JustHost is another of the many providers owned by Endurance International Group, which is a massive web hosting conglomerate with a considerable market share. Compared to its siblings, though, JustHost has a better shot at being included in our best web hosting guide, with an impressive range of features and solid speed.
In this JustHost review, we’re going to talk about the good and bad we experienced while testing the most inexpensive shared plan. Along the way, we’ll also touch on features, security, privacy and more before giving our verdict.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Excellent integration with WordPress
- Free SSL/TLS certificate
- Basic version of SiteLock included
- Daily backups on some plans
- Decent speed
- Prompt support
- Dated knowledgebase
- No cloud hosting
Alternatives for JustHost
JustHost has plenty of features if you’re willing to spring for a higher tier plan. The base shared package is unimpressive, as is usually the case with inexpensive hosts, but the top-tier Choice Plus package makes a solid argument.
Before getting into that, though, we should talk about the basic shared plan. Its suitable for a single website with up to 50GB of disk space. As for features, JustHost doesn’t include much, but you still get a free domain for the first year and an SSL/TLS certificate with your subscription.
Up a tier are the Plus plans, which can house 10 domains and 150GB of storage. You still get a free domain and SSL/TLS certificate, but JustHost also includes $150 in ad credits between Google and Bing, as well as a subscription SpamExperts.
For the features, the extra cost isn’t worth it. Spam is an issue, but one that’s easily dealt with, and though ad credits are nice, $75 on either platform won’t get you far. That said, the top-tier plan, Choice Plus, has a lot to offer.
You can host an unlimited number of websites with unmetered storage. In addition to all previous features, JustHost includes $200 in ad credits, free domain privacy and CodeGuard Basic, which will backup your website off-site daily. Choice Plus is the most feature-rich of the bunch, so if you’re looking for goodies, it may be the one for you.
There are also Pro packages that include a dedicated IP address and a faster speed, but the features are mostly the same as Choice Plus.
Though it isn’t clarified, every plan comes with a basic version of SiteLock, too. SiteLock is a malware scanning and removal tool that’ll keep your website clear of cybercrime-related unpleasantness. The basic version won’t remove malware, but it’ll scan your website daily to identify potential issues.
SiteLock and CodeGuard are EIG brands, so it’s not surprising to see them. That said, we’re happy to see JustHost include basic versions of them across packages. Instead of simply asking you to upgrade, JustHost teases you with the functionality and leaves the decision to you.
Though not a feature per se, the excellent dashboard, and its integration with WordPress, should be noted. We’ll talk about the specifics of the dashboard in the “ease of use” section below, but the short of it is that JustHost makes it easy to manage your WordPress website without ever going into the back-end.
JustHost Features Overview
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Though JustHost shares a lot with iPage — there’ll be more on that in the next section — it won’t earn a spot next to iPage in our cheap web hosting guide. JustHost has stock pricing across the board, but it struggles when it comes to renewal. The initial rate is fine, though not good, but you’ll end up spending a few dollars more than average to get a plan.
Shared plans come in three tiers, ranging from $4-$7 for the initial term. That price is only if you purchase three years upfront, though. JustHost offers shared plans in one, two and three-year durations, and the price goes up as the time gets shorter. There’s a monthly plan, too, but only on the Basic tier.
Oddly, the monthly price of Basic is less than the renewal price, which is around $10. Even so, this higher than average rate is what knocks JustHost down a few pegs. Compared to 1&1 IONOS, which provides inexpensive hosting without forcing you into a multi-year contract, JustHost just looks overpriced (read our 1&1 IONOS review).
Plus, JustHost isn’t clear about what you’ll be paying. The product page says the most inexpensive shared plan renews at $9.49, while the checkout page claims the monthly rate is $7.99. In the pricing breakdown located in the knowledgebase, though, it says the monthly price is $11.99.
That said, no matter how the price is laid out, it’s clear that JustHost is too expensive. Compared to 1&1 IONOS, it’s a joke, but even put against Hostinger, which has a similar pricing scheme, the rates are too high (read our Hostinger review).
Still, you’re getting a lot of functionality for you money. While JustHost has a high price tag, it has the features to justify it, especially if you’re building on WordPress. It’s not in the same category as Pagely when it comes to the feature-to-price ratio, but the list suffices (read our Pagely review).
As for trying JustHost, it gives you 30 days to request a refund, which, though good, isn’t as long as InMotion Hosting’s, DreamHost’s or A2 Hosting’s (read our InMotion Hosting review).
Ease of Use
Getting started with JustHost is simple. The website is designed the same as iPage’s, and if you’ve read our iPage review, you know that’s a good thing. There’s little room for doubt when it comes to setting up your account, with the large, red “get started now” button guiding the way to checkout.
After clicking on it, JustHost will send you to a product page detailing its three shared plans. Simply select one, choose a domain and proceed with checkout. There are a few preselected add-ons on the final product page, so uncheck them if you don’t want to purchase the extra services.
Finally, you’ll be sent to an order confirmation screen where you can set your password. Like Kinsta (read our Kinsta review), it’s an enclosed system, meaning you won’t have to tab away to your email to set your login credentials (read our Arvixe review to see that in action).
The control panel is as streamlined as they come. JustHost has a left-side navigation menu that’ll allow you to view your websites, set up email addresses, add new domains and more. There’s even a “marketplace” tab where you can purchase themes, services, plugins and installers.
Though the control panel offers a lot of power, it isn’t cPanel (read our best web hosting for cPanel guide). JustHost still uses cPanel, though, and you can access it by clicking the “advanced” tab in the left-side menu.
This cPanel implementation is stock, which isn’t a bad thing considering the rest of the control panel is so useful. In this case, it feels right to hide cPanel under an “advanced” tab, seeing as most things novices will want to mess with can be accessed from the main control panel. Even so, if you want to manage your databases or dig into the file manager, cPanel is offered.
Before installing WordPress, we headed to our test domain to be greeted by a “website coming soon” page. Though that’s a normal and, frankly, nice to see gesture, the footer at the bottom read “a Bluehost powered website.”
We do our research, so we’re aware JustHost and Bluehost are under the same EIG umbrella. Up to this point, though, we haven’t seen this level of cross contamination. Based on what we’ve seen, we’ve assumed the brands under the EIG umbrella operated independently, but the footer message suggests they don’t.
In fact, JustHost is a carbon copy of Bluehost, which, for this section, is a good thing. The control panel offers a deep integration with WordPress, allowing you to see and manage themes and plugins without logging in to the WordPress back-end.
When you go to the WordPress back-end, you’ll find a lot of features, most of which are tucked away in the “Bluehost” tab. After speaking with JustHost, we can confirm that it uses Bluehost servers for WordPress hosting, which explains the tab in WordPress and the footer on the staging page.
JustHost offers shared, VPS and dedicated hosting. Though cloud, reseller and managed WordPress plans are missing, the lineup still feels solid, especially with JustHost’s beginner-focused approach.
Shared hosting is clearly its bread and butter, though, because the VPS and dedicated plans are hidden in the footer of the website. JustHost offers three tiers of shared hosting depending on the number of websites, the amount of storage space and the extras you need.
Usually, shared hosting is the best entry point for new websites. Web hosts combine multiple sites on the same server and make them share the resources. By doing so, the web host can save money on the number of servers it needs to run and pass those savings to you. That said, because you’re sharing the resources, you may run into issues with speed or uptime.
Outside of the three shared plans, JustHost offers a Pro plan. Though it still uses a shared structure, there are fewer websites on the server, meaning each site should have a larger piece of the pie. JustHost also offers a dedicated IP address, free SSL/TLS certificate, domain privacy and automatic website backup with its Pro plans.
If you’d rather have a dedicated set of resources, JustHost offers VPS plans. Though VPS plans still use a shared structure — being that there are multiple websites on the same server — you get a dedicated set of the resources to yourself. If shared hosting is living in an apartment, VPS hosting is buying a townhouse.
At the top are the dedicated plans, which give you a server and all its resources. JustHost offers three dedicated packages ranging from three to five IP addresses and from 500GB to 1TB of RAID 10 storage. We won’t get into RAID 10 — you can read our what is RAID guide for that — but it’s the best for web hosting because it offers RAID 0’s speed and RAID 1’s redundancy.
Though we don’t miss managed WordPress plans given how many WordPress features JustHost offers, the lack of cloud hosting is a bummer. If you’re looking for that, you should check out JustHost’s EIG sibling, HostGator (read our HostGator review).
Speed & Uptime
We launched a blank WordPress website using JustHost’s basic shared plan to test speed. To perform the tests, we ran our domain through Pingdom Speed Test and Load Impact, which should give us two perspectives in which to judge how well JustHost performs.
Because JustHost is using Bluehost servers, it should come as no surprise that the performance is solid, even if it’s worse than A2 Hosting’s (read our A2 Hosting review). It scored a 90 out of 100 from Pingdom Speed Test, which is good, but not great. Even so, JustHost edges out WestHost when it comes to the Pingdom Speed Test score (read our WestHost review).
Pingdom Speed Test provides a solid basis for comparison between providers, but it’s an individual data point. To gauge how well JustHost performs under load, we turned to Load Impact. It sent 50 virtual users to our server over five minutes, measuring the number of fulfilled requests and the response time for each user.
Unfortunately, JustHost performed poorly in our Load Impact test. Though the response time of each virtual user was relatively consistent, there were many HTTP errors throughout the test, suggesting the server is at its performance limit (read our GreenGeeks review to see another example of that).
That translates to unfulfilled requests or slow speed in the real world. It’s likely there are too many websites hosted on the basic plan looking for resources, and JustHost can’t satisfy all of them. If you’re interested in JustHost, we recommend opting for a more expensive plan or moving to another provider.
As for uptime, JustHost doesn’t guarantee anything outside of being “committed to providing a secure and reliable hosting environment.” The knowledgebase page that talks about it simply says that servers will have downtime and that JustHost will do its best to resolve issues quickly.
There are reasons not to trust an uptime guarantee, but having one isn’t a bad thing. Though we didn’t experience downtime during our testing, having a guarantee in place would be a nice catch-all.
JustHost has a lot in way of security, despite its humble appearance. While security features don’t reach across plans, the lineup still feels well-rounded, with core website security features, such as an SSL/TLS certificate, malware scanning and automated backups.
JustHost includes an SSL/TLS certificate with every plan. The certificate basically shows the browser connecting to your website that you are who you say you are. By doing so, the browser is able to open an encrypted connection between it and your website, protecting all sensitive data the user is transferring.
The certificate JustHost provides is fine for most websites, but e-commerce outlets should jump for a more secure one. Thankfully, JustHost offers higher-tier SSL/TLS certificates in its marketplace.
A basic version of SiteLock is included with each plan, too, which isn’t surprising considering it’s an EIG brand. SiteLock is basically an antivirus for your website, but unlike our best antivirus software, it won’t remove malware in its base configuration. SiteLock Lite, which is what JustHost gives you, is made exclusively for scanning.
That means it can identify problems but not fix them. That said, if you find that your website’s infected with malware, you can upgrade to a higher tier of SiteLock to resolve the issue.
You may not need to, though, if you purchase the Choice Plus shared plan. It includes a subscription to CodeGuard Basic, which takes daily backups of your website. Those backups are stored redundantly, meaning you should always be able to find them, and they can be restored with a single click.
JustHost doesn’t go all out with security features on its low end, but it provides enough to create a cohesive suite. You can identify problems with SiteLock, protect user data with an SSL/TLS certificate and ensure you don’t break your website with CodeGuard. If you ever need more power in these tools, JustHost makes it simple to upgrade, too.
Like the other brands in the network, JustHost doesn’t offer domain privacy for free, unless you’re purchasing a Pro subscription. Domain privacy replaces the information with which you register your website with the registrar’s. Though that seems small, WHOIS records are publicly available online, meaning anyone can find out who you are, where you live and more.
Most hosts don’t offer domain privacy, but providers such as DreamHost and 1&1 IONOS are leading the charge (read our DreamHost review). It’s hard to expect domain privacy from EIG, but it’d be nice to see.
On the list are Facebook, Google AdWords, Google Maps, WPBeginner, Bing, Yahoo, Verizon and more. We understand sharing personal information for the sake of providing a better service, but we can’t muster any reasonable explanation for the brands above other than advertising.
Plus, EIG can share your personal information with other brands in its network. We already know that Bluehost and JustHost are double-dipping on your personal data, but so is SiteLock, MOJO Marketplace, CodeGuard and Constant Contact, even if you’re not using those services.
As we’ve said in other EIG-related reviews, your information is treated as a commodity. Though JustHost may not do the sharing or selling, its parent company is, which leaves you in hot water as the user.
Like other EIG brands, JustHost offers live chat and phone support around the clock. The quality of support is good, with prompt and helpful responses, but the reps feel distant. Unlike SiteGround, where you can put a name to a face, all you see with JustHost is a block of text (read our SiteGround review).
That said, our experience with support wasn’t bad. We reached out with questions about the server, how it was configured and why we kept seeing Bluehost around every corner. Much to our surprise, the presales rep was able to answer our questions thoroughly. In many cases, complex questions require the rep to ask a supervisor or redirect you.
Live chat and phone support are the best ways to get help, though. The knowledgebase, though useful, is a dated mess. JustHost doesn’t have categories to browse or a hierarchy of articles. Rather, there’s a list of the most popular articles and a search bar.
It’s clear the knowledgebase is also built on a former version of the website, with headers such as “web hosting” and “why us” still in the top menu. Those links are broken, too, outside of the home link. Plus, though you can navigate back to the homepage, you can’t get to the knowledgebase from there.
Even so, the articles are well-written and through. You’ll have to dig to find what you need, but we’d be lying if we said the knowledgebase wasn’t helpful.
JustHost is decent on speed, big on features and negligent on privacy. The good mixes with the bad, but that’s true of most EIG products. JustHost impresses more than most, though, particularly because of the deep integration with WordPress and long list of security features.
That said, the proverbial elephant in the room is privacy. While it’s a big deal to us, it may not be to you, and if it’s not, JustHost looks much more impressive.
What do you think of JustHost? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.