Fatcow Hosting Review
Good (If Inconsistent) Support
Upfront, Honest Pricing
Free Website Transfers and Domain Names
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
Eco-Friendly Web Host
Average 99.88% Uptime (Last 12 Months)
FatCow is Slow. Obviously.
Cancellation Can Cost You
Backups Aren’t Free
Too Many Upsells
FatCow is a webhosting brand owned by Endurance International. They provide a complete spectrum of hosting services from shared hosting to devoted servers with special branding.
FatCow has actually been around for quite a while. They started in 1998 and run out Burlington, MA– in potentially the same datacenter as their sis brand name iPage.
FatCow has actually made their name with a specific concentrate on newbie and DIY website owners, and an enjoyable, friendly brand– both which stand out in an industry traditionally focused on developers and technical server lingo.
Like most shared hosting business, FatCow also offers e-mail, a website contractor, and different complementary services to webhosting with 24 Hr assistance and a 30 day cash back warranty.
You can check out FatCow’s plan and discount prices here.
I’ve had a number of readers email to ask my viewpoint about FatCow, so I chose to give them a shot in my recent shopping tour of entry-level webhosting.
Here’s my FatCow Hosting review– structured with cons & pros based on my experience as a client.
Skip to direct comparisons or avoid to the conclusion.
Disclosure– I get recommendation charges from companies discussed on this website. All viewpoint and data is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of Using FatCow Hosting
There are a lot of FatCow reviews online– typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. Here are the pros (benefits) for thinking about FatCow.
Short-term Prices & Strategy Structure *.
FatCow’s main advantage is their short-term pricing and strategy structure. , if you sign up for a year– you are most likely to get a heavily reduced rate for the first year.. Plus– FatCow does not have pricing tiers.
They have a single webhosting strategy with unrestricted everything. Since looking at prices plans across different hosting companies can be complicated, and that’s important.
FatCow Plans screenshot for my FatCow Hosting Evaluation.
FatCow Short-term Pricing thought about for my FatCow Hosting Review.
* Note that FatCow’s prices and strategy structure does have a peculiarity that will fall in the Cons section.
Web hosting business are all offering the very same thing– a home for your website– but they all have different strategies with various caps, various bonus offers and various renewal costs. For many, finding out their real worth needs a breakdown into various parts.
To compare “apples to apples”, I break things down into Core hosting functions and Bonus offer hosting functions so that you can see exactly what you are paying for and how it compares with other service providers.
Core hosting functions are the “3 D’s”– domains, databases and disk area. The core purpose of a hosting server is to serve website files when somebody types in your domain.
Domains are the number of domain you can point to your hosting account. You’ll desire to have actually numerous domains permitted if you want several websites. You’ll likewise need to take a look at email addresses per domain– in some cases those are capped also.
Databases are how many pieces of website software application you can operate on your hosting server. A WordPress set up needs one database. If you have any apps, Listservs, etc– you’ll need more.
Disk space is the number of files you can place on your server– images, text, PDFs, etc
. Other functions could be anything from site home builder software application to marketing credits to backend software, and so on
. You can at least compare apples to apples and get a sense of value based on exactly what you require when you break it down.
FatCow makes things easy due to the fact that they just have actually the one shared hosting strategy– their “Original FatCow Strategy” which typically begins at a reduced introductory price of $49/year (in some cases discounted much more at this link)– though it renews at as much as $155.40 per year after.
That plan includes unrestricted domains, disk area and databases, plus a lot of bonus offer functions like unlimited e-mails, ad credits, and a free domain name.
If you have a very tight spending plan and want short-term hosting for less than $50/year– FatCow has that benefit.
Daily Backups & Perks.
As a site owner, there are some things that are 100% your duty … however are often not always done. When they aren’t done, you aim to your hosting business to help you out.
Website backups fall into that world. That’s why backups done by your hosting company are very helpful.
Many hosting business either supply free occasional backups and charge for restores (such as HostGator), or charge for frequent backups with complimentary brings back (such as Webhosting Hub).
FatCow offers complimentary daily backups, which is a special benefit feature to include.
Additionally, FatCow offers a couple of other fascinating reward features that are a pro in aggregate. They also supply lots of other random bonuses– like complimentary site style icons and an enjoyable, friendly brand tone.
All positives in my book.
When you register for hosting, you normally get access to an account control panel to manage your strategies, items and any add-ons. You’ll also get access to your real server’s backend where you can install software application and get server information for whatever you need it for.
And generally your server’s backend will use a series of auto-installers that will set up typical software application like WordPress for you.
Every hosting company approaches each of these 3 locations in a different way. And the backends of hosting business can vary commonly.
FatCow’s is a customized backend. They do not utilize the industry basic cPanel. This point will come back as a downside.
However, if you are a newbie or have extremely fundamental requirements from a hosting backend, then FatCow’s is really rather easy and uncomplicated (albeit a bit outdated).
FatCow’s Backend screenshot for my FatCow Hosting Review.
It’s not the most beautiful backend, however it’s likewise not confusing or significantly different than many hosting providers on cPanel (like DreamHost or 1 & 1’s backends are).
If you just need server info and access to a QuickInstall (ie, for WordPress), then it’s all there.
For FatCow’s main audience, I’ll position their custom-made backend as a pro for using FatCow.
Cons of Using FatCow Hosting.
Like any web host, FatCow Hosting has downsides. Here are the cons that I discovered while utilizing FatCow for hosting.
Long-term Prices & WordPress Plan Structure.
Like I pointed out in the pros section, FatCow has excellent short term prices and easy plan structure. They toss a couple wrenches into that situation.
Their Initial FatCow Strategy restores at up to $155.40 per year if you restore for a year (or $10.95 per month if you sign on for 3 years).
Whatever you restore at– their rates is more expensive than direct competitors. HostGator restores for just $6.95 monthly when you register for 3 years and $8.95 when you renew for a year. Even Webhosting Hub restores at $8.99 monthly.
In any case– FatCow is more pricey if you are picking a long-lasting host.
Second, FatCow recently introduced a couple of “WordPress Hosting Plans” similar to their sister business.
FatCow WordPress Plans – a complicated part of my FatCow Hosting Evaluation.
* Aside– “WordPress Hosting” is perhaps the most complicated, frustrating terms in the entire hosting market. Here’s the important things. WordPress runs on any Linux shared hosting. It does not require any sort of special hosting.
Unless you are acquiring hosting from a company that * just * does WordPress such as WP Engine, “WordPress Hosting” services are just upsells with renamed benefits.
FatCow WordPress Hosting screenshot for my FatCow Hosting Evaluation.
Everything that FatCow assures in their WordPress strategies is not something they can truly promise. And the ones they pre-install generally aren’t the best ones– they are the plugins that make FatCow money.
Since they installed the W3 Total Cache, another example is their promises of speed. Ok, just because you set up a caching plugin doesn’t make your WordPress site fast– not to mention that W3 Total Cache is not the best choice for shared hosting plans (use Super Cache instead). Ditto with their security guarantees.
The last aspect of their WordPress strategies is that the WP Starter Plan is actually less expensive than their Original FatCow plan. That’s terrific and all, however it makes me question exactly what’s missing out on. Honestly, their WP Important Plan looks like a total upsell without any genuine advantages.
After looking at several Stamina International brands, these strategies look like something they are presenting throughout all their brands to make loan and consolidate services– not something that really fits into FatCow’s brand name or typical services.
You need to utilize a business like WP Engine or a WordPress Hosting strategy like SiteGround’s that uses real designer advantages if a site needs WordPress-specific hosting. Otherwise, you should simply use Linux shared hosting and set up WordPress on that account.
In either case, FatCow’s long-lasting pricing and complicated WordPress-specific offerings are solidly in the cons column for them.
Associated with WordPress services is the subject of basic upsells.
Upsells are not always a bad thing. They supply cheaper general rates for most while supplying particular services for anyone who wishes to spend for them.
Upsells can also be a bad thing. Typically they end up being bad when they are overly aggressive or when they are included without explicit approval.
They can also be bad when they confuse consumers and cheapen the actual product. This point is where FatCow stops working.
They use upsells in checkout and in their backend. Instead of matching their services, they overlap with key functions. Numerous likewise come pre-checked (I nearly purchased Google Apps for no factor).
In either case, it’s not a huge downside. And their upsells do not impact their core item, however it is a turn off compared to rivals.
Allowances & Efficiency.
Like I pointed out previously, the core job of a webhosting is to serve website files when someone key ins your domain name– but most concur that there’s a missing out on adverb. It should be “to serve website files quickly.”.
To state website speed is necessary is cliche, particularly in the age of mobile. While server speed is not the only consider total site speed, it is a crucial aspect.
And seriously, it’s likewise a “bottleneck” factor. Simply puts, no matter how fast you compress or accelerate your website, you can just go as quickly as your server can respond.
Determining server speed and response time is a complicated issue. Only the network engineers at FatCow can definitively say exactly what’s going on with server speed. Anyone can measure a ballpark metric of server performance.
It’s called Time To First Byte (TTFB)– and shows how rapidly a server provides the very first byte of info after it receives a request.
Here’s how FatCow carried out the day I determined it with my website–.
FatCow Speed Test.
Here’s how Web Hosting Hub (a direct entry-level competitor performed that exact same hour)–.
Web Hosting Hub TTFB Test.
As you can see– FatCow isn’t really bad, but they aren’t excellent either.
Now, TTFB is best determined as a pattern. Just looking at FatCow’s server information makes it look like they don’t invest in resources as much as rivals.
Web Hosting Center Memory.
In general, I would not buy FatCow hosting for their efficiency.
Like I pointed out in the pros section, FatCow does have a easy and straightforward backend. However, it’s likewise a customized backend (not cPanel). If you are looking for more sophisticated functionality or are currently utilized to cPanel at a previous host– you’ll discover FatCow’s backend to be annoying, this indicates that.
Like their performance and consumer assistance– it’s not bad, but it’s likewise not terrific either. Their service would be far better with a cPanel backend instead of their custom setup.
Consumer support is infamously hard to judge. It’s difficult to know exactly what is truly going on behind the scenes, and whether a company will be handy when * you * contact them.
Many user-supplied online reviews (of any company) are either exaggerated or naively positive negative experiences. Besides, with anecdotes, you never ever understand if you are reading about a one-off or a real pattern.
Rather, I argue that you must search for indications of whether a business deals with customer service as an expense or a financial investment. In other words, are they attempting to keep costs down and optimize revenue for the short term or are they attempting to establish delighted, long-term customers?
The two finest indications I’ve found are:.
- schedule across a variety of support channels.
- investment in Do It Yourself client assistance.
FatCow is average on both. Not bad on an absolute scale, but bad compared to other companies.
For accessibility, they have phone and chat support. My chat wait time wasn’t bad, however not great either.
FatCow Chat Assistance.
They seem to keep an eye on Twitter, but don’t have any alternative techniques (ie, remarks or online forums) on their real site.
As far as Do It Yourself customer support resources, they have a user and a knowledgebase guide section.
Neither is bad (like Arvixe), but neither is extensive or actively being invested in. They both cover really beginner subjects or vendor specific subjects.
In general, FatCow’s consumer support appears ok, however not fantastic compared to other companies.
Mentioning other providers, here’s how FatCow compares to their biggest competitors.
FatCow Hosting Comparisons.
From the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a consumer or specialist, here’s how FatCow compares straight to each. Or avoid to the conclusion.
FatCow vs. GoDaddy.
They have actually improved because 2013, but they still share the very same weak points as FatCow. See GoDaddy’s existing prices here and FatCow’s rates here.
FatCow vs. Bluehost.
FatCow and Bluehost are sister brands owned by Stamina International, though they have very different strategies and market focus. Bluehost has greatly capped plans, I ‘d go with Bluehost over FatCow for much better service and backend.
FatCow vs. HostGator.
Like FatCow, HostGator has very budget friendly plans for starter websites. Unlike FatCow, they have pretty excellent efficiency, client assistance options and long-lasting rates.
FatCow vs. InMotion.
InMotion’s most affordable strategy is not that much more expensive than FatCow– and it ‘d be well worth it. Check out InMotion here …
Side note about InMotion– they also own a starter hosting brand called Web Hosting Hub that center even uses unlimited much better than Rates with great performanceFantastic They contend head to head with FatCow.
In general, I discovered FatCow hosting to be alright. They aren’t terrific, however they also aren’t that bad. You can go sign up for FatCow here if their short-term prices is appealing to you.
Otherwise, I ‘d try to find alternatives that might be a better fit with a much better complete plan.
If you are searching for an independent shared hosting company with nearly as great rates, better performance, and client assistance, and don’t mind paying yearly then I ‘d suggest taking a look at InMotion Hosting w/ 57% off here …
If you are trying to find a very cost effective alternative with the choice to pay month-to-month, then I ‘d check out HostGator w/ 45% off here …
Plus– FatCow doesn’t have pricing tiers.
The last thing about their WordPress strategies is that the WP Beginner Strategy is actually cheaper than their Original FatCow plan. FatCow and Bluehost are sister brand names owned by Stamina International, though they have extremely various strategies and market focus. Bluehost has heavily capped plans, I ‘d go with Bluehost over FatCow for much better service and backend. Overall, I discovered FatCow hosting to be alright.