If you’re considering buying a hosting plan for your website from FatCow but can’t seem to make a conclusive decision due to the numerous mixed FatCow reviews available online today, then this is the guide you need to clear that confusion.
In our detailed and impartial review, we offer you all the key facts you might be looking for regarding this quite popular web host in the hope that this information will assist you decide whether the company is the right fit for you or not.
Some of the key areas we’ll be touching on include an overview/history of FatCow, its hosting plans, features, strengths and weaknesses, and finally the frequently asked questions about FatCow.
Ready? Let’s dive right into reviewing this web host.
FatCow has been around for about two decades now having been incepted in 1998 in Albuquerque, USA. Founded by Jackie Fewell, the company was bought out by Endurance International Group which now owns a majority of big web hosting companies including BlueHost, iPage, HostMonster, and HostGator among others.
Today, FatCow serves hundreds of thousands of customers spread across various parts of the world with a focus to deliver easy-to-use and affordable web hosting solutions to businesses, whether start-ups or already established ones.
The company is popular for its quirky marketing techniques which often revolve around cows and other farm animals. Besides, it positions itself as a fun-loving web host that strives to remain user-friendly to customers of all levels including beginners.
Its servers are powered solely by natural wind energy which shows its commitment to reduce the amount of carbon emissions released to the atmosphere every day and ultimately conserve the environment.
Like many other web hosts, FatCow provides several levels of hosting to its customers ranging from low-tier plans for small businesses to dedicated servers for thriving businesses that require vast resources to accommodate their many demands.
As such, we take a look at the different plans this company offers from Shared hosting, to WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated hosting. The company also offers reseller hosting for users that would like to provide personalized hosting services to their clients as well as a domain parking service.
One of FatCow’s weaknesses as you’ll find later in this review is that it offers only one shared hosting plan to serve all customers looking for this most popular hosting package today. The plan which costs $49 for the first year (and renews at $179.40) is known as the Original FatCow Plan.
With it, you can host unlimited domains and enjoy common features such as a free drag-and-drop website builder, 1-click installer for various apps and software, cloud storage, and shopping tools like carts, PayPal integration, and easy to install blogs and forums. Other features include unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk storage, and unlimited emails.
FatCow also throws in $200 worth of Google and Bing ads credit and offers you phone and chat support services that are accessible 24/7.
If you have a plan to use WordPress to set up your website, you might want to take a look at the two plans offered by FatCow for this category of customers. The two are known as WP Starter and WP Essential.
WP Starter, just as the name suggests, is ideal for small websites that require only limited resources to run smoothly. The plan comes with curated themes to help spice up your WP site, preinstalled plugins such as W3 Total cache and Jetpack for site speed enhancement and social media management respectively. FatCow also provides you with a customized control panel which makes it easy to access any WP tool at ease. This plan costs $3.75 and includes a free domain name and ads credits worth $200.
On the other hand, WP Essential is a major upgrade of its Starter counterpart in that it comes with additional key features such as personalized customer support service, enhanced website security using tools like SiteLock, and an SSD infrastructure to boost the speed of your side and improve its uptime. This plan costs $6.95/mo and comes with a free domain name.
As your business is growing and demand for hosting resources increase, you might want to move to less crowded servers that offer room for more growth and still not as expensive as dedicated servers. This is where VPS hosting comes in.
FatCow offers three VPS hosting options to its customers namely Basic, Business, and Optimum.
- Basic Plan
Just like the name suggests, this plan comes with basic VPS features including 1GB RAM, 40GB disk storage, and 1TB bandwidth. On top of that, you get an easy to use cPanel whose root access you can request, semi-private resources that can be scaled as demand grows, 24/7 support via phone, chat, or email, and a 30-day money back guarantee. The Basic VPS Plan renews at $24.99/mo.
- Business Plan
This package is ideal for more established businesses that want more flexibility and control in regards to resources. The plan which comes with a duo core, 4GB RAM, 90GB disk storage, and 3TB bandwidth renews at $59.99/mo.
- Optimum Plan
With a regular price of $99.99, you can expect that this plan comes with sufficient resources that help justify this cost. With it, you get 4 cores that are supported by 8GB RAM. The plan also comes with 120GB storage and a monthly bandwidth of up to 4TB.
All FatCow’s VPS plans include unlimited domains and sub-domains, spam protection, autoresponders, and personalized emails among other features.
With a dedicated server, you have virtually all the control you need over your website hosting as well as access to unshared resources. And with FatCow, this plan comes with expert support to ensure that your business has everything it requires to move to the next level.
This web host offers you three options in this hosting category namely Startup, Professional, and Enterprise plans.
This is the lowest tier among FatCow’s dedicated hosting offerings costing you a regular price of $149.99/mo. With it, you get a duo core processor that’s powered by 4GB RAM, 500GB of storage space, and a bandwidth of 5TB. With these features, the Startup plan is ideal for small business that have the potential to expand fast and therefore will in no time require extra power and security to accommodate this rapid growth. It is also recommended for e-commerce owners whose stores have outgrown shared hosting and want more security for their growing businesses.
This plan is suitable for established businesses that are already doing well but would like to take their operations to a higher level. A great way to achieve this is by leveraging the flexibility that dedicated servers to expand their sites capabilities.
With this plan, you get 4 cores, 8GB RAM, 1000GB worth of storage space, and 10TB bandwidth. It renews at $189.99/mo.
Has your business reached a point where performance and response time matter the most for its success online? Is it also receiving thousands or even millions of visitors every day and entails frequent data transactions? You might want to get the Enterprise plan by FatCow.
With this package, you get four cores, 16GB RAM, 1000GB storage space, and 15TB bandwidth. The plan is billed at a regular price of $239.99/mo although you get a discount for the first year.
All dedicated servers from FatCow come with a few key features that you might find important to your business. For starters, you get a free domain and easy transfer of existing domains to this host. In addition, FatCow provides you with a personalized email, free advertising credits and tools worth more than $200 (for Google and Bing search engines), and professional support available all day via phone, email, and online chat. Others include extensive security, faster speeds, and overall superior performance when compared to all other hosting plans offered by FatCow.
If you’re looking to make some recurring income offering web hosting services, FatCow’s WholesalePlus Reseller program is a good place to begin. This plan gives you access to a robust tools and console that give you total control of your clients while still leaving all the hassles involved in server management to the FatCow’s support team. What’s more, enjoy generous discounts on all plans on offer on FatCow’s hosting table and price your plans as you wish for maximum profits.
The WholesalePlus program also allows you to white label your services so that you’re able to offer them completely branded. FatCow’s priority support is available 24/7 to assist you with any technical issue that might arise as well as offer security to safeguard all your clients’ accounts and emails.
Regarding the pricing, FatCow offers two packages, hosting and email plans, available for discounted reseller prices of $68/year and $21/year respectively. The hosting plan comes with 300GB disk space and 3000GB bandwidth. It also includes unlimited mailboxes, Python, 5 MySQL databases, CGI Scripts, and Perl among others.
On the other hand, the email plan comes with a free domain name, 5MB space, 50 POP emails, unlimited aliases, WebMail, and unlimited autoresponders.
Worth noting is that FatCow charges a one-off fee of $25 as setup fees for resellers.
If you just want to park your domain awaiting full web construction later or to sell your domain, then the MiniMoo plan by FatCow might just be what you’re looking for. The $5 a-year plan comes with a site building tool and is perfect if you’re just starting out but are yet ready to launch your site.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|The Original FatCow Plan||-||-||USD||cPanel||1||PHP||POP3||MySQL||$ 4.08|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||OS||Cores||RAM||Core Speed||Backups||Managed||Location||Price|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||OS||Core||RAM||Core Speed||IPs||SSH||Backups||Managed||CPU||Guarantee||Location||Price|
|Enterprise||1000GB||15000GB||cPanel||4||16GB||-||1||4 Cores||$ 191.99|
|Professional||1000GB||10000GB||cPanel||4||8GB||-||1||4 Cores||$ 151.99|
|Startup||500GB||5000GB||cPanel||2||4GB||-||1||2 Cores||$ 119.99|
Your site’s performance and speed will determine a lot regarding its success or a lack thereof. Reason? Well, no one wants to wait around anymore – we all want websites to load up instantly. Research has shown that slow loading speeds affect user experience and conversion rate more than any other factor. It is therefore crucial to take every necessary step to ensure that your site is not only fast enough but also responsive to user input. To achieve this, you have to invest in quality hosting services.
FatCow promises to offer such services and at much-discounted prices. Here are some of the factors that enable the web host to provide consistent performance and quite commendable speeds:
- Unlimited Disk Space
Your site will probably accumulate files over time as you continuously add more content and features. While you can always delete these files, the chances are that along the way you might require them once more, or they are just too cherished to delete. In such a scenario, if your host has storage caps, then you would either have to buy an extended storage plan or simply stop adding more content which is somewhat detrimental. Thankfully, FatCow offers unlimited disk space for all your website’s storage needs.
This gives you the opportunity to continually update your site’s content without having to worry about running out of space. However, as we have already learned in life: there’s no such thing as unlimited resources. The company expects customers to observe the Terms of Service agreement that prohibits misuse of this privilege. Therefore, customers are encouraged to limit the number of files they use in case their usage interferes with that of other accounts hosted on shared hardware.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
As your niche grows and your website becomes more popular, its bound to generate more traffic than ever before. Your host servers will have to handle this increased traffic seamlessly or else your site will become unresponsive. FatCow offers unlimited bandwidth and the ‘pipes’ responsible for transmitting data through the web from the servers to your visitor’s devices. Of course, there will be cases were one website generates so much traffic that it starts to negatively affect the performance of other sites hosted on the shared platform. In such a case the company encourages the owner to upgrade to a scalable solution such as their virtual private servers.
- Unlimited Domains per Account
If your site’s primary domain runs the risk of typos or has other lookalike or sound-alike names, then it’s recommended that you invest in domains that cover all of those areas. Why? To ensure that all traffic intended for your site actually gets there. To further support this task, FatCow offers unlimited domains capability per account so that you can add as many as you like and, in the process, improve your website’s accessibility.
- Web Analysis Tools
The chances are that not all pages and content in your site will generate the same amount of traffic. To identify which parts, attract visitors and which parts require changes you have to use web analysis tools. Thankfully FatCow offers website grader and other analysis tools to help you get a better perspective of all the numbers. A carefully designed plan relying on such tools will see your site rise both in terms of popularity as well as performance and speed.
FatCow keeps it’s servers in secure data centers to prevent virtual attacks and natural disasters. Furthermore, there are various security features included to ensure that customer information remains private. These include:
- FatCow SiteLock Security
One of the issues that website owners experience is the threat to the security of the website and business. Sometimes a website may get hacked, and personal information may be stolen. Nowadays, your website may even be attacked by viruses which may end up damaging your computer system and its programs. This is where you need SiteLock security to protect your website from these possible damages.
FatCow SiteLock Basic offers a recognized SiteLock security which ensures your site is safe from all the threats and attacks. It makes your site free from spyware that can steal your personal information such as passwords and details of credit cards and transfer the information to another user or computer.
The SiteLock Basic is also effective at securing your site from fraud, theft and online scams. It comprises of a SiteLock Verification Certificate as well as the Basic Business Verification. The tool scans XSS Scripting to stop hackers, the SQL injection to keep your database safe and also performs app scanning for applications like WordPress to prevent any vulnerabilities.
Additionally, displaying the SiteLock Certificate on your website makes your customers feel secure and safe while doing business on the site. The Basic Business Verification is a show of authenticity of your business that it's legit and reliable. It verifies your business, and this should attract more customers to visit your website.
By the way, you can purchase SiteLock security for as low as $12.95 as long as you’re a FatCow web hosting customer.
- SSL certificates
FatCow Hosting uses SSL certificates to secure customer data and payments. The Comodo SSL from the company protects your website and its content and keeps you safe as the webmaster of the users that may try stealing information from your site or do transactions under your name. What’s more, SSL certificates offer users privacy as they hinder hackers from access your website details. The web hosting of e-commerce can also be set up with SSL connection to prevent problems such as identity theft, hackers, and stolen information. This comes at an affordable monthly price of $3.15.
Having an HTTPS in the address bar with certainly boost your customer confidence on your site and this helps drive more sales. Additionally, every SSL certificate comes with a seal of trust graphic that shows your website is secure and that all customer information is protected. The good news is that Google confirmed that SSL security helps enhance Google rankings.
You can purchase an SSL plan annually at $44.795 or for two years at $79.95.
FatCow performs automatic backup services alongside hosting services. The web host backs up your files every night so that you can easily access them from their servers whenever you need them. Internal FatCow Backup has an effective backup and restore tool called Site Backup Pro.
The tool is accessible via the cPanel and offers manual FTP backup and database backup. Having this feature will come to your rescue in case you overwrite or delete files accidentally. The good thing is you get free automatic daily backups on all FatCow plans. One thing worth noting is that restoring the servers will roll your site back on all servers and not just the affected. Also, if your site is very busy, you may lose the material you added since performing the backup.
Additionally, you can perform manual backups with your FatCow account by archiving them through the FileManager which is free via the cPanel. You need to have a copy of your website once in a while. What's more, in case you're doing something complex such as anything to do with e-commerce, it's advisable that you carry out a backup right before starting.
You can purchase the “pro” Backup Plan for more frequent backups especially for business websites where going down can cost you revenue.
Another feature that adds to FatCow’s “ease of use” factor is its solid customer base. You can reach their customer representatives for any questions you have via their dedicated phone line and separate line for billing questions. You may have to wait for about 5 minutes before getting a response for an issue. The knowledgeable support team is available 24/7 with numbers available for countries or continents including UK, USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. FatCow’s support doesn’t advertise their support in any other language other than English.
If you prefer to get to the technical support via email, you are free to open a ticket on the FatCow website. They offer an email form but this particularly offered for pre-sales queries. You can also reach them via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account where they offer a quicker response.
An outstanding feature from the web host is a unique ‘HeiferCratic Oath’ that drives their commitment to delivering excellent support experience to users. In case they break the oath, an account credit would be awarded which is a pretty cool gesture.
The one niggling issue with FatCow is that they fail to come out transparent as to whether their customer support is outsourced or maintained in-house.
FatCow relies on its in-house control panel instead of third-party software such as cPanel. While this option may seem like a tradeoff considering how widespread cPanel usage is, their custom control panel offers a lot regarding customization and custom software support.
Here are some of the FatCow control panel features:
- Customizable interface
FatCow Control Panel supports layout customization so that the user can determine the best layout for them. Choose from the four available presets Icon, IconPlus, Text, and TextPlus. Each comes with a great set of tools and information and is also easy to set up.
- Website management
Just like the name suggests, this control panel option is all about managing your site’s preferences. These include site building tools, htaccess editor, disk usage management, FTP, file manager, frontpage extensions, secure server config and server information. Even without any prior HTML experience, you will be able to manage your site using these tools.
- Domain management
The Domain Central tab offers domain management functions such as adding registered domains to your account domain pointing manager, registrar transfer, subdomain pointing manager, domain privacy and domain auto-renewal. This tool can also be used to bulk edit domains instead of having to go through each domain manually.
- Email management
This tab will come in handy when you want to set up autoresponders, change catch-all settings, manage spam filters, newsletter management, POP mail, and choosing your webmail client.
- Scripting and Site Add-ons
FatCow offers a variety of web applications to add more functionality to your site. These include Archive Gateway, CGI and scripted language support, enhanced script library, install central for installing custom software, and MySQL management.
FatCow Hosting offers a comprehensive suite of e-commerce features for your business. The web host includes the Ecwid shopping cart which makes it easy to sell your products and services around the globe. This e-commerce cart is easily integrated into major content management systems including Weebly and Joomla among others. Adding e-commerce features into your site should be possible in a few clicks.
The company ensures e-commerce security using Comodo Extended SSL validation certificates. FatCow hosting also offers Doba integration which allows access to 1.5 million products that can be sold on your website with no worry about shipping or inventory management.
Another key benefit of using FatCow for e-commerce are the free Google and Bing ad credits it offers to users. These are particularly important if your company is new to the online world and wish to get potential customers from search engines for a start.
In case you are dissatisfied with FatCow services, you can request a refund within 30 days after subscription. The company monitors its servers 24/7, so they can quickly resolve any arising issues. Unfortunately, there has been issues with this web host consistently maintaining the standard 99.9% uptime guarantee which is crucial for serious website: it goes unsaid that the more time your site is down, the more money you lose.
- Marketing services
To help your site pick up in terms of popularity, FatCow includes community toolbar, marketing guide, website grader, Yahoo! Sponsored search credits, Google AdWords bonus, Bing search Marketing credit, and YellowBrix.
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
FatCow offers unlimited MySQL databases for each hosting account thus enabling users to implement various databases for each feature. However, it’s recommended to keep in mind that the customer is expected to uphold the fair usage policy.
- Multiple programming support
FatCow servers support PHP 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, and 7.1 as well as Python and a script library. Users can, therefore, take full advantage of this capability to design feature-packed websites.
- Detailed tutorials and FAQ library
You no longer have to wait for customer care support whenever you run into a problem with your site: FatCow offers a comprehensive list of step by step tutorials as well as frequently asked questions that will help you get through just about on your account.
- Poll and survey tools
These counter tools are useful when deploying surveys and assessing your site’s performance and can be customized to fit the required criteria.
- Decent uptime
With an uptime that averages at 99.9%, FatCow offers a pretty decent service especially at the price it offers for its plans. However, while this might sound okay for low-traffic and small websites, it might be frustrating for owners of websites recording thousands of visits daily.
- Honest pricing
One thing that the web hosting scene is popularly known for are misleading prices that hosting companies use to lure customers to commit themselves to them for extra-long terms. Luckily, this is not the case with FatCow whose pricing structure is consistent with what it advertises on its website. This means you won’t have to worry about feeling cheated after your initial payment period elapses.
As mentioned earlier in this review, FatCow harnesses 100 percent of its power from wind energy. This commitment has also seen the company become an EPA Green Power Partner which is something worth commending.
- Cheap hosting plans
One of FatCow’s hosting plan costs as low as $9 per annum – possibly the lowest fee you can pay for hosting anywhere today. While it doesn’t come with any praiseworthy features, this is an unbelievably cost-friendly package. All other plans are also priced competitively which makes FatCow one of the most affordable web host on the market.
- Numerous freebies
FatCow offers you a number of free features that you’d otherwise buy elsewhere. Some of the notable ones include free domains, website migration services, and web icons. The company also offers free advertising credits including $100 worth of Google Adwords and another $100 for Bing Ads credit.
- Slow speeds
Speed is a major consideration in grading good and not-so-good web hosting companies. Unfortunately, FatCow falls a bit short in this area as most websites hosted on the platform averages 1500 milliseconds to load from their servers. This is quite slow compared with many of its competitors
- Backups are paid for
With more commercial web hosts now offering free automated website backups, it beats logic why a company as big as FatCow can charge to offer this service to its clients. The $16.95 price tag for the backups is also steep compared to most companies that charge about $1 per month for the same.
- Additional costs for security
One of FatCow’s many upsells is for simple security features that would otherwise be available for free with most companies. For example, this web host charges up to $38 per year for features like SiteLock and protection against DDoS. This sounds quite illogical especially if you’re hosting on one of their cheaper plans for below $50 a year.
- Inconsistent customer support
A quick scan of FatCow reviews shows mixed feedbacks from customers with some claiming to receive fast responses while others saying the opposite. While this is not unusual with service providers such as web hosts, a big number of negative feedback puts FatCow in bad light as far as customer support is concerned.
- Limited plan varieties
This company offers only one plan under its shared hosting category – the most popular hosting anywhere in the world. As you can imagine, this can be quite inconveniencing for customers who would like options for when their businesses outgrow their current plans.
- When was Fatcow established?
FatCow was established in 1998 as a simple web hosting provider. Its data center and home offices are situated in Boston and Massachusetts. Through the years, the company has consistently embarked on ensuring value for the customer and offers exceptional customer experience for smaller business.
- What are the available forms of support can I get with FatCow?
Should you have an issue, you may seek assistance from their support via a toll-free call or seek assistance via the helpdesk, live chat or email. They have friendly and experienced customer representatives that are ready to help.
- Does FatCow have a site builder?
FatCow offers two site builders for every account. One of the site builders was developed by FatCow Company while the other is Weebly which is an integration of third-party site builder. The in-built site builder is available at an extra fee for e-Commerce functionality and offers mobile-friendly themes. Weebly offers more features built-in for free and has many themes available.
- How long will it take for my websites to appear online?
After making payment, your hosting account will be ready within the next few minutes where you will be able to log in. This allows you to upload your websites. However, you may need to wait for 24 hours for the DNS of your domain name to take effect.
- Does FatCow hosting offer automatic backups?
Yes. You can purchase the ‘pro' backup plan which offers frequent automatic backups. Free backups are generated on all plans, but you have to manually restore them via the cPanel. The inexpensive pro plan gives you automatic back up anytime.
- Does FatCow Hosting offer SSL certificates?
Yes, FatCow web host offers SSL certificates. You can purchase the certificates from FatCow hosting as well as domain registration services. The web host provides domain-validated, extended validation, company validation, wildcard, and multi-domain SSL certificates.
- How many grades hosting plans do they offer?
You can choose from Shared, VPS and dedicated server plans to meet your business requirements.
Shared Hosting offers everything you need for a medium-sized website. The plan offers a free domain name, email support, unlimited website support, and unlimited database.
VPS plan offers cPanel based cloud VPS which offers instant provisioning.
Dedicated server is cloud-based and be customized by requirement. Users of dedicated server get mobile management apps to access it anywhere.
What’s more, FatCow also offers a plan dedicated to WordPress CMS through its WP Starter and Essential plans.
- Is there a reseller program available?
Yes, the web host offers a reseller program called “WholesalePlus Reseller Program." This program is quite different from most other web hosts’ as FatCow offers a custom Vdeck control panel for management. It also allows resellers to brand the interface with their colors, logos, and fonts of choice.
- Can I create multiple control panels?
Yes, FatCow uses vDeck control panel and supports creation of multiple control panels. To do this, log on to your primary control panel and navigate to the “Account management” tab. However, users are reminded that the company will only offer customer service support to the primary account.
- Can I cancel my hosting account anytime I want to?
Yes, you can control all of your FatCow’s subscriptions from the account management tab. To access it just login to your control panel using your primary account, navigate to account renewal. You will have three options: auto-renew hosting plan, downgrade to domain parking and do not renew hosting plan. These options will automatically update your billing schedule once you have changed them.
- Can I transfer account ownership?
Yes, FatCow does support account ownership transfer as long as you are the account owner. The company offers a relatively straightforward process. For starters, you’ll need to change the account information, update the security questions, update payment information, change contact email addresses and finally update the account password.
- Does FatCow offer Domain and account ownership verification?
Yes, FatCow offers various ways to verify account and domain ownership. These include security question that is set up when an account is created, the last four digits of the current credit card linked to the account and PayPal billing agreement ID.
- How many payment options does FatCow support?
FatCow offers various payment plans including checks, credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover), debit cards, and PayPal.
- Does FatCow offer unlimited Hosting?
Yes, FatCow offers an unlimited (sort of) hosting known as shared hosting plan. The plan provides unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited MySQL databases. However, such unlimited features are subject to the company’s fair usage policy which requires the user to monitor resource usage to avoid affecting the performance of other sites hosted on shared hardware.
- Is there a money back guarantee?
Yes, FatCow has a 30 days money back guarantee on all hosting plans with a full refund.
- Can the FatCow email client work on mobile devices?
Yes, the email client can be set up on Outlook 2013 (Windows), iPhones, Android, and Mac OS X mail. The email exchange can also be set up on all of these devices. Alternatively, you can upgrade to G suite for emails which is a free service by Google that lets you use their apps to access your site’s emails.
- Does FatCow support .htaccess?Yes, FatCow supports CGI scripting allowing you to create a 301 redirect, direct editing the .htaccess file, and redirecting URLs.