JustHost is a budget web hosting provider that concentrates on shared hosting plans and reseller hosting. The company offer generous discounts on sign-up and a notable ‘Anytime’ money back guarantee.
JustHost was founded in 2008; it was originally part of the Just Develop It group of companies founded by Chris Phillips, a UK entrepreneur who previously developed and sold another hosting company, Dot5. True to form, Phillips sold JustHost to the US-based Endurance International Group. That’s the same company that own BlueHost and dozens of other web hosting companies. JustHost now has headquarters in the US, the UK and Australia, plus a single data centre in Illinois. It once claimed to be an eco-friendly hosting company and ran a Go Green programme, although little evidence of this exists on the website at the moment.
JustHost Hosting Plans
JustHost offers a fairly typical shared hosting plan which is aimed at the budget end of the web hosting market. It’s the kind of hosting that’s ideal for running non-resource-intensive scripts and software, such as light ecommerce websites and blogs.
The company only offer Linux as an OS, and the only advancement on the basic shared hosting plan is a reseller option. In this respect, there is little to mark them out from their peers. Most of the functionality on their shared plan is unlimited, and the only price drop they offer is obtained by signing up for a long plan (36 months or more).
JustHost doesn’t offer cloud hosting, preferring to keep its hosting packages to the basics only.
JustHost doesn’t publish an uptime guarantee on their website, although the site does state that their team monitors their equipment 24/7. If you’re not satisfied with availability, you have the option to cancel and receive a refund for the remainder of the term on your hosting plan. A blog entry from 2010 hints at a 99.5% uptime guarantee, although this doesn’t appear to have been transferred to the main website.
The company’s data centre is located in Chicago, IL. Little information is available about the data centre on their website, so the exact specifications of their equipment (and their backup provision) remain something of a mystery. In a 2009 interview, product manager Luke Kendall did state that the facility has more than 2,000 servers and four technicians on site at any time.
JustHost has a familiar-looking support portal with access to server status information, videos, a knowledge base and tickets. Customers can contact the support department via email, live chat, phone and snail mail to an address in Utah.
All phone support for JustHost is provided via a US telephone number, although the company don’t reveal where their support staff are based - only that they will speak English when they answer your call.
The company does have a blog, but at the time of writing this review, the most recent entry was 15 months old. Their last tweet, as of the date of this review, is more than two and a half years out of date.
JustHost in the News
Although there is anecdotal evidence of hacking and downtime at JustHost, the company seem to have escaped any poor press on either.
JustHost Control Panel
JustHost customers are given access to Cpanel as standard, and that’s included in the cost. Cpanel provides access to webmail, DNS, nameservers, addon domains and other standard features, and it’s possible to set up Google Apps and Gmail. Billing and account management is handled via a separate control panel area with a separate login.
In addition, users who opt for reseller hosting get WHM, a tool for creating, managing and deleting individual hosting accounts. Resellers are also given a free ClientExec package to manage customer invoicing and billing. ClientExec also allows resellers to suspend client accounts on non-payment.
Each customer on the shared hosting plan can register a free domain name on signup.
Free advertising credits are also offered: new users in the UK get £30 for Google’s Adwords programme, although in the US, Europe, Canada and Australia this is upped to $100. Users in both territories receive a $25 credit for Bing and Yahoo! ads.
Customers can quickly install common scripts (including Wordpress, Joomla, ecommerce tools and messageboards) using SimpleScript, another free bonus of a JustHost account.
JustHost Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
JustHost’s cancellation policy is pretty straightforward. Should you be dissatisfied with the service and cancel an account, you’ll receive a full refund for the months you haven’t used. If your cancellation is submitted within the first 30 days, you’ll receive a full, no-quibble refund. Cancellations can be submitted via phone, chat or ticket, but you’ll need to ensure your account contact details are up-to-date before you contact the support team.
One-off account fees and domain name fees aren’t included in the refund policy (for example, the domain name which was originally ‘free’ is a perk of the account and is charged at $14.99 on cancellation).
Refunds are issued via the original payment method. If you paid by credit card, you’ll receive your refund via credit card. If you paid by cheque or PayPal, your refund will be submitted the same way. Don’t forget to take any domain names off ‘auto-renew’ if you intend to let them expire.
JustHost offer a basic plan which is suitable for individuals and small companies, and the reseller option broadens the range slightly. However, there isn’t much information about the company on their website, and even finding the location of their offices was a trial.
It seems that, since the acquisition, JustHost have changed focus from providing interaction (through social media and their blog, for example) to simply concentrating on hosting, support and domains. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing - the help desk channels are there if you need them - but it definitely makes the brand feel more generic and less personal than it once was. That could be an issue if you feel you need support with hosting problems.
If you’re looking for business-class hosting, JustHost are probably not the right choice. However, if you need a low-cost, unlimited hosting package which isn’t business-critical, you probably won’t mind the no-frills approach.