Our Justhost Shared Hosting Review
Justhost as a brand first came into life back in 2008, being owned by UK entrepreneur Chris Phillips (who owned at the time other brands such as Dot5). Over time, Justhost started to suffer from a bad reputation for slow servers among other things, but our Just Review will focus on its current ownership by EIG, who purchased it around 2010.
It is quite interesting that around the time the sale to EIG was discovered users noticed a significant speed increase in their websites. That being said, this was some time ago (2010), so much can happen in that time.
Justhost is run by the same people that run Bluehost
As a result of the purchase by EIG, Justhost is now run by the same people who run Bluehost (and also Hostmonster), and you will see that the feature list is the same on both sites. They have suffered in the past with a poor reputation before its acquisition, and thus the company behind Bluehost has tried to turn this around. The upshot with this is that you get the same service as Bluehost, with all Bluehost’s features at a lower cost.
We somehow didn’t believe when we started looking into them how the same features could be offered at such a low price, so we opened up the Live chat and asked them:
(10:35) [Cynthia L.] Hi there! Thank you for contacting Sales today! How can I help you?
(10:35) [Jonathan] hi
(10:35) [Jonathan] I was wondering what the difference is between you and Bluehost, as I know you are both run by EIG, and it seems you have the same feature list on your site
(10:36) [Jonathan] Is there a reason you are much cheaper than Bluehost?
(10:36) [Cynthia L.] We are the same company. Just slightly different pricing since their reputation from their last owner was suffering quite a bit
(10:36) [Jonathan] ah
(10:37) [Cynthia L.] But the hosting is the same, along with all of the features!
(10:37) [Jonathan] so Justhost is a good deal then?
(10:37) [Cynthia L.] Yes it really is.
(10:37) [Jonathan] Great, thanks for your help with this
That being said, regardless of our opinion it is worth checking out what our readers had to say with their Justhost Reviews at the end of this article.
The Plans \ Features
They offer three different plans, ranging from $2.50 per month to $9.95 per month when purchased with our Justhost Coupon.
As you can see, this plan is limited to just one site, and 100GB disk space (which for one site is more than enough). One thing that you may not like is the 500MB limit per email account, but this is not an uncommon restriction. The only real feature (if you are based in the US) is the $50 worth of marketing offers (i.e. Google AdWords). Other than that the plan is quite limited.
One thing that is probably very important is that backups are not included in this plan. If you want nightly backups, then you will be able to add this during the signup phase at a cost of $1.99 per month. We will discuss more about this later.
For just a couple of extra dollars, you can get unlimited websites, disk space, bandwidth and email storage. While they advertise “unlimited,” you should check their terms and conditions because in reality whatever resources you use must be used in connection with your website. Therefore, you won’t be able to store images or anything else that is not on a live site.
- WordPress Hosting – WordPress is indeed one of the more popular blog services with its content management and software. They are one of the many companies recommended on WordPress. As a result, software installation at Justhost can be done very easily with only a few clicks needed.
- Great Upgrade path – With the recent addition of its Pro, VPS, and dedicated plans there is an excellent upgrade path available. In fact, it has one of the cheapest upgrade paths available, with their Pro plan (supercharged WordPress Hosting), and very affordable VPS plans.
- Open Source Hosting –Open source software has become insanely popular with several other sites using it. BlueHost is one of them, and when chosen as your Web Host, you have access to myriads of great products along with your hosting account with just one click.
- Unlimited Domains -This is a very important asset as it gives you the ability to add as many accounts as you desire. The different domains all have their separate files, and it doesn’t cost extra for these domains either.
- E-commerce – Gives you the ability to earn and increase your finances through your website just by selling your products on online shopping software sites. The payoff for doing this is that it increases the professionalism you want to have with your site as well as boosting your confidence.
- Customer Support – This is truly where Bluehost shines. BlueHost prides itself on excellence in customer support/service, and it is shown with the amount of awards that they have won. Customer support team is well-trained, friendly, and approachable when clients need help solving problems or complaints.
- cPanel – Justhost has quite an advanced cPanel with their web hosting. The cPanel is very easy to use and offers a wide variety of tools and features to enhance your experience. Some features include mail management, file management, database management, and domain management just to list a few.
- Integrated Cloudflare – We are a big fan of CloudFlare, especially when a host is geared up to providing a one click install via the control panel. You can read more about CloudFlare here, and gain a glimpse of how this can speed up your site with our W3 Total Cache and Cloudflare tutorial.
- 3 Year Signup period required for the best deal – It is quite a commitment to join Bluehost and get the best deal. Fortunately, Bluehost is one of the few companies that is a safe bet when it comes to knowing they will be around and still giving a great service in 3 years time. However, they have an anytime money back guarantee, so if you cancel after the first 30 days (full refund within 30 days), they will refund the remainder of the hosting fees.
- Unfriendly cPanel customization – To be honest if it weren’t for this point, we would probably have given them a much higher rating. What they have done is to customize their CPanel, and make it a mess for other hosts trying to import it. This is particularly relevant if you ever want to move your site in the future and want to transfer all your emails and other configurations. Primarily, other hosts will offer free transfers for people that use cPanel. On the face of it, you think great, that’s easy,… but, in reality, the new host will just turn around and state that they cannot do the transfer because of the customized cPanel.
Our Justhost Review Verdict
We went through a lot of mixed emotions when we reviewed them. Just as we were ready to consign it to a mediocre rating based on widespread negative feedback around the web, we realized that that was mostly irrelevant now they had been taken over by EIG and run by the same team that runs Bluehost. So there we were quite excited to find a great deal for our readers (same features and support as Bluehost just cheaper), the bombshell hit. We make no apologies for being a cPanel fan, primarily due to how easy it allows you to move host should you ever need to. Now, while they have cPanel, but it is heavily customized meaning the whole purpose we recommend cPanel is null and void. We don’t think this is anything to do with making it hard for customers to move away from them, but more to do with preventing high loads on the servers when the cPanel backups run (i.e. the server load is put on another server where the backups are kept), and indeed, it makes some sense, but similar gains can be made with. Just not what we want or like.
If you don’t care about cPanel, then sure this host is perfectly fine. They are quick to response to support queries and quick to react to any Tweets you send their way. They seem on the ball, and while of course, there will aways be a few grumblings or support issues around the web, for the amount of customers they service, this is nothing really to be concerned about.
If you care about cPanel, especially because you want the flexibility to move hosts (perhaps you are a developer etc.), then you may want to think twice about using this hosting provider.
For all these reasons, while we are still happy to recommend them in our Justhost Review it is subject to a few qualifications (as mentioned above).