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Heart Internet deals in basic shared hosting plans and middle-spec dedicated servers, but strangely offers little in-between. Whilst this will doubtless put off customers looking for virtual private servers, or the scalability and flexibility that companies with a broader product range can offer, if you know that Heart has what you want, this should not discourage you. Starting from its flashy and easy-to-navigate website, Heart Internet puts user-friendliness at the center of its ethos, and it is easy to see why its clarity and straight talk have won it a large customer base in the UK. However, this is countered by the company's high prices, which do not compare favorably with some of the bigger names in the business.
Like many companies specializing in shared hosting, Heart's most basic package, its Start Pro plan, offers very limited functionality. It comes with strict limits on bandwidth and disk space, and cannot run basic programs such as Joomla and Wordpress, making it useless for all but the most basic of websites. Further up the scale, however, the company's plans become quite powerful, and even offer many of the free gifts such as ad credits that its more well-known competitors are able to dish out.
As with many UK-based hosting companies, customers should be aware that prices are quoted in GBP, and comparisons to sites that charge in USD should adjust accordingly. Taking this into consideration, Heart does not offer great value for money, particularly when you consider that most customers will want to upgrade to either its Home or Business plan. The company also charges an additional £19.99 per year for virus scanning of emails on the Starter Pro and Home Pro plans, so when you have added up all your costs you could see yourself spending up to twice as much as on a comparable plan with one of Heart's competitors.
Heart Internet effectively offers just two dedicated server packages, though each of these is available with either Linux or Windows operating system. Whilst there is nothing particularly wrong with either of these plans, this lack of choice and customization is a major downfall in the company's offering. Customers of dedicated servers may want to scale up their hosting at a later date, or make improvements over time, and with Heart this simply is not possible. The fact remains that for Heart, dedicated servers make up a small part of its overall business, and most people buying such servers will want to go with a company which has proved its reliability in this market over time.
By far Heart Internet's biggest weakness is its technical support. Despite an adequate online knowledgebase, the only method of direct contact is by a ticketing system. Whilst Heart guarantees to answer your query within four hours, and promises that this will be done by a tech expert rather than a 'support droid', the lack of telephone or live chat support is troubling. This is made even more obvious by the company's adverts for live chat and telephone sales contact, which may lead customers to feel that Heart puts more effort into reaching new customers than it does into keeping its old ones happy.
Whilst Heart Internet offers some solid hosting plans, its lack of variety and unnecessarily high prices stop it being a viable option for many. If you are looking for flexibility and reliability on a budget, check out our Top 10 web hosting companies.
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