Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands that link to our content
Heart Internet: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
Sadly, in a nutshell, we don’t recommend Heart Internet, for a few reasons. The main reasons would be the cost vs features balance, increasing downtime (outages), and lots and lots of negative user reviews about worsening support.
It’s a bit of a shame really, they had a great start, people seemed to be really happy with them… but in the last few years, more and more services had outages, the company got bought by another company, support suffered massively. But even IF they had it all figured out, we probably still wouldn’t recommend them for the following reasons.
Their cheapest plan doesn’t allow for MySQL databased, so no WordPress (25+% of the internet runs on WP) or any other decent CMS. No free SSL certificates? This is very weird, with security being so important these days, and Google actively favouring https sites, and with SSL certificates being free… they still charge for them. Why?
So what we’re really saying is… there are a lot cheaper web hosts out there that are a lot better at pretty much everything. Our favourite is still SiteGround, they’re more affordable (def on the first invoice with their 69% discount), are GREAT at support, have multiple data centres around the world (including in London), and are officially recommended by WordPress (they can, of course, tackle any CMS you throw at them), they’re a true no-brainer, check out our review here.
Still interested in Heart Internet, keep reading below.
Heart Internet Review
Founded by Tim and Jonathan Brealer in 2004, Heart Internet is a website hosting company. It is based in Nottingham, England. Since 2011, it has been a subsidiary of Host Europe Group, a domain registration and UK hosting company.
The company provides various products and/ or services such as Linux and Windows Dedicated Servers, API created for reseller services, Windows Reseller Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Cloud Hosting, and Hybrid Servers.
Heart Internet actually got multiple awards over the years. From 2007 to 2012, the company was a finalist of the PC Pro Awards because of its highly-rated support, reliability, speed, and value. They were also selected as one of the top web hosting companies by HostReview in 2013.
In 2015, they were awarded 2nd place in TechRadar Pro’s top 10 best UK web hosting services. That being said, we wouldn’t recommend them on our list of the 10 best website hosting services at the moment, keep reading to find out why.
Heart Internet provides three types of web hosting packages: Starter Pro, Home Pro, and Business Pro
The cheapest plan will set you back GBP 3.99/mo + VAT at 20%. It comes with 10 GB of disk space and 50 GB of bandwidth. It’s good for 1 site with no subdomains. You do get 1000 mailboxes to use for any email campaigns you might launch, it’s pretty small scale but can still work nicely. The big downside here is that there’s no support for My SQL databases on this plan, so no starting a WordPress site, or use any decent CMS… which almost makes this plan useless, unless you’re going static html… so this takes us to the next plan which does allow for MySQL databases.
The next plan is called Home Pro and costs GBP 10.99 per month.
With the Home Pro package, you can have one website in one hosting account. Fortunately, you are given 100 GB of disk space. This means your website can be heavily loaded with large-sized images and videos if needed (though it’s never recommended of course). Monthly bandwidth allocation is unlimited.
With Home Pro, you can manually backup and restore your data depending on the frequency you wish to do so. If something goes wrong with your website, you can use your backup to restore back your site to its uninterrupted state. You are also given a Password Protection feature so you can secure your site. Only authorised users will have access to specific sensitive information.
To avoid spammers and annoying visitors, you are given an IP Address Blocking Feature. Specific IP addresses won’t be able to visit your site or access your content. For the development side of things, various platforms are supported. This includes PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Pear, ImageMagick, GhostScript, and Zend Optimizer. WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal are also supported.
For analysing website data, you are given various features such as AW Stats, Matomo Web Analytics, OWA Open Web Analytics, and Webalizer Graphical Statistics. In this way, you can modify your content to appeal to your viewer base. You can even create customised 404 and 500 pages. In this way, viewers can be redirected to another relevant page on your site as opposed to them hitting the back button and leaving your site entirely.
Finally, setup fees are free on all plans except the cheapest one, there the setup is GBP 9.99.
Heart Internet gives you a variety of options to message them in case you need help. Below are some of them:
- Support Database,
- System Status Page,
- Support Ticket Submission,
- Online Live Chat, and
- Telephone Support.
Their support database is similar to a self-help knowledgebase. It contains various tutorials or guides to help you with their products and/or services. The System Status Page contains status updates including problems with various products and services and planned maintenance schedules. You can subscribe to these updates if you want to be notified of the status of their system.
Support via ticket submission, online live chat, and telephone is available 24/7. Reviews regarding their support system were mostly negative. Most support representatives were deemed as people who didn’t care about the customer’s problems. Most of the reviews stated that they cannot answer simple problems. It even took some support representatives about 30 minutes to respond to queries via live chat and/or telephone.
Working with Heart Internet has its pros. Let’s take a look at some.
If you plan on doing a website that hosts multiple large-sized files, then Heart Internet is the company to go for. They give you unlimited web space with their cheapest plan, Home Pro. Without a limit on your web space, you are free to do anything you want with your website.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Just starting out? Again, not a problem. If you just want to try out their products and/or services, you can get your money back once you notice they don’t satisfy your expectations.
Here come the cons:
One Domain Only
You are given only one domain to host per account. You cannot take advantage of the unlimited web space with one domain only. If you want multiple websites hosted under one account, you need to choose an even more expensive plan.
The next plan, Business Pro, allows you to host 3 websites in one account. It costs GBP 13.49 per month exclusive of the 20% VAT. If you have more than 3 websites, you should get the Reseller Plan at GBP 41.99 per month. Again, this is exclusive of the 20% VAT. The said plan allows you to have an unlimited number of websites in one hosting account.
No Free Domain
Most web hosting providers give one free domain valid for 12 months. With all of their plans, you have to pay for a separate domain name. Again, you have to shell out a few pounds for registering your own domain name.
Poor Customer Service
With all the bad reviews out there, customer support is surely not the bread and butter of Heart Internet. This is a bad sign. When you are looking for a web hosting company, a stellar customer support system should be one of the things you should find. What would you do if your site crashes and you have no support rep to cater to your needs?
No free SSL
See the summary in the intro… This probably not a great time to sign up with them… maybe if they improve pricing/overall features/support in the future. But for now, we highly recommend you look for alternatives, like our favourite host, SiteGround.