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Heart Internet is neither exceptional nor terrible; then again, there are a number of services they don’t offer which they really should considering their price points.
Average uptime for all hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 99.80% while average response time for all web hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 1,254ms.
Heart Internet is relatively expensive for what they offer. We decided to go with their ‘Home Pro’ account which cots £9.49 if billed monthly (yes, unlike a lot of hosts you can pay monthly).
The total annual cost of a monthly subscription is £113.88 (excl. VAT) while the total cost of paying 12 months in advance for the same package is £94.99 excl. VAT). A regular .com registration with Heart Internet costs £10.99 while domain privacy costs an additional £4.99 per year.
The Home Pro account only entitles you to host 1 domain and they don’t include a free domain for first time customers (a lot of hosts do and some of them charge you more expensive renewal rates when the domain expires).
In contrast to most hosts, Heart Internet doesn’t offer a free website migration service.
In terms of setup it was ridiculously quick – it couldn’t have taken more than 3 hours. It was very easy to locate their nameservers and we opted for a 1-click installation of WordPress from their custom admin panel.
Heart Internet doesn’t go into much detail on their server restrictions – nor do they provide you with a means to monitor much of your usage – but you can rest assured they exist!
Their ‘acceptable use policy’ provides the most insight where it stipulates that any customer who’s not renting a dedicated server will only be entitled to use a maximum of 5% of their server’s processing capacity. They’ve also restricted database sizes to a maximum of 500MB.
Heart Internet also restricts bandwidth for websites that ‘allow downloading of video, audio or other files’ (we’re not quite sure what constitutes ‘other files’ in this case). The limitation is set at 25GB however they state ‘non-file-distribution usage will remain unaffected by any limit imposed on downloading of video, audio or other files’
It really depends on their definition of ‘allow downloading’, however it’s safe to say that that embedded videos from video sharing platforms like YouTube won’t be factored into this restriction.
Perhaps their sneakiest restriction is in relation to ‘Premium Hosting’.
They state in their SLA for ‘Premium Hosting’ that ‘references to ‘unlimited’ items shall be read in conjunction with our Acceptable Use Policy and interpreted accordingly. Unlimited storage for products shall mean 50GB which can be further expanded via our customer service team.
We find this really sneaky. If the storage restriction is 50GB, why advertise it as unlimited?
Their ‘base’ premium hosting account (starting at £29.99 per month) states ‘50GB SSD disk space’ however their ‘plus’ premium hosting account (starting at £49.99 per month) states storage is ‘unlimited’ (when, in reality, it isn’t).
Heart Internet doesn’t offer a free automated backup service however you can login to their extend panel and manually backup or restore your website and database. This is in contrast to a number of web hosts at or below this price range – including poorer performers like Just Host – which offer a free daily automated backup and restore option for their customers.
They offer a 30 day money back guarantee and they don’t seem to place any limitations around subscription type (ie Host Papa and a few other hosts limit the money back guarantee to 48 hours for monthly subscriptions).
Unlike a lot of hosts, their uptime guarantee doesn’t seem to apply to shared hosting customers. This is reason alone for us to choose another web host.
Heart Internet appears to utilise a custom admin panel. We like some parts of it, we dislike others.
All in all, it’s a perfectly acceptable admin panel and one which is easier to navigate than most.
We’ve come across quite a few complaints about Heart Internet’s support as of late, however from what we can observe it’s fairly responsive. We’ve tested their live chat twice and their operators have responded within 1 minute.
There is a bit of a delay between responses – at least relative to other hosting providers whose operators are seemingly more dedicated to your conversation rather than fielding a number of chats simultaneously – but it was no longer than 1-2 minutes.
Their ticket support is equally responsive. We’ve contacted them on a few occasions about billing issues and they’ve responded within 15 minutes each time (and addressed our concerns or questions in full).