Why I Left JustHost Web Hosting
When I was in college in 2013, as a web design major, I decided it would be a great idea to start a portfolio website. I designed it and built it, but then needed to pick a host. I read tons of reviews, articles and compared different hosting providers myself. I eventually went with JustHost. I ended up leaving them for a few reasons that I’ll explain as I summarize my experience with them over the years.
When I was first starting out as a designer, my needs for hosting were small – reliable, easy-to-use and very affordable. Pricing was my first priority (college-student style), so I purchased a term for 3 years on Black Friday. I got an amazing deal, which came to around $3 a month. I uploaded my files for my very first website and my problem was solved. It wasn’t until sometime later that I would run into some issues.
Speed: My website ran pretty smoothly, but it was also very minimal. I had a small WordPress install attached to a standalone PHP site. I ended up making another JustHost account, which was for my boyfriend’s art website. It is another WordPress install, featuring an online store with tons of images and products. It worked well and looked great. However, as time went on and more content was added, the site speed started to lag. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem since they make certain plugins for that. So, I added a caching plugin. I added an image optimizer. The speed was looking better for the most part, but nothing I did restored it back to the way it was when I first signed up. Also, compared to my own website, this one was very slow. I swept it under the rug and hoped my visitors had an okay experience as long as they were willing to be a little patient.
Price: As I mentioned earlier, I thought I was getting the deal of a lifetime when I signed up. But, like all good things, my initial hosting purchase came to an end. I wanted to renew since I just wasn’t ready to switch, yet. So, I selected a year and was shocked at the price tag. They hooked me in at a great deal for around $3 a month, but wanted to renew at $9.99 a month (if you sign up for a year). If you paid monthly, it was even more! That was quite a jump from when I first started. I even tried using coupons and none of them worked. It turns out they were only good for new accounts. My loyalty for them died right then and there once I realized that I will no longer receive pricing similar to when I first signed up.
Security: As the years went by, website security has become more and more important than when I first started web design. People want websites they can trust in the era of endless hackers and data breaches, so every website has to have an SSL security certificate unless they want a scary message popping up like this:
I noticed my website was not secure, so I looked into an SSL certificate from JustHost. I heard about free solutions like Let’s Encrypt and thought they might have something similar in place. At the very least, I thought it would be very inexpensive and easy to set up on all hosting providers since it is pretty much required on all websites now. Well, it turns out JustHost wanted a monthly fee, on top of upgrading my hosting package indefinitely. That would defeat the whole purpose of selecting them, which was to remain as low-cost as possible. That was my deal-breaker. I also needed a certificate for the online store I was running. I did not want to scare customers away and needed to look professional.
So, I left. I did some more research based on different needs now that my business has grown. I played around with another provider, fell in love, and switched both of my websites over. I might have out-grown then, but I do believe there are much better hosting providers out there than JustHost. If you are just starting out and don’t mind paying extra for everything, go for it. However, they are just not for me anymore.
If you have any questions about them or my experience, please leave a comment below. I also offer web hosting myself now, which starts at $17 a month, with many discount options for the length of your term. So instead of your pricing going up over time, it will actually go down. If you are interested, email me at WildLotus@mail.com to discuss the details.