JustHost is a provider based in Glendale, California. Despite being quite popular, it has a rocky reputation. Some JustHost reviews praise it. But many users urge others to avoid it like the plague.
So what’s the truth?
I bought a plan and measured how well the servers perform. I also bugged the support to see what the provider’s staff can handle, and I evaluated how the features work.
After rigorous testing, JustHost showcases an interesting offer similar to that of another well-known provider. It definitely has some good qualities to attract new clients.
Let’s get into the JustHost review and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
What Is JustHost?
JustHost is pretty secretive about its origins. I couldn’t find an “About” page on the website, and the general info about the company is scarce.
What we know is that JustHost was founded back in 2002 by Chris Philips, a famous entrepreneur in hosting. He eventually sold the company, together with its 1,000,000+ accounts, to EIG. EIG mostly manages the company from the shadows, but many are still worried about JustHost’s future.
EIG has something of a bad reputation, and so do most hosts under its management. Think shoddy service and immoral business practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission even fined the CEO and CFO for fraud. It’s not really a company most people are glad to do business with.
JustHost web hosting definitely felt the EIG stigma. Users on Reddit love to complain about it.
That said, reputation isn’t everything. People can sometimes be rash to judge a provider.
To give JustHost a fair shot, I tested it in great depth.
You’ll find the details below.
The Essentials—Uptime, Speed, Support
Test results showcase excellent performance for JustHost. The host covers the basics well, with some minor hiccups. Here’s what I found out when checking the web host’s speed, uptime, and support quality.
1. Great Uptime—99.97%
Server uptime is the first thing I measured when I got my JustHost logins.
JustHost’s entire setup got moved to the same EIG servers Bluehost uses. I discuss what this means later on.
For now, it’s worth pointing out Bluehost has fantastic servers. Plus, most JustHost reviews claim top-notch availability, so I wasn’t very worried about JustHost’s performance.
I was right. My server had 99.97% availability over an extended period. It means you get only around 12 minutes of downtime per month – way above industry standard.
However, the provider has no uptime guarantee. It acknowledges it should maintain high availability, but there’s no official promise. While it goes strongly on that front, a legally binding guarantee would give additional peace of mind.
JustHost has a reliable infrastructure with almost no downtime, but the lack of a formal uptime guarantee is something to keep in mind.
2. Reasonably Fast
A good 2021 JustHost review wouldn’t be complete without a speed check.
Slow load times are a massive deterrent for visitors. Search engines can even penalize you. Sluggish hosting is not your friend.
You want a host with a fast frontend, that delivers content quickly. Handling a reasonable amount of traffic without slowing down is another must.
JustHost did not disappoint.
The frontend can undoubtedly hold its own. The servers take around 0.530 seconds to respond. On average, it takes 1.08 seconds to fully render a basic web page. Decent results.
The frontend is reasonably fast, though JustHost hosting is not the absolute best I tested.
Where the load times really shine is under heavy traffic. 300 simultaneous connections hardly shifted the response times. It is only expected—JustHost uses Bluehost’s infrastructure, which is notoriously sturdy.
JustHost’s server setup won’t bottleneck your website and will process quite a bit of traffic before slowing down.
I couldn’t wait to see how the support does its job.
In order to give you a good JustHost review, I contacted the support team and started with a few simple questions.
Admittedly, the live chat was a bit slow, but not terribly so. It usually takes around 5-10 minutes to reach an agent. After that, you can expect pretty quick answers. One potential improvement would be a sound alert when someone replies. It’s a minor detail, though.
The agents are surprisingly helpful. They had no trouble explaining the basics of the hosting plans and advising me on choosing the right one.
Even when I got into complicated questions about the server stack and processing traffic, the agent provided quick and informative answers. It never took longer than a minute or two to get the correct info, indicating the agents are well-trained.
Another unexpected thing is how open JustHost support agents are about the flaws of the platform. They freely discussed the limitations of the smaller plans and informed me about the provider’s relationship with Bluehost. This type of openness is an often-overlooked but praiseworthy quality, so kudos to JustHost’s support team.
I found no knowledge base. There is a repository you can technically access, which is very outdated, and you can’t even reach it from the main site. The support team will often point you towards articles on Bluehost’s website if needed.
The support is solid, but the knowledge base is non-existent.
The Pros of JustHost
JustHost reviews justly praise the provider for its useful features. Here’s what tools you can make work in your favor.
1. Backups (on Some Plans)
JustHost has CodeGuard backups available on its plans.
CodeGuard is a robust software that takes automated daily backups and stores them remotely. Even if the entire hosting server crashes down and burns, you’ll have a copy in the cloud.
The solution also features powerful compression, a malware scanning system, and one-click restorations. It’s a huge step up from your typical cPanel-integrated backups.
The catch is that CodeGuard is only included for free on the two largest JustHost pricing plans. Basic and Choice tiers let you purchase the service for an extra $2.99/month. It puts JustHost at a disadvantage against providers with free daily backups.
2. Weebly Access
If you need an easy-to-use site creator, you can access Weebly through the JustHost cPanel dashboard.
Weebly is a reliable service, and it even made it to our list of top website builder solutions. It’s easy-to-use, comes with a drag-and-drop editor, is feature-rich, and the designs look attractive.
The advantage of accessing Weebly through JustHost is that you can use it in conjunction with standard hosting features like webmail or a free JustHost domain. Plus, you can manage a Weebly site along with many others, all from one dashboard.
On the other hand, JustHost only grants you access to the free version of Weebly. You have to purchase the higher tiers at standard pricing if you need, for instance, ecommerce tools. You’ll essentially have to pay for both JustHost and Weebly plans.
Weebly is a nice addition overall. If you want to host multiple web apps or use features like JustHost webmail, you quickly deploy a few sites on the side with Weebly.
3. Free Migrations (Sometimes)
Moving a website is difficult. A proper transfer often requires fixing a bunch of issues with the configuration files. While there are software solutions that help, they are never 100% reliable and can leave you stranded.
If you’re not an expert yourself, it’s always better to let a professional take over.
For such occasions, JustHost offers a free website migration service, albeit a limited one.
JustHost focuses on WordPress. The provider can move one WordPress website to a JustHost cPanel account for you for free.
If you need to move more or run a different CMS, it will charge you $149.99 for migration for up to five websites. The price is the same, even if all your sites are on the same control panel client.
As far as website migrations, it is relatively expensive, but if you have a single WP site to move over, JustHost will help for free.
4. Free Domain Registration
JustHost adds a free domain name to all long-term deals. A nice bonus, that makes it easier for you to get a website up and running. Plus, it saves you 10-15 bucks.
If you want to keep your personal info out of public databases, you can add domain privacy. It is only free on Choice Plus and Pro plans. Otherwise, it costs $0.99/month, which is too much. Even expensive registrars charge half this, and some offer privacy protection for free.
The free domain is still a money saver, as long as you can avoid purchasing JustHost domain privacy.
Free stuff is always a welcome addition to a provider’s offer. I found quite a few when researching for this JustHost review.
The Choice plan and above come with SpamExperts – a common solution that filters spam and detects any malware and other threats. It’s useful, and it would be nice to see it on the Basic plan.
Most plans add various advertisement credits. You can get up to $300 in free ads on platforms like Google. It can get you that first influx of traffic to a fresh site.
The largest JustHost hosting plan adds a free dedicated IP address, which is excellent for businesses. It can help you avoid being flagged for spam, makes you look more professional, and lets you install premium SSL certificates.
And speaking of SSL, the Pro plan adds a single-domain PositiveSSL for free. PositiveSSL is a basic paid certificate by Sectigo, one of the leading SSL providers. It comes with a recognizable trust seal, a $50,000 warranty, and full support. If you purchase it as a standalone product, this free SSL would otherwise cost you at least $60/year, so it adds a lot of value.
JustHost spices up the offer with plenty of free add-ons, so pick your favorite.
6. Initial Discounts
JustHost pricing is pretty reasonable. And, if you can afford to pay for three years in advance, you can get quite the deals.
For instance, the starter plan would cost you $3.95/month and get you 50GB of storage. It’s a low price for a starter plan, especially considering the hefty storage amount.
Both the Choice and Choice Plus plans start at $6.95/month, though the renewal prices are different. You’ll get an affordable start, even if you need the premium features included on the higher-tier plans.
You can use the lengthy period of the initial deals to monetize your website and prepare for the renewals. It’s a significant advantage for tight budgets.
7. Money-back Guarantee
A money-back period always provides some reassurance the hosting provider does its job well. If not, you can simply request a full refund.
JustHost hosting has your typical 30-day money-back guarantee. You can see if you’re comfortable with the dashboard and if all the features are set up correctly.
One thing the guarantee is not so good at is seeing how plans perform under pressure. If you set up a new website, it typically takes longer than a month to attract some traffic. Sure, you can do a load test, but this isn’t the same as firsthand data.
Still, 30 days are much better than nothing.
The Cons of JustHost
All hosting providers have something to improve, and this one is no exception. Here are a few problems other JustHost reviews fail to mention.
1. It’s Basically Bluehost
If you look around HostingTribunal, you’ll notice JustHost is suspiciously similar to another hosting provider – Bluehost.
When EIG absorbed JustHost, they practically merged it with Bluehost, which is another subsidiary. JustHost now hosts its clients on the same infrastructure and even has the same plans. Likely the only reason the two hosts are still separate is that EIG gets to attract more customers through JustHost’s brand.
Yes, the support teams are technically separate, and there are some pricing differences (Bluehost is cheaper).
With pricing in mind, the JustHost vs Bluehost debate becomes a bit nuanced, but overall they are fairly similar. Even though JustHost might be good, it will likely continue being a copy of the other provider.
2. Annoying Sales Practices
All hosts do some salesy stuff on their websites. Even Scala Hosting, one of the top providers, uses initial discounts to attract customers.
JustHost employs just about every annoying sales practice in the book. The website is stacked with all sorts of banners promoting free tools and discounts. Expect to see a bunch of promo offers and fine print explaining how much you’ll pay later.
Speaking of, you can purchase three years of JustHost web hosting at a massive discount, after which the plans renew at the regular price. A standard web hosting practice.
You might think you can just pay month-to-month and get the regular price. Not entirely correct. A shorter hosting term raises the initial cost but also adds as much as 50% to the renewal price. Your plan would become even more expensive after the first month.
And good luck finding out the real JustHost pricing. The link is at the bottom of the page, in the smallest legally acceptable font. It’s very carefully worded so as to not arouse suspicion.
Don’t even get me started on upsells. JustHost simply assumes you just want to buy a bunch of add-on services. If you pick the starter plan, all the junk in the cart more than doubles the total cost.
All the annoying stuff makes the process unnecessarily convoluted.
3. Limited Starter Plan
The Basic shared hosting plan is just kind of… meh.
To be fair, the plan comes with 50GB of storage, which is more than enough for a single website. But the good things end here.
There are practically no extras included, not to mention the lack of backup software. JustHost webmail has no spam protection on the smallest plan, so you can expect to trudge through all kinds of unwanted messages. To boot, you’re limited to five webmail accounts with 100MB storage each—and all the spam counts towards the cap.
Sure, you can pay to add the missing features. Or might as well purchase an upgrade.
4. Horrendous Reputation
Remember when I discussed EIG and JustHost’s reputation? Well, saying the provider’s reputation is shaky is an understatement.
Across a hundred reviews on TrustPilot, JustHost has an average grade of 1.3/5.0. User reviews on HostAdvice are a tiny bit more optimistic. On Reddit, just about every post warns people to stay away.
These are some of the worst testimonials I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, a few websites publish positive JustHost reviews, but most are biased and disregard the host’s glaring flaws.
Users tell horror stories of broken service, unresponsive support, and unjustified charges. You can’t simply write all those complaints off.
What real clients have to say indicates serious neglectfulness on JustHost’s part.
JustHost Plans at a Glance
You can pick from four JustHost pricing plans.
Just keep in mind the renewal fees are somewhat higher than the starting prices. For instance, the Choice and Choice Plus start the same, but the latter is $2/month more expensive once you renew. You also get the best deal by paying for three years in advance—kind of the norm with EIG brands.
|The Basic plan starts at only $3.95/month and can host one website. It comes with 50GB of storage—a hefty amount for a single site. The plan is somewhat slimmer on the features. If you want to start a simple website, it does the job.||For $6.95/month, you get unmetered storage and websites, and plenty of advantages like SpamExperts. It’s great if you have multiple sites or need an upgrade from the smallest JustHost web hosting plan.||Choice Plus is a more powerful version of the previous tier. For the same starting price of $6.95/month, it adds SiteLock Security and CodeGuard backups, as well as domain privacy for free. If you need more robust features, go for Choice Plus.||For $14.95/month, you get a dedicated IP and a PositiveSSL certificate. Awesome additions for business and ecommerce sites. Plus, the plan lets you smoothly transfer over into JustHost VPS hosting.|
|Email:||Integrated into cPanel|
|Domain names:||Free domain registration across the board|
|Migration:||Free for one WordPress site|
|Payment options:||Credit/debit cards, PayPal, purchase orders, checks (US only), and money orders (USD only)|
|Upsells:||CodeGuard Backups, SiteLock Security, and a bunch of other services|
|Other hosting solutions:||VPS hosting, dedicated servers|
|BigRock user reviews:||Negative|
Do We Recommend JustHost?
JustHost has plenty to offer.
The servers record impressive metrics, both in terms of speed and availability. Even better, the support team does a superb job. The basics are all on point. Plus, JustHost has quite a few useful features and a range of freebies.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
The starter plan is limited, and JustHost employs just about every sales trick to get a few more bucks out of its customers.
The main issue at hand is that JustHost’s plans have morphed into a carbon copy of Bluehost’s. The two providers even use the same servers and record virtually the same performance.
It’s tough to review JustHost without comparing it to Bluehost. JustHost doesn’t stand out in any way. To top it off, Bluehost’s plans are more affordable, despite having the same features.
Why not just go with the more affordable equivalent? JustHost does perform very well, but the lack of unique advantages means I can’t fully recommend it.