Bluehost vs. JustHost
It’s tough to decide between two web hosts that offer such similar shared hosting plans. However, we took both Bluehost and JustHost for a spin, and there are notable differences between them when it comes to performance. Find out which is better below.
Bluehost vs. JustHost? That is a tricky question to answer. If you're here, you're probably thinking of launching a new website, or even better, switching web hosts. You've probably narrowed down your choices to Bluehost and Jushost and, for this, you deserve our congratulations. Because the web hosting industry is so competitive, it can be difficult to narrow down choices, so you deserve some accolades for narrowing it down to these two.
Here is where we come in. Our in-depth and unbiased analysis of both web hosts is certain to help you make your choice, and failing that, we'll make it for you. You see, there must be a winner. And using the features of both web hosts, we'll help you decide exactly the best web host for you.
Bluehost vs. JustHost Overview
Founded in 1996 and hosting about 2 million websites around the world, Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosts around. They have something for everyone, whether you're hosting a business page or a blog, chances are you wouldn't be too dissatisfied, if at all, about the services that they offer. For someone just starting out, there might not be a better web host that Bluehost as they are even officially recommended by the official WordPress team and offer 1 click installations on all their plans. With super friendly and helpful support and a dashboard that is very easy to use, Bluehost is the beginner's dream (feel free to read more about the features that Bluehost offers for beginners in our extensive Bluehost review).
JustHost was also founded in 2008 by Chris Philips but was acquired by EIG in 2012. If you're conversant with the world of web hosting you'd know that EIG owns up to half of all the web hosting companies available. JustHost is a pretty decent web host too, and a great Bluehost alternative, despite not being extremely popular. They offer free domain names, unlimited email accounts, and cPanel control systems and have not done badly for themselves. JustHost also provides a great interface for advanced users and amateurs alike. Their performance is also rather decent.
We like to get the fluff out of the way first. So we're going to put it to you straight; popularity matters little, or not at all. That being said, Bluehost is the more popular web host. This is mostly because Bluehost has a reputation for being really beginner-friendly, and we can tell you that that reputation is based on something – Bluehost's panel is actually quite easy to use. We know because we've tried. Another reason, perhaps, is that Bluehost spends quite a lot of money on ads. We can't exactly blame them for being serious about attracting new customers, can we?
So Bluehost is more popular than JustHost, but the same we noticed in our Bluehost vs. HostGator comparison, and that did not seem to matter at all.
Bluehost vs. JustHost: Performance and Reliability
This is the core of what you want from a web host, and the important things are speed and reliability. Visitors, generally, do not like websites that load slowly and they neither fancy websites that aren't always reachable.
Bluehost makes use of CDN (Content Delivery Network) and this enables servers to be faster than they would ordinarily be. Why? The network keeps caches of your site at datacenters all over the world and delivers content from the closest data center to the URL of the visitor.
To test Bluehost's speed, we went to work and created a simple WordPress account and signed up. After this, we put Pingdom to work to see exactly how fast Bluehost's servers are. On average we recorded an amazing 461mms response time— this is the TTFB (Time to First Byte) This wasn't wholly remarkable to us because, to be honest, we've seen faster— yes, we have. However, this was comfortably faster than most of the test results we've had and if you're looking for a fast web host, Bluehost might just be the fit for you. The load time, which is the period of time it takes the page to completely load, was an average of 1.24 over 6 months. Any way you wish to slice it, this means only one thing; Bluehost is fast and if you host your website on their platform, speed will never be a problem. To be honest, we are pleasantly surprised. We were also pleased when we sent up to a hundred virtual users to the dummy web site and discovered that the response time and load time were fairly stable. A lot of web hosts have trouble with load times when traffic peaks, but Bluehost's infrastructure has managed to handle that quite well.
(here show screenshot of speed results and other relevant results)
We employed the same method of testing that we used for Bluehost for JustHost and we recorded an average of 709mms over the past six months. Right off the bat, it is clear that JustHost is much slower than Bluehost. However, they are still faster than most of the web hosts that we've tested as the industry average speed is around 850mms – 1 sec. We've recorded an average load time of 1.39 sec, which while not bad, could be better.
(here show screenshot of speed results).
Both aren't crazy fast, but they aren't crazy slow either. We don't even think it would be strictly correct to refer to them as having average speeds— this speeds we recorded are way above average. But there has to be a winner, and Bluehost takes this round for us.
In-Depth Uptime Analysis
Reliability is an important thing for a web host to have. The assurance that your web page is up and reachable always is something that your web host should offer for free.
Bluehost blue (yes, we know) our minds away with an incredible uptime of 99.99% throughout the testing period. Asides from getting a perfect score of 100% which, because of scheduled maintenance and the likes, is almost impossible to achieve, we don't see how this score could be better. We were let down, though, when we found out that Bluehost, unfortunately, has no uptime guarantee. This means that even if their uptime gets terrible, there's nothing you can do. Well, you can moan over your keyboard and call customer support to ask for the manager, but that wouldn't be of any help. So, yes, great uptime, but we are disappointed with the lack of an uptime guarantee.
When we first started recording the test results of JustHost Uptime, we were somewhat disappointed. However, they finished strong and recorded an average Uptime of 99.98%. In an industry where most web hosting companies record around 99.95%, this isn't a terrible score at all. In fact, we were impressed.
So far so good, both Web hosts have been impressive. Decent speed coupled with amazing uptime isn't a bad deal, and based on these stats alone both web hosts are looking too good to be true. Because of a great Uptime, Bluehost just about edges this one.
We've seen that both web hosts are almost impeccable in regards to performance. But that isn't where the comparison ends. There are a lot more things to consider before deciding on the best web host for you.
Ease of Use
Earlier, we spoke about how Bluehost is actually one of, if not the best, web host for people just starting out. And here's where we will tell you why.
Bluehost supports cPanel which is a great interface for people who know very little about web hosting. Bluehost goes a mile or two further though, by tweaking the cPanel interface to allow even someone who has never heard of a website to have very little issues with control and customization. Instead of going through the technical hoops of coding and all that, all you need to do is point and click. It really is that easy and beginners will find it easy to install and start-up WordPress. Bluehost also has website building tools that allow beginners to create websites by just dragging and dropping. If you're hosting a WordPress site it gets even better. Bluehost automatically updates the WordPress core software. This indubitably makes the life of any both advanced and amateur users easier. However, you are mandated to update your WordPress plugins yourself. Bluehost also has a special WordPress optimizing/Customer support structure feature called Blueflash. Blue flash works by allowing beginners to become conversant with the dashboard of Bluehost and WordPress. Amateurs always have problems with choosing the right sort of plugins and themes for their website but Blue flash eliminates that problem by providing useful pointers and stopping rookies from making simple mistakes on their websites. Blue flash works with experts in WordPress who are dedicated to giving the best advice to users concerning website configuration. What's more? The process of having access to Blue flash is as simple as dialing 888-401-4678 and asking to begin your Blue flash call. Since WordPress is the most popular content management system, this feature is really thought out and shows how much time Bluehost has dedicated to creating a great environment for beginners.
Bluehost has a domain manager if you'd prefer to manage domains through them. You can also decide whether to have monthly, daily or weekly backups in case. You will also find it very easy to run popular apps like Joomla and Drupal. Bluehost also supports e-commerce apps. With a new plan, you get $200 in marketing credits which is great if you're a small business looking to build an online presence. SSL certificates are free and they come with even the basic plans, however, site migration isn't free. Site migration costs $149.99, although this is a one time fee and can allow the migration up to websites and around 20 emails.
To make life easier for users, Bluehost throws in a free domain, free SSL certificates, and even Sitelock, a third-party product that acts as both a malware detector and a firewall. We will speak more about that later.
Bluehost provides new users with all the tools needed to run a website and simplifies the entire process for them while at it. When it comes to ease of use, we don't see so many web hosts touching Bluehost.
Let's see just how easy JustHost is to use.
We found a lot of similarities with BlueHost and JustHost in terms of ease of use, and sometimes you get literally the same package; free domain, access to thousands of website templates, and the extremely helpful drag and drop feature. JustHost like Bluehost also supports cPanel and has unlimited everything; from websites to databases and emails. JustHost also offers 1 click installation of WordPress and with their instant server setup, it is easy for new users to configure their website and get it online in just a few minutes. JustHost's Mojo marketplace has over 100 plugins, themes and open-source apps that require only one click to be installed onto your site. JusHost also offers e-commerce support so it is easy for beginners to add things such as shopping carts and checkout features to their site. With each new plan, Just host includes a $100 worth of ad credits for Google and Bing. So if you want to immediately get your site's name out there, you're free to go. Justhost exactly the same site migration policy as Bluehost; $149.99 for five websites and 20 emails
It really comes down to preference and first-hand knowledge. Bluehost is extremely easy to use, and so is JustHost. Bluehost takes the edge for us though, and this is because it is far easier to subscribe or sign up for an account with Bluehost than it is for JustHost.
Refund Policy Comparison
Sometimes a web host may sound like the greatest thing ever but would be a different thing once you migrate to their services. Sometimes you would immediately want to cancel service and start your search for a web host afresh. It happens to even the best of us. If you've paid for months or years in advance, what happens then? Do you get your money back? Most web hosts have a policy regarding this.
Bluehost has a 30-days refund policy, which isn't spectacular and we feel literally couldn't be lower even if they tried. And the thirty days policy isn't exactly no questions asked either as you can only be refunded under three conditions. The first, of course, is that cancellation must have been made in the first three months. The second is that you can only get refunds on the cost of web hosting, not other extras like domains and others. This implies that the free domains Bluehost gives aren't actually free. Our doubts are further cleared when we discovered that the third condition is that a fee of $15.99 would be deducted if you've received a free domain name. We've seen some websites that claim that Bluehost offers prorated refunds for cancellations that occur after thirty days, so we decided to go through their terms and conditions ourselves to find out. Here is what we found.
“Bluehost does not offer any refunds for cancellations that occur after 30 days.”
That sounds pretty final to us.
At this point, we have to say that we are really intrigued about what'll eventually make the difference between these two web hosts. This is because, like Bluehost, JustHost offers the same thirty days refund policy. Like Bluehost, you have thirty days to decide whether or not to cancel your plan. Like Bluehost, fees for add-ons like free domain names aren't refundable (even though they were “free” in the first place). Like Bluehost, a fee of $15.99 would be deducted if you've received a free domain name. Like Bluehost, JustHost doesn't offer any refund, whether prorated or not, after the first thirty days.
Like Bluehost, Justhost has the words “host” as its last four letters— we are just kidding (we aren't). The point, though, is that both web hosts have about the same money-back policy. If we didn't know better, we'd assume that one of them just copied and pasted the Money-back policy of the other. We don't often encounter situations where it is literally impossible to decide a better web host, but it seems we've encountered one here. We can't, in good faith, choose one web site over the other in this comparison. It's a draw for us.
Bluehost vs. JustHost: Customer Support & Reliability
When deciding on the quality of a web host, the quality of customer support is very important. Whether or not you have access to reliable guides who can guide you through your problems is a question that must be answered. You do not want to patronize a web host with terrible customer service. It promises to be a remarkably frustrating venture.
It is very difficult to measure the quality of a company's customer support since, as a customer, you do not have the necessary bird's eye view needed to see the entire infrastructure. Most of the conclusions we've reached are a result of personal experiences and this might not be general.
Bluehost has 24/7 live chat support, phone support, and email ticketing system and even an extensive knowledgebase. This is usually a good sign as it shows that there are a lot of channels that support staff can be contacted on. We contacted their live chat support and we always connected with a live rep in two to three minutes. We were impressed, many web hosts take up to ten minutes to get live rep connected. Although there were some delays before each answer was given, we found their live reps to be friendly, knowledgeable and quite helpful.
(here show screenshot of chat).
Their knowledge base is quite extensive and doesn't only contain articles that provide step-by-step instructions for solving problems. It also contains, amongst other things, articles that educate the amateur user on topics such as email and login management. There are also video tutorials that work you through simple tasks such as installing WordPress and building your website. Overall, we had a good customer support experience with Bluehost and they score high marks in our books.
Before trying out JustHost's customer support structure, we had a fairly good idea of what to expect. We still tried, as it were, to fulfill all righteousness. The internet is awash with reviews that say basically the same thing; JustHost's customer support is, to be frank, just poor. Like Bluehost, JustHost claims to offer 24/7 live chat, phone, and email ticketing support.
It took us an average of 15 minutes to get a hold of a live rep when we tried the live chat channel. The reps that we spoke to were friendly enough, however, they weren't quite as helpful. Half of the questions that we asked were answered by referring us to links that were also unhelpful. We ended going through pages and pages of different articles to get the answers that we were looking for. On the whole, it was an experience that we wouldn't wish on anyone. We suppose that advanced users wouldn't have much need for great customer support, but amateurs would. Going by what we experienced, amateurs should hope they never get into a fix that would require valuable help from the staff of JustHost.
At last, a gulf has appeared. Bluehost clearly has greater customer support infrastructure than JustHost. They are the indisputable winner of this round for sure.
You want to know about the security policy of a prospective web host. The kind of security infrastructure put in place by your web host is many times the most important determinant of how secure your website is. Important questions that must be answered is if SSL certificates are provided for free or at an extra cost? What of backups? Are there any in-built security features, and if they are, are they free?
Bluehost Security Features
Bluehost is actually really security conscious. They have in-built security features such as Sitelock and Domain privacy. Sitelock works by scanning your website for malware and removing them when found and Domain privacy hides your information from the public WHOIS listing. This ensures that your personal information is safe. They also have an anti-spam solution called SpamExperts which secures your emails and checks for junks and spams. SSL certificates are also free with basic plans and this is generally speaking a good sign. While Bluehost does offer backups, they are “complementary” and aren't guaranteed in any way. In fact, Bluehost advises customers to get their own backups done. Make what you will of that. In addition to this, they also claim to have “customized internal tools” to help stop DDoS attacks.
JustHost Security Features
Like Bluehost, JustHost provides free SSL certificates with even basic plans. However, JustHost doesn't provide domain privacy so your information can be accessed easily. JustHost also provides Sitelock to users at no extra cost. As explained earlier, Sitelock is a third party software that scans for malware and removes them. It is always useful to have something like that on your side. However, this will set you back $1.99 per month. Sitelock does most of the internal security of your website which includes Dashboard reports, security maintenance, and daily 360° scanning for drive-by downloads, defacement, database vulnerabilities, and the likes. JustHost also provides or supports add-ons like Domain privacy protection, Codeguard, and Site backup pro. However, you will have to pay extra for any of these services. Like Bluehost, JustHost offers weekly backups, but they aren't guaranteed. That means your content may be or may not be backed up— it really just depends on the mood of the many IT technicians that work with JustHost. We don't think that is a chance you should take, so you'd be better off paying for the guaranteed backup feature which is the Site backup pro
In our opinion, both web hosts offer decent security. But that is precisely it— decent, nothing else. Assuming they offered free and guaranteed backups, that would have been a different case. But they don't, so we have no choice but to dub them thoroughly average.
Since both web hosts offer roughly the same features, we do not see a winner. Once again, it is a draw.
Plans & Pricing
Cheap isn't always better, but most times it is. Very few people wish to blow a fortune on their web hosts, so it is preferable if a web hosting service is affordable and, most importantly perhaps, valuable.
There are all kinds of problems with comparing the prices of web hosts; pricing structure varies, there is the problem of different plans, and there are always different kinds of discounts going on. We're here to simplify the process though and let you see through the pricing shenanigans that most web hosts employ. For our comparison, we'll focus only on the shared hosting plans offered by both web hosts. this is because they are the most popular, and if you're reading this, you're most likely to want a shared hosting plan.
Bluehost has shared hosting plans and they are; Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. Naturally, they are listed from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Let's look at what the cheapest plan has in store for us.
The basic plan costs $3.95 per month (although you might have to pay $7.99 if you want to renew your plan) and has the following features.
- 1 website
- 50GB of storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- free SSL certificate
- 1 domain
- 5 parked domains
- 25 subdomains
The next plan is the Plus plan which costs $5.95 per month. (It normally costs $10.99— this is the price you might have to pay upon renewal). The plan comes with all the features of the basic plan plus the following
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unlimited parked domains
- $200 marketing offer
- Spam experts.
At $5.95 per month, this plan packs some real power. The next plan is the Choice-plus plan. The plan costs It has all the features of the Plus plan and comes with the following
Site backup- Codeguard basic
Shortlist, right? This plan is basically the more secured Plus plan. If you want some extra security, you can go for this plan, but if you do not care either way you should go with the plus plan. The most expensive shared hosting plan is the Pro plan. An initial subscription costs $13.95 (renewal fees may start from $23.99) and it has all the features of the Choice-plus Plan plus high performance. We presume that this means better speed and the capacity to support a higher number of visitors.
Bluehost recommends the Choice-plus plan, and so do we. For all the features offered, it comes at a really competitive price. We are beginning to see the reason why Bluehost is so popular with beginners.
Like Bluehost, JustHost has four hosting plans. They are the Basic, Plus, Choice-Plus, and Pro plans
The Basic plan, which is the cheapest, costs $9.49— if you're purchasing without a discount and for at least three years. It costs $11.99 monthly. However, there are a lot of discount codes that could drive the price down to as low as $3.95. The basic plan comes with the following features
- 1 website
- 50GB of data
- 1 free domain registration
- free SSL certificate
- 5 Email accounts
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 25 Subdomains.
Regardless of discounts, the real price of this plan, an amazing $11.99 per month, is too high for the value on offer. There are a lot of web hosts that offer the same roughly at a much lower price— and with greater infrastructure too!
The next plan is the Plus plan. While you can get discount codes that drive the price of this plan down to $6.95, the real price starts from $12.49 (and this is when you pay for three years in advance). The monthly rate is $16.99. The Plus plan comes with the following features
- 10 websites
- Unlimited space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 1 free domain registration
- 50 Subdomains
- Unlimited email accounts
Like the basic plan, the Plus plan will unjustly subtract money from your wallet. Quite unjust, if you ask us. Better plans abound— Bluehost's Plus plan, for example, costs less and comes with unlimited websites, unlimited storage, and unlimited domains.
The next plan is the Choice-plus plan. Discounts could drive the price down to $6.95 but the price, if you're paying for three years in advance and without discounts, is around $16.99. The monthly rate is $18.99. The plan comes with
- Unlimited websites
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited space
- 1 free domain
- 1 free domain registration
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unlimited email accounts
- Free SSL certificate
- Domain Privacy
- Automated backups
Better value, we must admit. But the price keeps skyrocketing. Their most expensive plan, which is the Pro plan costs $25.49 for a three years month term. It costs $29.99 per month otherwise. It comes with all the features of the Choice-plus plan and
- High performance
- Free dedicated IP
- Premium SSL certificate
On the whole, the pricing structure of JustHost was thoroughly uncompetitive— we can think of at least three web hosts who would provide the same value and at a much lower price. Unfortunately for JustHost, Bluehost is one of those web hosts.
Many web hosts have extra features that are simply to die for. It's also a great opportunity to look at features that we haven't yet covered. Let's see the extras that Bluehost and JustHost pack in the tank.
Right off the bat, we were intrigued when we found out that under Bluehost's affiliate program if you refer someone to Bluehost and they actually get an account you get $65. Sweet deal, that. Bluehost supports the use of PHP PEAR packages, Perl modules, Cron jobs, and Apache handlers. Their security infrastructure allows you to set up SSH access to your account, block IP addresses and install your own premium SSL certificate if you so wish. Bluehost supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and you can use either phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin to manage your databases. The Blue flash feature that we've discussed earlier is also an important extra feature. It is always handy to have dedicated WordPress experts on hand to help with configuring accounts and installing and updating plugins. Bluehost's partnership with Weebly, a web builder perfect for beginners, isn't something that you see with everyday web hosts so that constitutes an extra for us. Bluehost provides a detailed checklist of what you should be doing to protect your site, in case you get careless with managing situations on your end. This way, they ensure that security isn't randomly compromised. Bluehost has a managed WordPress hosting option called WP pro. It is mainly created for people who would much rather focus on creating content than on managing a website. To end this section, unlike JustHost, BlueHost supports reseller hosting.
There are still loads of extra features that come with Bluehost plans, but these are the most important. It's been interesting to look through the fantastic features that come with Bluehost, and we've been impressed.
JustHost also has a LOT of extra features. JustHost has two website builders; Weebly and WordPress. If you do not wish to make use of these, you could also go to the Mojo market place where you'd find dozens of “one click-install” apps. With every plan you subscribe to, JustHost offers free domain registration. However, this only lasts for a year and after the first year, you'll incur the normal annual fees. JustHost supports cPanel but hosts a cPanel interface that has been customized to be even easier for amateurs to use. So while you're getting a cPanel interface, it is even easier to use. JustHost has Cloudflare support, so as a user you only need to enable it to activate CDN on your account. JustHost's security infrastructure makes use of SiteLock lite malware scanner to secure all hosting accounts and that adds a level of security to your website. If Sitelock lite isn't enough for you, you also have the option to subscribe to the premium version for a higher level of security. You also have access to SEO tools, dedicated IPs, SpamExperts mail filtering, and premium SSL certificates all at extra costs. We guess you cannot possibly have extras without extra costs, can you?
Bluehost takes this one us for obvious reasons.
Differences between JustHost and Bluehost
Just to recap, let's look at the most important differences between both web hosts
- Justhost is more expensive than Bluehost despite having the same plan names
- Bluehost has a superior customer support infrastructure
- Bluehost offers more ad credits to beginners than JustHost
- Bluehost is faster than JustHost and has better uptime
- In our experience, Bluehost is easier to use than JustHost
Bluehost vs. JustHost – Our Pick
Both web hosts started well with decent performance, ease of use and security. However, from the customer support duel, the gyre, as it were, began to widen and somehow JustHost got lost along the way. The section on price cemented our decision for us – Bluehost vs. JustHost? Bluehost blue our minds away, JustHost just didn't.