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FatCow Review

ratings

Reliability

/100

Usability

/100

Customer Support

/100

Features

/100

Highlights

- FatCow Review

Hosting Plans & Pricing

FatCow Company Overview


10 Corporate Drive, Suite #300 Burlington, MA 01803

Customer Support Options

FatCow Plans & Pricing

Shared Hosting

Plan Name

Plan Price

Plan Features

The Original FatCow Plan

$4.08/mo.

FREE domain name

Site Building Tools

Money-Back Guarantee

Unlimited domains per account

Daily Server Backups

Dedicated Hosting

Plan Name

Plan Price

Plan Features

Startup

$149.99/mo.

Intel Xeon E3 - 1220LV2 3.5 GHZ

4GB RAM

500GB Storage

5TB Bandwidth

3 IP Addresses

Free Domain

CentOS 7

cPanel

Professional

$189.99/mo.

Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2 3.2 GHZ

8GB RAM

1000GB Storage

10TB Bandwidth

4 IP Addresses

Free Domain

CentOS 7

cPanel

Enterprise

$239.99/mo.

Intel Xeon E3-1230V2 3.7 GHZ

16GB RAM

1000GB Storage

15TB Bandwidth

5 IP Addresses

Free Domain

CentOS 7

cPanel

VPS Hosting

Plan Name

Plan Price

Plan Features

Wordpress Hosting

Plan Name

Plan Price

Plan Features

WP Starter

$3.75/mo.

Core hosting plan

Customized control panel

Pre-installed themes & plugins

Standard level support

WP Essential

$6.95/mo.

Core hosting plan

Customized control panel

Pre-installed themes & plugins

WP Experts support

Super speed

FatCow Full Review

FatCow, founded in 1998, is one of the oldest web hosting providers in the market, intended to provide a different alternative in Web hosting.

FatCow offers shared Web hosting options for small to medium-sized enterprises and individuals searching for a low-cost Web hosting choice. They developed and pioneered a one-plan, one-price strategy to make getting your personal or small business internet site easier.

FatCow Hosting has two data centers located in the Boston, MA area, occupying over 2400 square feet of space when combined, containing thousands of servers and multiple Petabytes of storage. The hosting company services over two million customers worldwide. FatCow also claims that they have good customer support compared to other hosts on the market.

FatCow includes a comprehensive online help center and ticketing system, as well as step-by-step tutorials for managing your account. They offer 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

As of 2021, FatCow web hosting has an overall rating of 4.6/5 stars. In this FatCow review, I will test one of their web hosting plans based on performance, reliability, support, features, and pricing. If you want to know our thoughts, read on to find out.

Getting Started With FatCow Hosting

To get started, go to their website.

I was greeted with this cute and colorful homepage. Here, you will see that FatCow is currently offering a promotional web hosting plan for only a limited time. To start, click the "Get Started" button. Keep in mind that by clicking "Get Started," you will be signing up for their shared hosting plans. However, if you wish to sign up for other FatCow web hosting services, you can find the options on the "Create a Site" tab.

Original FatCow Plan - A Linux-based shared web hosting

WordPress Blog - A high-performance WordPress Hosting

VPS Hosting - A high-performance VPS hosting service

Dedicated Servers - Hardware and Software configurations

Reseller Hosting - Your own web hosting company, or use your own branded web hosting services to augment your development or design services.

After clicking the "Get Started" button, you will then be redirected to the domain registration page, where you set up your own or your existing domain. You must check your free domain name, but you can always opt for other domain names if yours is unavailable.

This part is a bit confusing since you have no idea what kind of hosting service you're signing up for. So I decided to reach their customer support first before proceeding.

In this FatCow review, I went for the Original FatCow Plan, a shared hosting plan. It comes with oodles of disk space and bandwidth, unlimited POP mailboxes, a free domain name for 1 year, a website builder, shopping carts, an SSL secure server, unlimited FTP users and sub-users, search engine marketing, a script barn - which includes WordPress, phpBB, Joomla and more, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here, you need to enter your billing information. You also have two payment options: via Credit Card or through PayPal.

By clicking "Check Out," you will receive an email containing your username generated by FatCow and a link to set up your password.

Using and Managing Your Website on FatCow

When you first attempt to log in to their website, you will be greeted with this screen.

Here, you can opt to log in via the Control Panel or Webmail. After you key in your log-in details, you will be redirected to your control panel page.

Here, you have access to website tools, domain tools, marketing tools, emails, and additional tools. With this dashboard, you can move files to your web server using the FTP protocol, manage your account’s email inboxes, check your website’s resource usage, manage your domain names, and check your account’s billing information.

FatCow vDeck Control Panel

vDeck is the control panel of FatCow. They do not use the industry-standard cPanel. But it’s actually user-friendly with numerous features for handling websites, emails, scripts, domains, files, and databases. So you don't have to worry!

Emails

Here, you have access to MailCentral, Webmail, AutoResponder, and settings to modify the tools that come with it.

FatCow currently offers POP Accounts, which is a business email account, it includes a dedicated, private mailbox for the receipt of email messages where you can set up each employee or department with a dedicated mailbox, customize each box with a dedicated alias, [email protected] or [email protected] for examples, and download mail to your personal computer’s email application, such as Eudora ™, Outlook Express™ or Outlook™.

File Management

File Manager

You can find the File Manager on your Hosting Dashboard. Here, you can access, edit, and of course, as the name implies, manage your website files.

Backup

You can use the Backup interface to download and save your files, databases, forwarders, and filters to a backup file.

FatCow offers a Website Backup and Restore for a price starting at $2.27/month. This add-on gives you access to hassle-free automatic file backups, easy restoration of files onto the server, select all files or specific files to restore from a backup, manually create a backup anytime using the tool, low yearly cost, great for protection of investments such as premium add-ons, plugins, and themes.

Disk Usage

All data on your account, including website files, MySQL databases, and email messages, is included in the total amount of disk space used on your account. FatCow's hosting services have no hard and fast limits on disk space or bandwidth. They want you to have the tools you need to establish a substantial online presence, and 99.95% of all clients will have more than enough disk space and bandwidth to satisfy their needs.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a programming language that enables computers to share and transmit files over the internet. Using an FTP client is the simplest approach to transmit files. Depending on the sort of computer you have, there are numerous FTP clients available.

If you wish to access your FTP content, you can do so through your '.html' file, which you uploaded to the file manager via an FTP connection.

Domains

You may add and set up domains, establish subdomains, set up redirects, and do a lot more in the Domains section of vDeck - FatCow's control panel. However, adding new domains is not for free.

For a price of $2.99 for a '.xyz' domain or $9.99 for a '.com' domain, you can acquire a domain for five years.

You might think that they upsell a LOT - and I couldn't agree more!

Databases

MySQL

Because of its speed and dependability, MySQL is most typically used as a Web application alternative to proprietary database systems. MySQL is compatible with UNIX, Windows, and Mac OS.

You can create a MySQL database by logging into your Hosting Dashboard; this can be found on the left pane. Here, you will need to set a username, password, and name for your new database.

phpMyAdmin

You can also manage your databases on phpMyAdmin, which can be found on the MySQL Management tab. phpMyAdmin allows for more control over the structure and data of your database. You can create and delete tables, import and export data, perform SQL queries, repair tables, and do many other things.

Metrics

It is crucial for your business and marketing to keep records of different metrics of your website. You can check various data, track issues, and monitor bandwidth usage on the Metrics page.

This part allows you to narrow down where your traffic comes from, how many users you have, and which parts of your website are most viewed.

Security

When operating a website, online security is a major concern. Having a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security is necessary to protect payment communications on company websites. FatCow has teamed up with Comodo to offer SSL certificates starting at $35.99 per year.

Additionally, FatCow also partnered with SiteLock, the global leader in website security, to protect your site against cyber threats. You can purchase this if you want extra security for your website. Once again, with the upsells!

Software

This section is where you can expand your website's capabilities. PHP is a programming language that is always being updated and enhanced. Some PHP features and capabilities may be lost with each new version, while others may be added. Each successive version of PHP attempts to improve the language's security and capabilities.

FatCow provides numerous pre-installed PHP versions to accommodate whatever application you choose to run.

Advanced

This section includes operations that are not frequently conducted yet are useful for modification. FatCow's strong, secure network infrastructure is built on a pooled server environment, allowing almost any server on a network to access Web site files when a request is made.

It means that the first machine available will serve a customer's Web pages, providing faster loading times and fewer service interruptions than traditional hosting infrastructures.

Preferences

The preferences tab, as the name suggests, is where you may change and personalize your website. Language, themes, server configurations, and other parameters are accessible here.

FatCow Website Builder

FatCow provides a Drag-and-Drop website builder that is simple to use and ideal for beginners!

WebsiteBuilder allows you to enter the name of your site and then use the HTML5-powered builder to drag and drop site elements like text and graphics. Of course, you really aren't required to use Website Builder because they don't offer it for free, unfortunately.

However, you can use the previously stated WordPress, Weebly, FileManager, or FTP as an alternative.

Apps Installer

You can quickly and easily add a broad selection of open source programs to your site using FatCow's Mojo Marketplace interface, such as WordPress, phpBB, and GBook. Apps and plugins such as Image Galleries, E-Commerce, Web Logs (Blogs), Content Management, Discussion Boards, Customer Service, and Guest Books can also be integrated here.

WordPress Themes

When you install WordPress using Mojo Marketplace, it will automatically come with WordPress themes you can install for your website. On the other hand, you can also manually install WordPress themes using FTP.

Note: Themes downloaded directly from the internet are typically delivered in the form of a compressed zip file. You can either unzip the file on your local computer before uploading it, or you can unzip the file once it has been uploaded.

FatCow Hosting Customer Support

Knowledge Base

FatCow includes a Knowledgebase, a comprehensive online help center and ticketing system, and step-by-step tutorials for managing your account.

As mentioned earlier, the Original FatCow Plan that I'm signing up for did not indicate its type of web hosting service. To clarify this, I reached their live chat support. After typing my name, area of concern, and specifics, I clicked "Start Chat."

Here's how it went:

I waited for 2 minutes to get a response - not bad, but not great either.

I had to ask in detail as the customer support representative doesn't give full details right away; this is not advisable if you are in a rush.

They didn't get to answer all my questions. When I told them that I had no more concerns, they left the chat.

Overall, I would say that they have good customer support as they provide how-tos where you can look for solutions if you're experiencing any problem, which is the Knowledgebase.

However, their live chat support is not as knowledgeable and reliable as other web hosting companies. I had to dig in with the details I wanted to know, and they did not answer my follow-up questions.

Overall, a 2-minute wait time for a response is not that bad, and they do have a bit of knowledge regarding the web host services they offer.

Buyer’s Guide For FatCow

Plans and Pricing

Original FatCow Plan priced at $4.08/month

This plan consists of individual accounts on a Linux server and is a low-cost shared hosting for people on a tight budget. This plan is ideal if your business is just getting started in the digital environment.

You get all of the advantages that competitors' shared hosting plans provide. It includes a free domain name for the first term, 24/7/365 assistance, massive amounts of space and bandwidth, and so much more.

WordPress Hosting Plan starts at $3.75/month.

If you choose to use the WordPress platform for your business, this is the way to be. WP Starter and WP Essential are the two WordPress hosting plans offered by FatCow. Both subscriptions include pre-installed themes and plugins, as well as a customized control panel.

Meanwhile, the latter subscription includes faster speeds, greater security, and premium support. This package is ideal if you have a high-traffic WordPress site.

VPS Hosting Plan starts at $19.99/month

FatCow has three VPS hosting tiers: Basic, Business, and Optimum. Virtual Private Servers are suitable for those who want dedicated servers without spending more. This plan is ideal if your business is expanding and you want to boost your online presence. It demands more resources for your website without the greater cost of a dedicated server.

It is a middle-of-the-road package for expanding businesses. This plan covers a variety of semi-private resources as well as fully managed support for your organization's online projects.

Dedicated Server Plan starts at $119.99/month.

If your business has outgrown the previous FatCow farm plans and you want your own space rather than sharing with other users, the FatCow dedicated hosting plan is for you. This subscription includes many resources for high-traffic sites, extensive security, and mirrored storage for better data protection. If you're in the big leagues, this dedicated hosting plan is suitable for your business.

Reseller Hosting Plan starts at $49.95/year.

The Reseller Hosting plan is designed to meet the needs of anyone looking to make money by selling website services. Recurring revenue is beneficial because they will continue to pay year after year if consumers are satisfied. You receive wholesale prices to resale programs to your clients and enjoy year after year of passive income.

Server Speed

According to WebHostingMedia, their average server uptime is 99.92 percent, and their page loading speed is 1500 milliseconds. That is far too slow. You can save 1000 milliseconds by using other hosts like HostGator or InMotion. Plus, you will also have a higher uptime.

A poor server speed is most likely since caching is not included in your plan, either on the server or the client-side. If it is, it may enhance your speed, but other FatCow optimizations are required to get the speed up to par.

Security and Backups

FatCow lacks basic security measures on all plans, so much so that it appears security was overlooked when developing the service. An SSL/TLS certificate is necessary for just about any website, yet FatCow does not provide one - they said they offer free SSL. Still, when you try to enable it, you would just be redirected to a product page asking you to purchase.

The same goes for backups, saying that they offer it for free, but when you try to access your backup files, you will be asked to buy an add-on. Additionally, there is no malware scanning, but they offer quick access to antivirus software for your website, which is SiteLock. Again, this is not for free.

Features of FatCow

  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free domain name for 1 year
  • Freebies included in all FatCow hosting packages
  • Average uptime of 99.85% - not bad for a hosting plan that costs less than $5.00/month
  • Daily backup service - you have to purchase a backup and restore add-on to access your backup files.
  • Hotlink Protection - Prevent other websites from loading your files other than your own, saving you bandwidth.
  • WordPress optimized hosting
  • Wide range of e-commerce service
  • Offers a month-to-month payment option which starts at $5.00/month - other web hosts offer a much higher price if you choose a per-month payment option.

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Less downtime than other web host competitors
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Offers a wide array of hosting service
  • Eco-friendly - the first hosting provider to use 100% wind energy, they're an EPA Green Power Partner!

Cons

  • Upsells too much, e.g., website transfers are not free
  • No uptime guarantee - if your website goes down, you won't receive any compensation as they don't provide any assurance with regards to uptime
  • High renewal prices for your hosting plans are high
  • Limited choices for server location since both of the data centers are located in the same state
  • No windows-based servers
  • Slow service - understandable for their pricepoint
  • Different backend - although FatCow's backend is pretty straightforward to use, it does not have the advanced functionalities of cPanel, so for those who have previously used cPanel, you might find FatCow's control panel annoying.
  • FatCow support is mediocre compared to other hosting providers like InMotion
  • No cloud hosting

Final Thoughts

Like other hosting companies that only have data centers in the US, FatCow is ideal if your primary audience comes from the US.

You should thoroughly check the plans they offer before purchasing; if ever you want to because they only do a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, I would not recommend FatCow, not even a bit. Opt for web hosts that offer a much reasonable price that is slightly higher than what FatCow offers. That way, you'll get the most of your money even if you pay a bit more; it's still going to be cheaper than when you purchase all their add-ons and plugins.

They might be veterans in the web hosting industry, but they are far from the best. They did not pass our performance, reliability, support, features, and pricing criteria.

I hope this FatCow review has helped you in choosing your web host!

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