FatCow is really a website hosting brand of Endurance Worldwide. They provide a complete spectrum of hosting companies from shared web hosting to hosting with unique branding.
FatCow has existed for a long time. They began in 1998 and go out Burlington, MA – in probably the same datacenter his or her sister brand iPage.
FatCow makes their name having a specific concentrate on beginner and DIY website proprietors, along with a fun, friendly brand – each of which stick out within an industry typically centered on developers and technical server jargon.
Like the majority of shared web hosting companies, FatCow offers email, an internet site builder, as well as other complementary services to website hosting with round-the-clock support along with a thirty day money-back guarantee.
You should check out FatCow’s plan and promo pricing here.
I’ve had several readers email to inquire about my estimation about FatCow, and so i made the decision to try them out within my recent shopping tour of entry-level web hosting companies.
Here’s my FatCow Hosting review – structured with pros & cons according to my experience like a customer.
Skip to direct comparisons or skip towards the conclusion.
Disclosure – I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All opinion and knowledge is dependant on my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.
Pros of utilizing FatCow Hosting
There are plenty of FatCow reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That’s fine however i have a different approach. As I’ve stated in other hosting reviews, there’s no such factor like a “best” hosting company. The “best” may be the right fit for the project according to your objectives, budget, experience & expertise. Here would be the pros (advantages) for thinking about FatCow.
Short-term Prices & Plan Structure*
FatCow’s primary advantage is the short-term prices and plan structure. Should you join annually – you’ll probably obtain a heavily discounted rate for that newbie. Plus – FatCow does not have prices tiers.
There is a single website hosting plan with limitless everything. And that’s important because searching at prices plans across different hosting providers could be confusing.
*Observe that FatCow’s prices and plan structure comes with a quirk which will fall within the Cons section.
Website hosting information mill all selling exactly the same factor – a house for the website – but every one has different plans with various caps, different bonuses and various renewal prices. For many, working out their true value needs a breakdown into various parts.
To check “apples to apples”, I break things lower into Core hosting features and Bonus hosting features to be able to see exactly what you’re having to pay for and just how it comes even close to other providers.
Core hosting features would be the “3 D’s” – domains, databases and disk space. The main reason for a hosting server would be to serve website files if somebody types inside your website name.
- Domains are the number of domains you are able to indicate your hosting account. If you would like multiple websites, you’ll wish to have multiple domains permitted. You’ll should also take a look at emails per domain – sometimes individuals are capped too.
- Databases are the number of bits of website software you are able to operate on your hosting server. A WordPress install requires one database. For those who have any apps, Listservs, etc – you’ll require more.
- Disk space is the number of files try on some your server – images, text, PDFs, etc.
Additional features might be everything from website builder software to advertising credits to backend software, etc.
Whenever you break it lower, you can at any rate compare apples to apples and obtain a feeling of value according to the thing you need.
FatCow makes things simple simply because they have only the main one shared web hosting plan – their “Original FatCow Plan” which often starts in a discounted opening cost of $49/year (sometimes discounted much more only at that link) – although it renews at as much as $155.40 each year after.
That plan includes limitless domains, disk space and databases, plus lots of bonus features like limitless emails, ad credits, along with a free website name.
For those who have a really tight budget and wish short-term hosting for under $50/year – FatCow has that advantage.
Daily Backups & Bonuses
Like a business owner, there’s something which are 100% your responsibility…but are frequently not necessarily done. So when they aren’t done, you appear for your webhost to assist you.
Website backups fall under that realm. Ideally, you’ll take proper care of your backups either by hand or perhaps a dedicated service. However, unexpected things happen, and it is good to possess a safety internet – or perhaps a backup for the backup. That is why backups made by your webhost are extremely helpful.
Most website hosts either provide free periodic backups and charge for restores (for example HostGator), or charge for frequent backups with free restores (for example Website Hosting Hub).
FatCow provides free daily backups, that is a unique bonus feature to incorporate.
Furthermore, FatCow supplies a couple of other interesting bonus features which are a professional in aggregate. I love the way they were among the first to visit 100% wind-powered. They incorporate a free 1-800 number, which may be helpful for many companies. Additionally they provide all random bonuses – like free web site design icons along with a fun, friendly brand tone.
All positives in my opinion.
Whenever you join hosting, you typically obtain access to a free account dashboard to handle your plans, products and then any add-ons. You’ll also obtain access to your own personal server’s backend where one can install software and obtain server information for whatever you really need it for.
In most cases your server’s backend will offer you a variety of auto-installers which will install common software like WordPress for you personally.
Every webhost approaches all these three areas differently. And also the backends of website hosts can differ broadly.
FatCow’s is really a custom backend. They don’t make use of the industry standard cPanel. This time is like a disadvantage.
However, if you’re a beginner and have very fundamental needs from the hosting backend, then FatCow’s is really quite straightforward and simple (although a little dated).
It isn’t the lovliest backend, but it is also not confusing or significantly diverse from most hosting providers on cPanel (like DreamHost or 1&1’s backends are).
Should you just have server information and use of a QuickInstall (ie, for WordPress), then it’s all there.
For FatCow’s primary audience, I’ll placed their custom backend like a pro for implementing FatCow.
Cons of utilizing FatCow Hosting
Like every hosting company, FatCow Hosting has disadvantages. Listed here are the disadvantages which i found while using the FatCow for hosting.
Lengthy-term Prices & WordPress Plan Structure
Like I pointed out within the pros section, FatCow has great temporary prices and straightforward plan structure. However, they throw a few wrenches into that scenario.
First, their Original FatCow Plan renews at as much as $155.40 each year should you renew for any year (or $10.95 monthly should you sign up for several years).
Anything you renew at – their prices is much more costly than direct competitors. HostGator renews for less than $6.95 monthly whenever you join three years and $8.95 whenever you renew for any year. Even Website Hosting Hub renews at $8.99 monthly.
In either case – FatCow is much more costly if you’re picking out a lengthy-term host.
Second, FatCow lately launched a few “WordPress Hosting Plans” comparable to their sister companies.
*Aside – “WordPress Hosting” is probably the most confusing, maddening terminology within the entire hosting industry. Here’s the factor. WordPress operates on any Linux shared web hosting. It doesn’t need any kind of special hosting.
Unless of course you’re purchasing hosting from the company that *only* does WordPress for example WordPress Engine, “WordPress Hosting” services are simply upsells with renamed benefits.
Exactly what FatCow promises within their WordPress plans isn’t something they are able to really promise. For instance, they promise to “pre-install plugins.” Plugins in WordPress require 3 clicks to set up. And those they pre-install usually aren’t the very best ones – those are the plugins which make FatCow money.
Another example is the promises of speed simply because they installed the W3 Total Cache. Ok, simply because you put in a caching wordpress plugin doesn’t help make your WordPress website fast – in addition W3 Total Cache isn’t the best option for shared web hosting plans (use Super Cache rather). Ditto using their security promises.
The final factor regarding their WordPress plans would be that the WordPress Starter Plan’s really less expensive than their Original FatCow plan. That’s great and all sorts of, however it makes me question what’s missing. Honestly, their WordPress Essential Plan appears like an entire upsell without any real benefits.
After searching at a number of Endurance Worldwide brands, diets seem like something they’re moving out across all of their brands to earn money and consolidate services – not at all something that really suits FatCow’s brand or normal services.
If your site needs WordPress-specific hosting, then you need to make use of a company like WordPress Engine or perhaps a Weblog Web Hosting plan like SiteGround’s that provides real developer benefits. Otherwise, you need to only use Linux shared web hosting and install WordPress with that account.
In either case, FatCow’s lengthy-term prices and confusing WordPress-specific choices are solidly within the cons column on their behalf.
Associated with WordPress services may be the subject of general upsells.
Upsells aren’t always a poor factor. They offer cheaper overall prices for many while supplying specific services for anybody who would like to purchase them.
But upsells is yet another bad factor. Usually they become bad when they’re excessively aggressive or when they’re added without explicit consent.
They may also be bad once they confuse customers and devalue the particular product. This time is how FatCow fails.
They provide upsells in checkout as well as in their backend. Rather of complementing their professional services, they overlap with key features. Several are available pre-checked (I almost bought Google Apps never ever).
In either case, it isn’t an enormous disadvantage. As well as their upsells don’t affect their core product, but it’s a switch off when compared with competitors.
Allocations & Performance
Like I pointed out before, the main job of the hosting company would be to serve website files if somebody types inside your website name – but many agree that there is a missing adverb. It ought to be “to serve website files rapidly.”
To state website speed is essential is cliche, mainly in the chronilogical age of mobile. While server speed isn’t the only element in overall website speed, it’s an essential aspect.
And critically, it is also a “bottleneck” factor. Quite simply, regardless of how fast you compress or accelerate your site, you are able to only go as quickly as your server can respond.
Calculating server speed and response time is really a complicated issue. Just the network engineers at FatCow can for sure say what’s happening with server speed. However, anybody can measure a ballpark metric of server performance.
It’s known as Time For You To First Byte (TTFB) – and shows how rapidly a web server offers the first byte of knowledge after it gets to be a request.
Here’s how FatCow performed your day I measured it with this site –
Here’s the exam a couple of hrs later –
Here’s how Website Hosting Hub (an immediate entry-level competitor performed that very same hour) –
As you can tell – FatCow isn’t bad, however they aren’t great either.
Now, TTFB is better measured like a trend. But, simply searching at FatCow’s server information causes it to be seem like it normally won’t purchase sources around competitors.
Overall, I wouldn’t buy FatCow hosting for his or her performance.
Like I pointed out within the pros section, FatCow comes with a straightforward and simple backend. However, it is also a custom backend (not cPanel). Which means that if you’re searching for additional advanced functionality or happen to be accustomed to cPanel in a previous host – you’ll find FatCow’s backend to become annoying.
Similar to their performance and customer care – it isn’t bad, but it is also not great either. Their service could be far better having a cPanel backend rather of the custom setup.
Customer care is notoriously difficult to judge. It’s hard to be aware what is actually happening behind the curtain, and whether a business is going to be useful when *you* refer to them as.
A lot of user-provided online reviews (associated with a company) are generally naively positive or exaggerated negative encounters. Besides, with anecdotes, who knows if you’re studying in regards to a one-off or perhaps a true trend.
Rather, I argue that you ought to search for indicators of whether a business treats customer support like a cost or perhaps an investment. Quite simply, could they be attempting to keep costs lower and maximize profit for a while or could they be attempting to develop happy, lengthy-term customers?
The 2 best indicators I’ve found are:
- availability across a variety of support channels
- purchase of DIY customer care.
FatCow is mediocre on. Pretty good with an absolute scale, but bad when compared with other providers.
For availability, they’ve phone and chat support. My chat wait time wasn’t bad, although not great either.
They appear to watch Twitter, but do not have what other methods (ie, forums or comments) on their own actual website.
So far as DIY customer care sources, there is a knowledgebase along with a user guide section.
Neither isn’t good (like Arvixe), but neither is comprehensive or positively being committed to. Both of them cover very beginner topics or vendor specific topics.
Overall, FatCow’s customer care appears ok, although not great when compared with other providers.
Talking about other providers, here’s how FatCow comes even close to their largest competitors.
FatCow Hosting Comparisons
From the best-known web hosting companies that I’ve utilized as a person or consultant, here’s how FatCow compares straight to each. Or skip towards the conclusion.
FatCow versus. GoDaddy
Between their TV ads, other offline ads, and lengthy history GoDaddy is easily the most recognized brand in the market. GoDaddy includes a status for upsells, confusing backend and poor performance. They’ve improved since 2013, however they still share exactly the same weaknesses as FatCow. I’d pick whichever one ought to prices. See GoDaddy’s current prices here and FatCow’s prices here.
FatCow versus. Bluehost
FatCow and Bluehost are sister brands of Endurance Worldwide, though they’ve completely different plans and market focus. Bluehost is really a more full-service host company and it is Endurance’s marquee brand. I reviewed Bluehost here. Although Bluehost has heavily capped plans, I’d opt for Bluehost over FatCow for much better service and backend. Take a look at Bluehost here.
FatCow versus. HostGator
Like Bluehost, HostGator is an extremely well-known brand within the hosting industry. They’re also of Endurance Worldwide, causing them to be another sister brand to FatCow. Like FatCow, HostGator has very economical plans for starter websites. Unlike FatCow, they’ve very good performance, customer care options and lengthy-term prices. I’d opt for HostGator.
FatCow versus. InMotion
InMotion Hosting is among the largest and fastest growing independent (ie, of employees not really a large corporate holding company) website hosts. This website utilizes a VPS server with InMotion. Their plans tend to be more capped than FatCows. However, they’ve far better customer care, better performance and cost-effective lengthy-term prices. InMotion’s least expensive plan isn’t that a lot more costly than FatCow – and it’d be worthwhile. Take a look at InMotion here…
Side note about InMotion – additionally they possess a starter hosting brand known as Website Hosting Hub that provides better still limitless prices than InMotion with great performance. They compete mind to mind with FatCow. They’re a little more costly, but additionally make a great starter webhost if you would like a completely independent webhost. You should check out Website Hosting Hub here…
Conclusion & Next Steps
Overall, I discovered FatCow hosting to become okay. They aren’t great, they also aren’t that bad. If their short-term prices is of interest for you, you’ll be able to go join FatCow here.
Otherwise, I’d search for alternatives that could be a much better match a much better complete package.
If you’re searching to have an independent shared web hosting company with nearly as good prices, better performance, and customer care, out on another mind having to pay yearly then I’d recommend checking out InMotion Hosting w/ 57% off here…
If you’re searching for any very economical option using the choice to pay monthly, then I’d take a look at HostGator w/ 45% off here…
If you’re more confused than ever before – then take my Best Website Hosting Quiz here or use this site setup guide here!
FatCow is definitely an established website hosting company founded in 1998. They’re centered on beginner and DIY hosting companies.
FatCow Hosting Review
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 04/01/2017
3 / 5 stars