JustHost 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 reseller servers, though they focus on marketing their shared hosting solution (which is what most website owners need/want).
Their data center is located in Provo, Utah within (what appears to be) the same facilities as their sister brand Bluehost. Like most shared hosting companies, JustHost also provides email and various complementary services to web hosting.
I have a marketing client who uses JustHost, and I also gave them a try myself while shopping for a discount home for a WordPress-based side project.
Here’s my JustHost Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer (and consultant to a customer of JustHost).
Pros of JustHost Hosting
There are a lot of JustHost 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 are the pros (advantages) for considering JustHost.
Clean, Simple cPanel Backend
Setting up a website can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. You want the actual setup process 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 websites/email/scripts before, you still want a straightforward way to do what you need to do.
JustHost 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.
JustHost 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 it’s simple and useful.
Since they use MOJO marketplace, JustHost 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 a solid pro anyway compared to other hosting providers.
JustHost’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, JustHost will often discount their Basic plan down to $3.95/mo and their Plus plan down to $6.95/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 JustHost Hosting
Like any web host, JustHost has disadvantages. There are plenty of JustHost complaints around the Internet. Some are very valid – and some are anecdotal. Here are the bigger picture cons/disadvantages that I found while using JustHost 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.
JustHost is no different. Despite what you might guess from their homepage, they actually offer 3 shared hosting plans – Basic, Plus and Choice Plus. They start at a regular rate of $9.49/mo and go up to $14.99/mo at renewal time (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 more 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.
JustHost’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, JustHost 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 JustHost 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 JustHost at renewal rates. You can go check out HostGator’s plans here. Even Bluehost has since updated their plans so they are a much better value.
Even though JustHost’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.
JustHost feels like the brand that Newfold Digital is slowly upgrading but not focused on. Their big sister brands like Bluehost and HostGator are getting splashy new designs and new services, while JustHost gets a design refresh and copy/paste plans from HostMonster & Bluehost.
And it’s not that plain design & identical services are bad. But it is an indicator of how much the management and owners care about the company and provides a window into the culture (or if there is one – or just a Bluehost employee assigned to tend to JustHost customers).
Customer Knowledgebase & Support
As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, customer service and support are 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 at how well a company has invested in its customer support infrastructure and how they handle public-facing support.
Though JustHost 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, JustHost 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 factors 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 JustHost 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 looking at them a few years later – they still do not perform like expected even after several re-tests.
Although JustHost would be fine for a very small site, they simply don’t have strong performance, and especially not compared to direct competitors.
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how JustHost compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion .
JustHost 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 JustHost. If you already use and like GoDaddy, JustHost doesn’t have a big offer to get you to use them over GoDaddy. If you are choosing between the two – JustHost has a cleaner backend and a better overall experience.
JustHost vs. Bluehost
JustHost and Bluehost are not only sister brands owned by Endurance International, but they also run out of the same data center. They also have the exact same plan breakdown. Although JustHost seems to run more deep discounts, I’d say Bluehost is a better option. Bluehost is actively investing in its 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…
JustHost 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 JustHost. 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 sites, I’d choose HostGator over JustHost based on performance and pricing considerations. You can sign up for HostGator here…
JustHost vs. iPage
JustHost’s last sister brand that I’ll mention is iPage. I reviewed iPage here – and they didn’t turn out too well. Like JustHost, 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 JustHost between them.
JustHost 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 JustHost, 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
So – is JustHost a good web host?
Overall, I found JustHost 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 JustHost (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.