you are really paying for when you sign up for website hosting. It consists of the “3 D’s” –
- Domains – how many domains are you able to point & host on your server.
- Disk space – how many website files are you able to let live on your server.
- Databases / Email Accounts – how many apps or pieces of website software (ie, WordPress).
If you are using your server for email, I’d also include email addresses in this group.
Bonus features are whatever the hosting company throws in to make the plan for valuable. Some of these may or may not be useful to you, so don’t count them unless you are actually going to use them.
Just Host’s plans are exactly like Bluehost’s old plans that they rolled out in 2015. They are big on feature caps while keeping a price that is similar to where other providers offer unmetered features. In short, Just Host has very low caps (ie, you don’t get many domains or email accounts per your plan) on core hosting features compared to competitors. The low caps make their pricing a low value based on those features.
It doesn’t necessarily make Just Host a “bad deal” – if you only need a single website with a few files, then their plans are just fine. But even then, you’ll find much better deals at competitors.
Specifically, their sister brand HostGator has more features at better prices across the board. They even have a single website plan that is much cheaper than Just Host at renewal rates. You can go checkout HostGator’s plans here. Even Bluehost has since updated their plans so they are a much better value.
And independent brands such as Web Hosting Hub (review) that focus specifically on the starter and small website market provide more apps, better website builders, and a better pricing than Just Host.
Even though Just Host’s plans might be fine, they are a primary disadvantage. You’ll get better value for your money elsewhere.
Brand & Business Update
Nobody wants to buy the product that a big company has forgotten about or is not fully invested in – even if the product itself is fine.
Think about the apartment complex that the landlord ignores & doesn’t do upkeep instead of remodeling or upgrading. Or that car that still works, but the owner isn’t putting money into upgrades.
Just Host feels like the brand that Endurance forgot. Their big sister brands like Bluehost and HostGator are getting splashy new designs and new services, while Just Host is sitting around with cheap stock imagery and a sign up process that doesn’t always work.
And it’s not that stock imagery or basic design is bad or affects how good their servers are. But it is an indicator of how much the management and owners care about the company and provides a window into the culture.
Customer Knowledgebase & Support
As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, customer service and support is tricky to look at. It’s usually hard to judge if a company truly has good or bad customer service because any experiences are anecdotal.
Instead of figuring out if someone’s good/bad experience was a one-off or something consistent, I like to look and see how well a company has invested in their customer support infrastructure and how they handle public facing support.
Though Just Host does offer support across multiple channels, their investment in things like their Knowledgebase, forums and onboarding process is lacking.
I won’t say that their customer support is a huge disadvantage – most tickets are probably resolved just fine. However, compared to other providers that proactively help and invest in their customer support infrastructure, Just Host is behind.
In addition to paying a hosting company for a place for your website to live, you are also expecting them to “deliver” your website quickly to any visitor that types in your domain.
There are a lot of factors that go into how fast your website loads. Everything from what type of website you have to how many images you use to where your visitor lives (and 100+ other factors) to into website speed.
However, no one ever won a Formula One car race with a 1988 Ford Escort. And no matter how well you optimize your website, you won’t be winning any speed contests with a slow hosting server.
It’s hard to truly judge server speed without behind the scenes access, however, you can look at the Time To First Byte (TTFB) as a general ballpark estimate of how well a hosting company’s servers operate.
Time To First Byte is how quickly the server sends the first byte of information back to a browser after the browser asks for it.
When I tested Just Host with my new website – they did not do too well.
Granted, TTFB is best looked at as a trend. I’ve had good hosts have bad days, so I tested again the next day.
You can see that the Repeat View improved some, but overall it’s still not so good.
After using them for a year – they still do not perform like expected.
For comparison, here’s how my site on Web Hosting Hub (also a small WordPress site on a shared server) did the same day –
Although Just Host would be fine for a very small site, they simply don’t have strong performance, and especially not compared to direct competitors.
Just Host Comparisons
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how Just Host compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion.
Just Host vs. GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the brand name in the domain & hosting industry. Between their Super Bowl ads and massive offline campaigns, they’re the brand many people recognize in the industry. Despite much improvement since 2013, GoDaddy still shares many of the same pros & cons of Just Host. If you already use and like GoDaddy, Just Host doesn’t have a big offer to get you to use them over GoDaddy. If you are choosing between the two – Just Host has a cleaner backend and a better overall experience.
Just Host vs. Bluehost
Just Host and Bluehost are not only sister brands owned by Endurance International, they also run out of the same data center. They also have the exact same plan breakdown. Although Just Host seems to run more deep discounts, I’d say Bluehost is a better option. Bluehost is actively investing in their design and backend. They also offer more service upgrade options – and simply have a more recognized brand in the industry. You can sign up for Bluehost here…
Just Host vs. HostGator
Like Bluehost, HostGator is a very well-known brand in the hosting industry. They are also owned by Endurance International, which makes them another sister brand to Just Host. However, unlike Bluehost, they have a different and much better plan value structure. HostGator also uses different data centers in Houston, TX with a mirror in Utah. For most any site, I’d choose HostGator over Just Host based on performance and pricing considerations. You can sign up for HostGator here…
Just Host vs. iPage
Just Host’s last sister brand that I’ll mention is iPage. I reviewed iPage here – and they didn’t turn out too well. Like Just Host, they’re fine, but also appear to be a brand that Endurance forgot about. They run out of Burlington, MA with mediocre performance. However, if you want lots of core hosting features for super-cheap, iPage offers very deep discounts that you can lock in for up to 3 years. You can check out iPage here, though I’d likely end up choosing Just Host between them.
Just Host vs. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest and fastest growing independent (ie, owned by employees not a large corporate holding company) hosting companies. This site uses a VPS server with InMotion. While they don’t offer the super deep discounts or monthly payment option like Just Host, InMotion does offer a much better product with better performance and better pricing. I’d recommend checking out InMotion Hosting here…
Side note about InMotion – they also own a starter hosting brand called Web Hosting Hub that is more focused on starter websites than InMotion with similar performance (as mentioned earlier). You can check out Web Hosting Hub here…
Conclusion & Next Steps
Overall, I found Just Host hosting to be “meh – they’re ok.” If you have a small website, they’ll do just fine. Their deep discounts for the first term are interesting and competitive. Their backend is not confusing and their service is straightforward. If that’s what you’re looking for – then you can go sign up for Just Host (and get the discounts) here…
If you are looking for an affordable shared hosting company with almost as good intro pricing, better long term pricing and a much better product, then I’d recommend checking out Web Hosting Hub here. You can also check out HostGator here if you want cheap single website plans and the option to pay monthly.