JustHost Review: Web Hosting Solutions for Frugal Bloggers
JustHost markets itself as the complete web hosting solution for business owners and bloggers who want full functionality on a small budget.
While the company’s offerings are not as robust as some other companies’, we think that JustHost could be the right choice for a smaller blog owner with a limited budget.
The company, which was founded in 2008 by Chris Phillips and then bought by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012, offers shared hosting plans as well as VPS and dedicated servers for those who need more features and resources as their business grows.
Here are some of the features JustHost offers:
- Low introductory price
- A choice of installable scripts
- Free site builder
Our JustHost review explores these features.
JustHost Shared Hosting
JustHost offers shared hosting with affordable introductory pricing aimed to attract bloggers with a tight budget. Standard features include:
- A free domain name, so you can create a custom URL that is easy for your readers to remember. If you need more domain names, you will have to purchase them, but all JustHost plans are capable of supporting as many domains as you own
- A free site builder, in case you do not already have a website built
- Free instant setup, so you do not have to wait to use your account
- 24/7 technical support, so you can get help with your website no matter when you need it
Shared Hosting Plan Options
You can choose between four different plans:
Basic: Ideal for Beginners
The Basic plan gets you support for one website. The package includes a domain name, 50 GB of space for your website, and unmetered bandwidth.
If you want to use additional URLs with your website, you can add up to five parked domains and twenty-five subdomains. You’ll also get five email accounts with 100 MB of storage per account.
Plus: Support for Multiple Sites
If you need a bit more, there is the Plus plan, which builds on the Basic plan. You’ll be able to host up to ten websites, and you’ll have 150 GB of space for your websites.
You’ll also get 100 email accounts with each getting 500 MB of storage. Other perks of this package include marketing offers and spam prevention for your email accounts.
Prime: Unlimited Sites and Email
The top-tier Prime plan gets you unlimited space for an unlimited number of websites. You still get only one domain name, but your site can support an unlimited number of parked domains and subdomains.
Email is unlimited, and in addition to everything you get in the Plus plan, you get privacy and backup protection for your website as well.
Pro: Dedicated IP and Domain Privacy
The company also lists a fourth plan, Pro, which includes all of the features mentioned above along with a high-performance server, the ability to have a dedicated IP, SSL certificates, and domain privacy.
Managing Your Hosting Plan
Most JustHost plans (including all of its shared hosting plans) come with the cPanel Control Panel you can use to manage your hosting environment. Some of the tasks you can do with the cPanel include:
- Setting up new email accounts
- Checking on your account’s resource usage
- Uploading and downloading blog-related files
- Making backups
- Installing scripts (small, stand-alone programs) and the like to add functionality to your website/blog
The VPS plans are cloud-based options that come with instant provisioning, which means you won’t have to wait for your account to be set up.
There are four VPS plans, and each of the plans differ according to the number of processor cores, dedicated IP addresses, amount of RAM, storage space, and allotted bandwidth.
|Standard||Dual core||2 GB||30 GB||1 TB|
|Enhanced||Dual core||4 GB||60 GB||2 TB|
|Premium||Triple core||6 GB RAM||90 GB||2 TB|
|Ultimate||Quad core||8 GB||120 GB||3 TB|
The entry-level plan comes with a dedicated IP address and the top-tier package comes with two dedicated IP addresses.
Regardless of which plan you choose, all of them includes a free domain and Linux based servers using CentOS. You can manage your environment with the provided cPanel, which has been customized somewhat by JustHost.
Furthermore, around the clock support is included in all plans. You’ll also get access to cPanel and root access to your server when you need more control.
The dedicated hosting is based on cloud technology and includes instant provisioning just like the VPS plans. You can choose between three different plans, which offer a free domain name and 4-core processors across the board. The difference between each plan lies in the amount of RAM, disk space, and allowed bandwidth as well as the number of dedicated IP addresses.
Each plan also includes server caching and should you need more storage space than what your plan includes, you can buy additional disk space incrementally.
JustHost does not offer reseller hosting. Rather, the company recommends that those seeking this type of hosting work with their partner, ResellerClub (which is the same company handling reseller needs for Bluehost).
WordPress: JustHost Blogging Features
If you want to start your blog, JustHost streamlines the process. Each of the shared plans allows you to install WordPress with one click and you can also install Joomla, Drupal, and other content management and blogging platforms.
Setting Up WordPress with JustHost
JustHost does not offer any WordPress-only hosting options, but all of their plans support WordPress.
There are two ways you can get up and running with WordPress.
- Installing WordPress with Marketplace
- Installing WordPress with My Sites
Installing WordPress with Marketplace
To install WordPress with Marketplace:
- Log in to the cPanel provided by JustHost
- Go to Website > Install WordPress, and click Install.
- When prompted, provide the domain name, as well as the name for the subfolder (if the blog won’t be your main page). You can also edit the email, username, and password for your new blog.
- Indicate that you agree with the license and service agreements.
- Click Install Now.
cPanel/Marketplace will take care of the rest for you.
Installing WordPress with My Sites
To install WordPress with MySites:
- Log into your JustHost dashboard.
- In the left-hand navigation panel, click My Sites.
- Click on Create Site. When prompted, enter the site name and tagline.
- Click Next to proceed.
- Using the drop-down list, choose the domain you want to install and associate with your new WordPress blog.
- Finally, select the directory to which the blog should be installed and click Next.
If WordPress is not your cup of tea and you would prefer to launch your blog using some other means., you can take advantage of JustHost’s free site builder included with each shared plan.
JustHost’s builder is actually the Weebly Site Builder, and it includes hundreds of pre-made templates (most, if not all, of which are responsive) that are modern and professional looking.
To edit your website, you have access to a drag-and-drop interface. You can use the builder to create a simple and functional blog as well as a simple website.
Weebly vs. WordPress
You can use either Weebly or WordPress to create a new blog. There are upsides and downsides to either option.
Weebly is a website builder that offers you the ability to add a blog. It is an easy-to-use option, and with its drag-and-drop editor, we don’t think you’ll have any issues creating a blog you’re happy with.
WordPress is a content management system that can be used to create websites, though its origins are in blogging. WordPress isn’t the most difficult app in the world to use, but its abundance of options might leave a new user with a serious case of decision paralysis and confusion.
In addition to all that we have mentioned above, JustHost offers the following which may be of interest to you.
When you sign up for a hosting plan, JustHost includes a Marketing Suite designed to help you get the word out about your new blog. It includes:
- $100 credit for Google AdWords
- $100 credit for Bing Ads
- Site analytics software, so you can gather information about the people who visit your blog, where they came from, how long they stayed on your blog, and so on
- Website authentication seal, to reassure your visitors that your website is legitimate and not a front for a shady organization
- SEO tools and tips to ensure that your site ranks as well as possible whenever someone searches for keywords relevant to your blog
If you’re interested in selling your products, whether digital or physical, JustHost offers several e-commerce platforms. You can use the one-click install feature to install feature-rich platforms like Magento but also simpler solutions such as OSCommerce, AgoraShop, TomatoCart, ZenCart, and others.
The company also includes an SSL certificate, OpenPGP encryption and password protected directories which come in useful if you’re selling digital products and don’t want someone accessing the files without purchasing them.
You’ve probably spent a lot of time on your blog — writing, editing images, finding and linking to appropriate sources, and so on — so it’s important that your website is secure and protected against malicious behavior.
All JustHost customers receive a discount (sometimes up to 80% off) the retail price of SiteLock, a software suite that protects you from malware, SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting attacks, and more. SiteLock performs daily scanning of your site to identify vulnerabilities and notifies you if it finds anything.
Video: This video discusses how SiteLock secures your website.
JustHost sells SSL certificates you can purchase and install on to your blog. SSL certificates enable you to communicate with your visitors securely, as well as proving to visitors (and search engines) that your website is legitimate.
Proactively Protecting Your Blog
JustHost claims that, by design, their servers are secure. Nevertheless, the company has a series of tips it recommends its customers follow.
How can I Keep my Site Secure?
JustHost recommends you take the following precautions:
- Update your plugins regularly – outdated plugins are potential entry points for hacks
- Install an anti-virus, you can pick up a decent anti-virus program for free
- Change your passwords if you think your account has been compromised. You can also use online password generators to increase the strength of your password
Support and Guarantees
JustHost offers round the clock, 24/7 support no matter which hosting plan you decide to go with. Support is available via live chat, email, and phone. You can also find an extensive knowledge base with getting started guides, video tutorials, and hundreds of tutorials.
JustHost guarantees that you will be able to reach customer support at any given time and talk to real people who speak English.
Refunds and Money-Back Guarantees
The company offers several guarantees, including a 30-day money back guarantee which states that you can cancel your account at any time and receive a refund for the remainder of your term.
JustHost makes a claim that it is committed to proving the “best network and server uptime in the industry”, according to its website.
With that said, there are a lot of times when issues outside of JustHost’s control pop up. JustHost says that most issues are resolved in approximately 15 minutes, with longer resolution times seen relatively infrequently.
While JustHost guarantees that it will monitor the network 24/7 and address any issues immediately, the company does not offer any uptime guarantees. This means that there’s no recourse for you if JustHost goes down and your website is unavailable (hosts offering such service level agreements compensate you financially for downtime for which they are responsible).
We performed performance tests using our own Pingdom data, and found JustHost maintained a solid uptime over a nine-month period.
Our analysis showed JustHost achieved a 99.95% uptime.
Finally, JustHost’s plans ship with cPanel Control Panels, which means that you get built-in support for Cloudflare CDNs. CDNs are designed to improve the performance of your site by caching your pages and sending them from a server that is located near the visitor.
You can pay for any of the hosting plans on a monthly, 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year cycle. JustHost accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal. If you sign up for a three-year period, you will be able to take advantage of the low introductory rates for the duration of your first term and afterward, your chosen plan will renew at a regular rate.
If you decide to sign up for any length of time that’s less than three years, the price will go up, however, still remain lower than the regular rates.
Alternatives to JustHost
If JustHost doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, there are several similar companies that we think you might be interested in.
GoDaddy is a one-stop shop for all things related to blogging. You will find a wide array of hosting options, site building tools, domain name services, security and productivity tools, and more. However, because GoDaddy offers so much, you will have to make quite a few decisions when making your purchase.
With that said, if you opt for GoDaddy, you will likely never need to move your blog elsewhere as it grows over time.
HostGator focuses on offering simple, affordable web hosting options. If all you want is a no-frills, all-inclusive hosting package that will still provide you with everything you need to launch your website, HostGator might be the company for you. The company offers shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting options, but they have successfully kept their selections simple so that even those new to the world of web hosting can find the best option for them.
iPage is a great option for those who find the task of getting hosting for their blog overwhelming. They have a shared hosting plan, as well as a variant designed for WordPress users. You don’t have to make any more decisions, yet you will get something that includes everything you need to get your blog off the ground.
Is JustHost Right For Your Blog?
JustHost is an attractive choice for anyone looking to start their own blog. The fact that you can easily install WordPress as well as launch an online store or create a simple website with no coding required are just some of the reasons why bloggers and small business owners would be interested in JustHost.
Affordable pricing adds to the appeal but keep in mind that your price will go up after your first term is over and you need to be ready to commit to JustHost for three years if you want to lock in that low pricing.
While the company does offer a 30-day money back guarantee as well as 24/7 network monitoring, there is no mention of an uptime guarantee or compensation in the event your site goes down.
JustHost seems attractive on the surface. If you need a hosting company that offers affordable hosting plans that will have consistent pricing and if you want an uptime guarantee, then you might want to consider an alternative.
If you’d like to try JustHost, use our link to get the best pricing. When you use our discounted link, the deal is automatically applied to your purchase.
Contributing writer: Katie Horne