Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2021
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 we've been featured on
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 reason.
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 better alternatives out there. Have a look at our web hosting comparisons where we researched and analysed the top web hosts for different countries (both from a quality and cost perspective).
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 UK’s 10 best website hosting services at the moment, keep reading to find out why.
Heart Internet provides 4 types of web hosting packages.
The cheapest plan will set you back GBP 2.99/mo + VAT at 20%. It comes with 100 GB of disk space and unlimited bandwidth. It’s good for 1 site with no subdomains. You do get 100 mailboxes to use for any email campaigns you might launch. The plan also allows for My SQL databases, great for starting a WordPress site, or use any decent CMS.
The next plan is called Deluxe and costs GBP 3.99 per month.
With this plan, you can have 5 websites in one hosting account and unlimited 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.
You can manually back up 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.
They also offer separate UK WordPress hosting solutions.
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.
100 GB Disk Space
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 100 GB of disk space with their cheapest plan, Home Pro.
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.
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.
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 on our country-specific web hosting comparisons.