March 23rd in Web by .

UNLIMITED web hosting accounts, are they for real?

Web hosting accounts are now beginning to offer UNLIMITED disk space, data transfer, add-on domains, emails, FTP, and so on. We decided to try one out that advertises everything for just over $40/year (£27/year)! See how they did in our in-depth review.

It’s often my preference, wherever possible, to choose services that offer me the flexibility to use the product or service as much or as little as I want, without being hit with huge bills if I use it a lot from time to time. For example, I prefer to have an ‘unlimited’ data transfer Broadband service, so that I’m not having to keep an eye on how much I’ve used in any one month, or restrict my usage if I get close to the limit.

For many years it’s either not been available, or been far too expensive, to have an UNLIMITED web hosting account. By ‘unlimited’ I mean, unlimited web space / disk space, unlimited data transfers, unlimited databases, unlimited emails, ftp etc. However, it appears that the times are changing and one company has now managed offer such as service, at an incredible price!

Here at Today’s Top Tech we decided to investigate the UNLIMITED web host account from JustHost (full details further down in this review).

Our in-depth review covers a period of several months of testing! So you can be sure that this is not just a quick ‘sign-up’ type test. This article covers a long period where we thoroughly tested all aspects of the service for over half a year!

What do you get?

JustHost advertise a service where you get the following included as part of the package;

* Unlimited GB’s of Space
* Unlimited GB’s of Transfer data
* Unlimited Domain Hosting (add-on domains)
* Unlimited E-Mail Accounts
* Unlimited MySQL Databases
* FREE Domain for Life
* FREE Instant Setup of Cpanel account
* Anytime Money Back Guarantee.

Now that is a pretty amazing list for a web hosting company to offer, especially when you consider that the price is currently around $40 per year (£27/year)!

Justhost.com services

The services on offer from JustHost as listed on their website

As if the above wasn’t enough, you also get 24 hour online webchat technical support from the JustHost support team in case you run into any problems!

Here at Today’s Top Tech we decided we just had to try them out, to let our readers know if the above claims are just all talk, and not much else in practice.

Our experience of JustHost.com

For just than $41.40 per year we thought that there must be a catch. So we set up an account, and uploaded a website to try it out. Set up some emails, FTP’s, tried out the technical support, and even added second and third websites using the unlimited add-on domain feature… here’s what we found.

Sign-up

The sign up process was straight forward, including payment. They use ‘cPanel hosting’ so everything was very familiar to us and we experienced no real problems.

One small criticism about the sign-up process is that you get a LOT of options to add extra services to your purchase along the way. “Do you want to add automated back-ups, Google website submission “, and so on. The list appeared to be a little over-the-top for my liking, but, it’s simple enough to just not tick the boxes and go ahead with your purchase if you decide you don’t want any of the extra’s on offer. At the price they offer the unlimited package, there’s no blaming them for trying to up-sell a few extra services to you I suppose.

As with many cPanel accounts, the sign-up was immediate, and we had access to our account immediately with temporary IP addresses, until the Domain Name Servers populated our new URL.

Services

We tested the various services on offer, such as basic webhosting, auto WordPress installation (from the Fantastico panel), new emails, databases, FTP accounts, etc. Everything seemed to work a treat (with one exception – response time – but read more below).

One thing we were very impressed with was the ability to add new domains to the account, in fact, an unlimited amount of new add-on domains! Many web host providers block this functionality from cPanel, and make you sign up for a second account if you want to run a second website/url. But JustHost let you add them and manage them yourself as part of the single account. We added a few, and tested them out, and it worked just as you’d expect and as advertised. Very impressive stuff…. you can therefore run two or three (or more) of your websites all from your single JustHost account!

Response times / speed

So, here’s where we thought at first we’d found the catch with this ‘too good to be true’ web host offer from JustHost. For the first few days, we suffered from intermittent slow response to our website. To start with it seemed okay, then suddenly access to our cPanel was so slow it was almost unusable, then then websites that we installed on the account also ground to a halt. The next day, they’d appear to be ok, but then, after a while, they started to run awfully slow again.

We decided therefore to contact the 24/7 technical support team. We were impressed that no matter what time of day, we got a response from the team using their ‘live web chat’ facility. However, they weren’t able to help us much with the slow reponse problem as they said on a couple of occasions “please allow us some time to fix the server, our senior technicians are working on the server just now”. That could mean a hole host of things I guess, but we waited, for a few days and then tried again with technical support after no imrpovement. Eventually, after a couple of weeks(!) our account suddenly kicked into a higher speed, and since then (several months now) we’ve had no problems.

So, I suspect that we just signed up at the wrong time when JustHost were having a few server issues, and now they’re fixed, it’s all working fine! Let’s hope that’s the case, because if so, then we’re impressed with the service and price! By the way, JustHost had NO idea that we were a Review website, just in case any of your guys think they gave us special treatment! Nope. We never declared our intentions or identity to JustHost, to make it a fair test.

Technical support

For less than $45/year, with all the unlimited services on offer, you wouldn’t expect much in terms of tech support. But, JustHost promise 24/7 support. So over the months we’ve been testing that out.

Justhost technical suport

JustHost free 24hour technical support

We’re pleased to say that our experience, overall, has been good. 95% of the time we’ve had a response to our live chat request within just a minute or so, and the agent has been able to help with our fairly basic support requests that we felt would be common amongst most users.

On odd occasions, we felt that we had to wait an unrealistic amount of time to get a response from the support technician, and it did get a little frustrating reading their standard canned response of “Please allow me some time to look in to this for you”. We got the feeling sometimes that whilst we’d been allocated to support technician, so had another 5 or 6 people to the same technician, and our chat responses were therefore suffering for it. But, what can you expect for the price? Probably not much more, to be honest. So long as the problems are fixed, and it costs you nothing to contact the support people, then I guess if you have to wait a few minutes longer for a reply, then it’s worth having the heavily discounted price…

Stability

Since we opened our account, we’ve experienced only one or two times where our websites appeared to have ‘gone down’ for a few minutes. We’re pretty impressed with that because most run-of-the-mill ‘low price’ web hosts get a bit of down time now and then, so it’s nothing too drastic. JustHost actually promise 99.9% up-time, which is about standard for web hosts in this price bracket.

Summary

So, if I had to say would I recommend JustHost to anyone? my answer would almost certainly be, yes. I say almost, because if you were wanting to start a large, e-commerce website, which had to have an update of 100% and have instant resolutions to any problems or technical queries, then, maybe JustHost is not the company for you… you’d be better off going to a more specialist hosting company, but, you’d have to fork out some serious cash for that type of guarantee.

However, for everyone else, then I don’t see why you would need to choose another hosting company for you website(s). The ease of never having to worry about how much space you’ve used, your monthly data transfers, email usage, or databases installed etc. is very liberating. Being able to knock up new websites, and host them on your existing account gives you the freedom to create and enjoy owning multiple websites without the extra cost (other than the usual domain name registration). And having 24/7 free tech support included just makes it all the more simpler for those who need help to get it, easily, no matter what time of day or country they’re in.

We therefore say “yes, unlimited web hosting accounts from JustHost ARE for real!”, and would recommend them if you want the freedom of an unlimited service.

Today’s Top Tech Review Our overall rating:   5/5

What we liked…

  • Unlimited everything!
  • Host multiple websites/URLs on a single account
  • Free live webchat tech support
  • Free lifetime domain name / URL
  • Money back guarantee if change our mind
What we weren’t so keen on…
  • The website ran little slow for first couple weeks, we never really worked out why, but it’s been fine for months since
  • Tech support can be a little slow to respond to live chat comments
  • They really do push their extra services during sign-up, but, you’re not forced to buy them!

Vital info

Software:Unlimited web host service
Supplier:JustHost
Website:www.justhost.com
Price: Only $3.45/month!!

Self-confessed tech and gadget geek. Love all kinds of tech, but especially that which helps me work more effectively, and looks / feels good to use.

VIsit Jon Smith's website

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