Sometimes it is hard to find just the right web host. That is why this FatCow review will share the facts. We will give you relevant information and some alternatives to narrow down your choices.
FatCow was established in 1998 and is currently marketed towards individuals and small business owners which they try to attract by offering affordable pricing. When looking for a web hosting service you need reliability, responsive customer service, and security. FatCow is a budget-friendly hosting service dedicated to those just getting started with their first website. To sweeten the deal, they offer quite a lot of marketing credits.
FatCow hosting review writers seem mostly happy with their decision to choose this provider, but some of them have experienced some issues while working with Fat Cow. In our article we will cover both the pros and cons of choosing this web hosting service provider and we will also highlight the most important features FatCow offers its clients. Below, you will find all the necessary information to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right option for your business.
The name FatCow may seem strange to you, but their branding makes it all worth while. They offer “oodles” of disk space and bandwidth – that’s unmetered for those not versed in cow terminology. They can also boast a 99.99% uptime average. Unfortunately, the uptime is hindered by their slow page load speeds. With and average speed of 1,221ms, visitors could bounce before they get a chance to look at your great content.
The company was established in 1998 in Albuquerque and is currently owned by Endurance International, one of the biggest companies dedicated to web hosting services. FatCow hosting is a basic technology that features easy to use interface, helping beginners get started with their online business.
The company is proud to state that their services are “bull-free”, and they rely on natural energy to reduce their footprint and contribute to a more sustainable business environment. FatCow is mainly targeted towards small businesses and individuals, and they base their offers on shared hosting that users can customize.
FatCow offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, and Dedicated servers. All have promotional prices, which are the first prices listed below. The second prices listed are the renewal prices once the promotional period ends.
However, their amazing starting price of $49 per year only applies to the first year of the contract and then increases to over $150 in the next 12 months. This is clearly stated right on their website, as well as in the contract you sign.
|The Original Fat Cow Plan
|VPS Servers – Basic
|VPS Servers – Business
|VPS Servers – Optimum
|Dedicated Servers – Startup
|Dedicated Servers – Professional
|Dedicated Servers – Enterprise
Security & Risk
FatCow’s shared hosting offers the minimal security. This includes spam filtering, Shared SSL, and standard firewalls. Their WordPress hosting plans offer the same, but the WP Essential account offers better speed and enhanced security specifically designed for WordPress
VPS servers offer a little more in the way of privacy, but little else. The Dedicated servers offer even more privacy and security with mirrored storage and advanced data protection. This is pretty standard, though. In terms of security, FatCow is not that impressive, although there haven’t been any reported issues related to security and stability during the fairly long history of this company.
It is important to know that FatCow does not offer any uptime guarantees, but their data center personnel perform system management tasks to ensure that the servers are always up, and your data is safe. The FatCow data center located in Boston includes more than 800 servers protected and monitored by security staff 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
However, if you are interested in having an automatic backup plan, you can buy a dedicated package that performs daily backups. Otherwise, you will have to perform your own backups when you see fit. FatCow reviews generally mention the importance of personal backups to avoid losing data or personal information.
Usability & User Friendliness
One thing FatCow is good at is being accessible and user-friendly. Their shared hosting plan has website creation tools and a one-click application market to install things like WordPress and forum. Customers also have access to the ShopSite eCommerce builder.
WordPress blogs get a fully customized control panel and pre-installed themes and plug-ins exclusive to Fat Cow customers. Free domain registration for one year is also offered to WordPress clients.
VPS and Dedicated servers are built for more experienced users. They get the full cPanel and the option to have root access with fully managed support.
FatCow Control Panel Options
The control panel options included with your contract are a custom version dedicated to admin purposes. The control panel is far less slick than the popular Cpanel, but it appears to be quite easy to use. The custom control panel can be adapted to your specific needs and requirements, all to a certain extent.
FatCow reviews usually mention the fact that the customers would rather have the very popular and easy-to-use Cpanel instead of a custom version. As a response to this, the FatCow team has put up a simple video tutorial dedicated to operating and managing the custom control panel. The video is available on their website, and users can watch it before deciding to purchase any hosting plan.
Customer Support & Additional Info
Speaking of support, FatCow offers 24/7 trained customer service. You can call their 1-888-278-9780 number, or contact them via live chat. Email support is also available. The WP Essential plan offers WordPress professional support, which is probably the best perk of the more expensive plan. There is a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans.
Their marketing perks are good too. They offer a $100 Google Adwords credit and a $100 Bing Search Marketing credit. Other marketing inclusions are a free YellowPages.com listing, a free toll-free phone number, and HubSpot’s Website Grader.
In case you need to get in contact with FatCow or benefit from the help of their support team, you can use a variety of outlets to do so. Below, we have listed the most important links to help you reach the FatCow customer service and support team in no time.
- Website: FatCow
- Online inquiries: contact page.
- Phone Number: 1-888-279-9780
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
FatCow Overall Rating:
We’ve narrowed down the best and worst of FatCow here.
What we like:
- Excellent Uptime – One of the most reliable hosts online.
- Budget-Friendly Plans – FatCow has several options for hosting for a smaller budget, especially for new businesses.
What we don’t like:
- Slow Speeds – With such an amazing uptime average, one would expect faster speeds.
- Weak Security – Fat Cow seems to focus on marketing and usability more than security.
Web Hosting Plans & Prices: 3/5
Security & Risk: 2/5
Usability & User Friendliness: 5/5
Customer Support: 4/5
FatCow Top Alternatives
Still looking for a different host? Here are some other options.
- TMDHosting – Looking for reliable AND fast speeds? TMDHosting has budget-friendly options with an average page load speed of 8.5ms. Pricing is similar to FatCow’s promotional pricing, but there is no price increase.
- Fast Web Host – Their prices are comparable to FatCow’s prices, and they offer much more security. Fast Web Host is also faster than FatCow.
- JustHost – Another cheap hosting option, though their range of prices for shared hosting goes above FatCow’s normal range. JustHost is similar to Fast Web Host, but is slightly more expensive.
- MediaTemple – A more robust hosting that offers not only shared hosting, but also WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, cloud hosting, and VPS. Their shared hosting starts at $20/month increased based on the number of resources you want. There’s plenty fo growth capable with this host.
- Liquid Web – Liquid Web focuses on designers, agencies and large businesses. Their cloud, VPS, and dedicated servers start at $199/month and go up from there. Liquid Web is just what you need for more control over everything about your website.
FatCow is very reliable, though their page load times are slower than most hosting companies out there. Their security is also not what is expected from a web host. We say that while FatCow is good for a start-up website, it’s mainly to get the marketing benefits for length of the promotion. Luckily, there are other hosting services that offer similar marketing bundles to that have better speed and security.
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