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Founded in 1998, FatCow is an eco-friendly web hosting company with a sense of humor. Nearly every page of the site is filled with cow puns. Their original plan follows a “one plan-one price” philosophy, although they have since expanded to provide WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Everyone is invited to “join the herd” at an introductory price.
- Cow Puns
- 24/7 Customer Support
- 100% Wind Powered Hosting
- 30 Day Money-back Guarantee
- Daily Server Backups
- Owned by Endurance International Group
- Higher than Average Package Prices
- Outsourced Support
- Fair Use Limits on “Unlimited” Offers
Hosting Package: (Rating: 9/10)
FatCow offers WordPress hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting options to their customers. They also offer Linux hosting packages with unlimited MySQL databases, domains, and email accounts. You can register a domain via FatCow or even park a domain until you're ready to build it up.
Every plan has “oodles” of disk space and bandwidth, meaning customers are only limited when their usage becomes excessive compared to other customers. While they have no set limits with their bandwidth, they do have what they refer to as a fair use, which means you could be penalized for going over the bandwidth – regardless if they say it is “unlimited.” They also offer unlimited disk space, but within the fair use policies listed in their Terms of Service. This can be misleading – especially because what is unlimited to them may not considered unlimited to a company. It is almost better they outright create limitations – like most hosts – so that customers are not stuck guessing or wondering if they've gone over.
Features: (Rating: 10/10)
This company has a plethora of marketing tools, including a toll-free number, YellowPages.com listing, $100 Google AdWords credit, $50 Yahoo!/Bing search marketing credit, and $50 Facebook advertising credit. On top of that, every plan can take advantage of HubSpot’s website grader, which measures the marketing effectiveness of a website.
Customers can create online stores with Paypal integration and web analytics. Most popular one-click installs are also available through FatCow. A few other features offered by FatCow include a website builder, web analytics, FTP access points, shared SSL certificates, domain pointing, subdomains, email, Joomla and WordPress.
Security: (Rating: 6/10)
Security-conscious customers can happily note that FatCow provides daily server backups. One potential drawback is that this hosting company is owned by EIG, which generally uses the same servers for a majority of their acquired hosts. For example, if Bluehost servers go down, FatCow servers will probably go down too. On the bright side, they do implement measures against server failure by having a monitored facility and a backup generator system. But, being linked between so many large companies on the same servers puts your website at risk – and this is something to consider when picking a web host for your blog or company website.
WordPress: (Rating: 8/10)
FatCow does offer WordPress hosting for those that want to develop their website or blog with WordPress. With their WordPress plans you will have a core host, customized control panel – specific to WordPress users, pre-installed themes and plugins to use, and support. They offer faster speeds for WordPress websites and plugins as well as enhanced security. Both of their WordPress plans come with free domain registration, but only the more expensive plan comes with the speed optimization. They don't offer as fast or convenient installations as other web hosts – and if you're not experienced in creating a WordPress site or transferring one, this could be a big issue.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 8/10)
Armed with a customizable control panel, step-by-step tutorials, and the always present Moo Crew, new customers should have no problem hosting with FatCow. That being said, they are much more complex than your average host. And, if you compare them to a few others, FatCow may not be as user-friendly. They do have the free 24/7 support for their customers, but the length of time between your inquiry and their response can delay your site setup or troubleshooting.
Reliability: (Rating: 9/10)
FatCow has multiple servers, but they are all shared by EIG and their associated hosting companies – which means your FatCow account is sharing with other EIG accounts (including BlueHost and other big name hosts). Their data center is a state-of-the-art facility with temperature controls and redundancy built-in. They offer OC3 triply redundant internet connections and NetApp storage clusters – the same used by Yahoo and other big internet names.
Depsite all of this, they still share servers among other EIG companies and when one server goes down, the others can too. This makes them less reliable than non-EIG companies, but not necessarily a bad option.
Help and Support: (Rating: 8/10)
They do offer 24/7 support, online chat, ticket submission online, as well as telephone support. Depending on the package you purchase you could get premium support as well. Their in-depth knowledgebase and help guides are also extremely helpful in answering questions while you wait for tech support to respond.
There are a few plans to choose from with FatCow.
The Original FatCow Plan: Basic web hosting, unlimited POP mailboxes, “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space, point and click website building tools, online store, application installation wizards. Starts at $49 per year for the introductory rate.
Dedicated Hosting: Features a dedicated server from FatCow just for your site. You select the number of cores, RAM, Storage space and bandwidth space. Startup includes 2 cores, 4GB Ram, 500GB storage and 5TB bandwidth for $119.99 per month. Professional includes 4 cores, 8 GB Ram, 1,000GB storage, and 10TB bandwidth for $151.99 per month. Enterprise includes 4 cores, 16GB Ram, 1,000GB storage, and 15TB bandwidth for $191.99 per month.
Virtual Private Servers: Includes customizable deployment, no excess billing, and custom configurations. Includes three plans. Basic has 1 core, 1GB ram, 40GB storage and 1TB bandwidth for $19.99 per month. Business has 2 cores, 4GB ram, 90GB storage and 3TB bandwidth for $47.99 per month. Optimum includes 4 cores, 8GB ram, 120GB storage and 4TB bandwidth for $79.99 per month.
There are two plans for WordPress hosting with FatCow
WP Starter: Includes core hosting, customized control panel, pre-installed themes and plugins, and standard support. Starts at $3.75 per month introductory.
WP Essential: Includes core hosting, customized control panels, pre-installed themes and plugins, super speed, enhanced security, and WP expert support. Starts at $6.95 per month introductory.
Starting Monthly Price: $3.15
# of Domains: Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
Disk Space: Unlimited
# of MySQL Databases: Unlimited
Data Backups: Daily
Unique IP Address
# of Email Addresses: Unlimited
Email Storage: 500MB or 10,000 messages per
1-Click App Installs
Custom Cron Jobs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Shared SSL Certificates
Help and Support
What we Like About FatCow
24/7 Customer Support: The Moo Crew is available 24/7 to answer questions by live chat, phone, and email. They also have a feedback and suggestions box, stating they value all opinions.
100% Wind Powered Hosting: FatCow also values eco-friendliness, so much so that their website and services are entirely powered by wind. FatCow customers can take advantage of unobtrusive windmill banners to display their solidarity with the eco-friendly movement.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee: The company has a 30 day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. They’ll refund all hosting fees, but domain and add-on fees are kept. In addition, this guarantee only applies to packages purchased with a credit card. All other payment methods don’t come with a guarantee because of the fees associated with processing the payment.
Daily Server Backups: The good people at FatCow backup the server on a daily basis, which is something many bigger companies fail to do. Of course, they also suggest backing it up yourself, in addition to providing the tools to do so.
What we Don't Like About FatCow
Owned by Endurance International Group: Endurance International Group owns more than 50 hosting companies, including BlueHost, JustHost, HostGator, and ResellerClub. Although they’re not necessarily a bad company, they’ve amassed somewhat of a monopoly by acquiring dozens of smaller hosting companies. The biggest drawback is that they often share the same servers, so when one company has problems, the others do too.
Higher than Average Package Prices: There is nothing special about FatCow’s package prices, especially after the introductory special. They’re affordable, but not worthy of any particular praise in comparison to other hosting companies owned by EIG.
In addition, Fat Cow mentions having a “one plan-one price” philosophy, but this philosophy only applies to their original plan. They have additional plans that don’t follow the philosophy, which negates the “one plan” part. We understand that companies must grow and adapt to their customers, though. After a certain point, having one plan probably isn’t as profitable as they need to be.
Outsourced Support: Transcripts of former customers speaking with the Moo Crew have lead people to believe that Fat Cow outsources their support. These transcripts show the Moo Crew failing to comprehend the basics of IP addresses and using scripted responses that don’t address the customer’s concern.
Who Is This Web Hosting Company Best For
FatCow compares favorably with other similar web hosts, especially in terms of cost. They have a simple price structure, which people just starting out would appreciate. They seem to focus primarily on small to medium-sized businesses and website needs; therefore, large developers may find them too simple.
Their simple, yet effective website building tools and support structure will appeal to those new to creating a website and their one-click installs for WordPress will attract new bloggers.
But, FatCow is mostly a bare bones provider. They have shared services and there isn't much in terms of dedicated hosting or VPS plans. So, most companies will have to upgrade to a different host later on.
Personality is often overlooked when searching for a service provider. Realistically, though, many web hosting companies offer the same or similar packages with little cost difference. FatCow stands out by being incredibly punny and offering 100 percent wind-powered hosting. It’s a great choice for customers who like their vibe.