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Heart Internet review

What can the Nottingham-based web host do for you?

21:9 Hero
(Image: © Heart Internet)

Our Verdict

With products that are just “fine”, Heart Internet is quickly eclipsed by other providers.

For

  • Free domain name included
  • No bandwidth limitations
  • cPanel included

Against

  • Relatively expensive
  • No refunds or free trials
  • Subpar support

Heart Internet was founded by Tim and Jonathan Brealey in 2004 in Nottingham. Since 2011, they have been part of the Host Europe Group (HEG), a domain registration and UK hosting company, which was, in turn, bought by US based hosting company GoDaddy in 2017. Over the years, they have received a number of awards for their work, including the PC Pro award for Best Web Hosting in 2013, 2014 and 2015, MicroMart’s Editor’s Choice for Best Web Host in 2014 and the ISPAs Award for Best Shared Hosting in 2015.

The company’s primary data center is located in Leeds, UK, and hosts all of their web hosting packages, all premium hosting packages, their Virtual Private Servers, all of their clients’ and resellers’ details, and other data. They have a secondary data center in the EU in an undisclosed location, but this one only hosts some of their hybrid servers and most of the dedicated servers that were purchased after 2016.

Host Internet offers a decent range of features, but their SSL certificates are only available on more expensive plans, and most of the discounts are only applicable if you pay on an annual basis.  

Pricing

All of Heart Internet's plans include unlimited bandwidth while its more expensive plans also include unlimited storage (Image credit: Heart Internet)

Pricing

Heart Internet’s web hosting prices start at £2.99 per month (+VAT) when billed annually and when using a promo code, and that’s already discounted from £3.99/mo. 

If you want to pay on a monthly basis, you’ll need to give £4.99 for the most basic plan which includes a website, a free domain name, a basic migration, 100GB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth (which is the case for all plans). 

More expensive plans include unlimited storage, while the two most expensive plans also include a free Simple SSL certificate, but only for your first year. Heart Internet only accepts cards and does not offer refunds or free trials.

Ease of use

When opening your account with Heart Internet, you’ll need to surrender your name, date of birth, address, and phone number. Heart Internet only offers service in 23 countries, mostly North America and western Europe, plus Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa - no other African countries, nor South America or Asia. For security reasons, you’ll also have to set up a security question. 

Their Customer Area immediately offers you new things to purchase. For example, if you haven’t completed your purchase, you’ll still have cPanel hosting advertised, but this time for £3.99/mo billed annually without the promotional code. 

Customer Area

The Customer Area's design has clearly not been updated for some time (Image credit: Heart Internet)

While their website is quite clean and modern-looking, the Customer Area invokes a decade-old feel, as it looks like it hasn’t been visually updated in a long while. But the cPanel is only a few clicks away, and we’re already greeted with a much more familiar layout. You can use a File Manager or even FTP to upload your manually built website. There’s also a SiteDesigner available at extra price (a basic plan will set you back £5.99 per month, while the unlimited plan costs £9.99 per month, and both are discounted 16% if you’re paying annually). 

Heart Internet also offers WordPress, Joomla, Magneto, OpenCart, and other apps with a one-click installation feature. Although WordPress hosting is listed separately on their website, it doesn’t seem to offer anything different to the usual web hosting, and it even comes with the same discount code, so it is most likely just a headline change. 

Performance

We used GTmetrix to measure the performance of our Heart Internet site (Image credit: GTmetrix)

Speed and experience

In terms of speed, Heart Internet performed decently at our GTmetrix test, which showed it took 6.5 seconds to fully load their main website (compared to the average 8 seconds), and only 40 requests (whereas the average is 88). 

All Heart Internet web hosting plans have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, this does not show whether their data centers are Tier III or Tier IV by standards from the Uptime Institute, but at the bare minimum, they should not exceed some nine hours of downtime per year. During our two-week long testing period, Heart Internet’s main website had absolutely no downtime. While the period is short, it is certainly a great sign for the future.

Support Database

The Support Database leaves a lot to be desired (Image credit: Heart Internet)

Support

Heart Internet offers a Support Database, separated into eight distinct categories, but it looks very dated and is not really exhaustive. For example, the Accounts and Billing section cover questions such as “How do I get support from the Heart Internet Customer Services team?” and “How can I change my Heart Internet account password?” but not whether or not they offer trials or refunds.

If you need more help than this database offers, you’re prompted to “please contact Customer Services,” but that link leads to the same “How do I get support” article, which walks you through the exact same steps again before telling you that you can either call them, use live chat, or submit a ticket. If you’re calling, you’re going to need to find your PIN in your Customer Area so they can verify your identity. There is no forum for users. 

The competition

As opposed to Heart Internet, Bluehost is a US-based hosting provider. It is significantly cheaper, but comes with a later price hike. It offers superior customer support, while both providers are WordPress-friendly.

In terms of prices and features, Heart Internet and 123 Reg seem identical (admittedly, both are subsidiaries of the Host Europe Group, so similarities are to be expected). However, 123 Reg has a 14-day money-back guarantee, as well as a great support section.

If you’re a beginner who relies on guides and how-tos, Hostgator is a significantly better choice than Heart Internet, since they offer those both in written and video form. In terms of prices, Hostgator is also slightly cheaper.

Catalyst2 is far cheaper than Heart Internet, but it is also significantly more limited (for example, the cheapest plan only offers 5GB data transfer per month, while Heart Internet has no such restrictions). They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Final verdict

Although Heart Internet offers a decent range of products, their prices and lack of extensive support make them a less attractive option next to the likes of Hostgator and Bluehost, which offer many more user-friendly features, continuing support, and lower prices.