Saturday 18th August 2018

Heart Internet Review

Overview

Overall rating:

5.9/10

Price:

£9.49

Uptime (Jan 18):

99.99%

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Overview

Overall rating:

5.9/10

Price:

£9.49

Setup:

3 hours

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Overall

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.

  • Uptime and response time is average.
  • Unlike a lot of hosts at this price level, Heart Internet doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee for their shared hosting customers (but they do offer one for their ‘Premium Hosting customers).
  • It doesn’t look as though they offer a site migration service let alone a free one (a lot of hosts either offer this service as a courtesy or charge for it)
  • Shared hosting customers are only entitled to use a maximum of 5% of the server’s processing capacity.
  • They offer a 30 day money back guarantee.
  • They offer a live chat support option however it isn’t available 24/7. In the two times we’ve tried to use it no representatives have been available. They also offer the option to submit customer support tickets.
  • They don’t offer a content delivery network or integration with a free content delivery network.
  • There are some restrictions on sharing audio, video and ‘other files’ (see information below). There are also restrictions on database size and storage space (for certain accounts)
  • If you haven’t accessed one of your mailboxes for over 100 days then it will be automatically deleted from their system.
  • Unlike a lot of hosts there’s no mention of inode or I/ O restrictions (this doesn’t mean they don’t exist though!).
  • You can only host 1 domain with this package – a lot of hosts allow you to host multiple or ‘unlimited’ domains at this price range – and they don’t provide a free domain name (again, which is something most hosts at this price – and well below this price – offer)
  • We were intrigued when we noticed they offered a 1,000 icon pack and 22,500 photos pack free of charge in their control panel, however…the quality is…well…it’s rubbish.

Features

5/10

service

6.5/10

Performance

7/10

Cost

5/10

Host overview

Performance: January 2018 (to date)

Response Time:

975ms

Uptime:

99.99%

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.

Cost, setup and website migrations

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.

Restrictions

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).

Backups, guarantees and security

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.

The admin panel

Heart Internet appears to utilise a custom admin panel. We like some parts of it, we dislike others.

  • It’s good that everything is integrated within a single user interface ie a lot of hosts may you switch between interfaces to manage accounts and billing and your hosting package (typically cPanel or vDeck).
  • Their ‘bulk’ domain management options are sort of useless. We tried bulk updating our domain names however it doesn’t appear as though you can bulk update automatic renewal status on domains; rather, you have to go through each one-by-one
  • There’s a link to live chat in the admin panel however it not a 24/7 service
  • It’s lacking in server usage data (however we seem to remember reading somewhere that they’re looking to update this – we can’t find the link though!)
  • There are most of the standard options you’d find in a cPanel installation including DNS management (edit zone files), email management (spam protection, create mailboxes, autoresponders etc), IP blocking and hotlink protection, 1-click installation scripts (includes WordPress), FTP details, a file manager and database management options.

All in all, it’s a perfectly acceptable admin panel and one which is easier to navigate than most.

Heart Internet Customer Service

  • Live chat: yes
  • Ticketing support: yes
  • Phone support: no

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).

12 Month Term - Starter Pro

Price

£2.66

Bandwidth:

30GB

Storage:

5GB

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Pay Monthly - Home Pro

Price

£9.49

Bandwidth:

Unlimited

Storage:

Unlimited

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12 Month Term - Home Pro

Price

£7.92

Bandwidth:

Unlimited

Storage:

Unlimited

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Pay Monthly - Business Pro

Price

£13.49

Bandwidth:

Unlimited

Storage:

Unlimited

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