FatCow is indeed a strange name to choose for your hosting company. However, there’s a simple answer as to why a company with more than 20 years of experience in the industry has chosen this whimsical name! Simplicity and fun!
What is FatCow
Simplicity and fun are not really two words commonly associated with web hosting, and FatCow is trying to change that! Founded in 1998, the company has ever since been focusing its attention on delivering the best value and customer support to its clients.
The interesting thing is that FatCow does that in a simple, old-fashioned way, with a group of professionals who believe in the notion that value and straightforward service still ring true! FatCow provides web hosting solutions to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.
What we really like about FatCow is that it eliminates all confusing pricing schemes and techno babble and provides its customers with simple, user-friendly solutions. Still, there are many negative fat cow reviews out there, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and see for ourselves if FatCow is actually worth it.
Is FatCow a Good Hosting Company
Many Fat Cow web hosting reviews state that there is a lot more to ask regarding customer support and features.
However, most of those FatCow hosting reviews came from owners of large businesses, and as we already mentioned, the company is not really suitable for them! FatCow is focused on small business owners ready to take their first step into the world of web hosting.
For that reason, to answer the question of whether FatCow is a good provider or not, we had to use its services ourselves.
We chose to test the FatCow shared hosting package, and we set up a WordPress website. This next FatCow web hosting review will give you our honest opinion on the company’s web hosting services, customer support, hosting plans, and more! Let’s get started!
What Are The Pros Of Using FatCow
Using FatCow was quite the challenge, for, with a name like this, we didn’t really know what to expect. However, the web host has performed excellently in many of the categories we wanted to analyze, so here’s a quick summary of what you need to know:
Good Customer Support
We were really pleased with FatCow’s customer support. We believe that any web hosting company that wants to grow and become the best needs to pay great attention to customer experience. Moreover, hosting companies need to have staff ready to help its customers 24/7!
We are happy to tell you that our personal experience with FatCow has gone more than smoothly in terms of customer service. We used the live chat provided and received an answer to our questions in less than 5 minutes (which we cannot say about some other hosting providers.)
Aside from a quick response time, the host has a phone number on which customers can call to get assistance with any issue they may encounter. The host’s knowledge base is also very extensive, and users can find quick answers to everything connected to domains, accounts, files, policies, email, security features, etc.
The one thing that we really liked about FatCow’s customer service was its “share screen” option. This option allows you to get the company’s consultants’ assistance through a remote screen-sharing connection to your computer.
Despite our positive customer experience, many Fat Cow hosting reviews reveal a rather inconsistent experience that doesn’t line up with our own.
Some people complained that the host’s response time was slower than expected and that there was no support ticketing system. While we can’t agree with the former, we believe that the latter is a bit of a disadvantage and our recommendations would be to add this service.
Free Domain Name
FatCow’s shared hosting plans ( or, if we have to be more precise, hosting PLAN) includes everything you need to build a successful online presence. The best part is that it offers a domain name and a site builder for free. Most website builders and web hosting providers will have you pay for these services, so FatCows hosting plan is like a breath of fresh air!
30-day Money-back Guarantee
Even though this is standard practice with most web hosts nowadays, we still believe it is a great feature worth mentioning. FatCow’s hosting plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee, which, however, is only applicable to new clients and orders made through a credit card (this guarantee does not apply to PayPal.)
Many eCommerce Tools
FatCow believes that doing business online should be easy, so the host offers various tools that will make launching your online store super easy. It works with Ecwid e-Commerce, so you can get a shopping cart that will give your clients an easy-to-use and full-featured solution.
In terms of credit card processing, you can also add PayPal payment services. That way, you can securely (and easily) receive a debit card, credit card, and bank account payments online through pretty much the most respected name on the Internet!
You also get the option to add a Positive SSL certificate and Extended Validation SSL certificate. The former protects sensitive info during transactions made online, whereas the latter achieves the highest level of trust, meeting the highest and strictest standards of all SSL certificates.
Free Domain Transfer
Another thing that FatCow offers for free in its plans is a domain transfer. This is quite the advantage over some other web hosting companies since many hosts will have you pay huge prices in order to do that.
Eco-Friendly Web Host
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly web hosting service, you’ve just found it! FatCow claims that their offices and data centers are powered by wind energy. Since the company is an EPA Green Power Partner, we believe that claim is indeed legitimate.
FatCow hosting company is said to prevent the release of 999 metric tons of carbon dioxide every single year. It purchases Renewable Energy Certificates, which it uses to generate wind energy to negate its energy usage in the offices. So, if you want to shrink your carbon footprint, this FatCow hosting might be the ideal choice for you and your site!
What Are The Cons of Using FatCow
Even though our experience with FatCow may seem to be all sunshine and roses, the truth is quite the opposite. Since we promised to be 100% honest in this FatCow hosting review, here are all the negative aspects you should be aware of before deciding on this provider.
Really Poor Uptime
Something we’ve noticed in our experience is that many Endurance International Group brands (and not only them) fail to deliver the uptime they have stated they could. Unfortunately, FatCow is no different. In fact, its score was way below the industry average uptime (99.93%.)
For the 24 months, we’d been analyzing the host’s uptime, the numbers we got were quite discouraging- 99.86% uptime.
Moreover, we had many issues with compatibility once we decided to use the mojo marketplace and WordPress. Our site was always slow, down, or timing up. When it comes to small business owners, this is unacceptable since most of them cannot afford their sites to be down for even one day.
More than one FatCow review states that sites are often being suspended for a spamming script, despite the various security measures users take. Some people believe that the provider is actually trying to force them into its security upsell programs, and there is actually no real problem with their site.
Unfortunately, the company’s page loading times weren’t that impressive either (we guess we could have expected that given the name of the company and the connotation it carries.) Over the last 24 months, FatCow had one of the slowest page loading times we had ever seen, about 1,166m.
Slow page loading times are a huge disadvantage, especially when it comes to maintaining commercial websites. Every business owner knows that clients want things to happen quickly and when your page is taking too long to load…well, you’ll simply click exist and visit another store. Nobody wants that!
Misleading Pricing of The Web Hosting Plans
One of the things people used to love about FatCow is the straightforwardness of their pricing. You literally paid for what you got. Nowadays, however, the company has taken after the approach many other site builders and providers use- advertise your plans as super cheap (but only for a special initial period.)
For some, this is a good thing because it means they will save money for a year or so by taking advantage of this discounted price. However, many people get misled by this price and forget to check the renewal price, which is often 3 or 4 times higher than what you signed up for. In the end, it turns out that even though the company’s plans seem very cheap, in the long term, you will be paying a hell of a lot of money.
Now, let’s take a look at what FatCow offers:
FatCow Web hosting plan
One thing that separates FatCow from other hosting companies is that it offers only one shared hosting plan. It starts at $4.08 per month, which seems like a great deal, but it renews at $14.95 per month (for a 12-month term) and at $13.95 (for a 24-month term.)
As we already mentioned, you get a domain name and a website builder for free. Moreover, this FatCow plan includes unlimited POP mailboxes, bandwidth, and disk space. Since FatCow offers a shared architecture, all customers share the hardware and channels used to transmit data across the web.
In some cases, a user may become very successful and outgrow the host’s shared architecture. If that happens, FatCow works with the client to identify a scalable solution, such as the provider’s Virtual Private Servers.
This original FatCow plan also comes with a free script barn, SSL secure server, shopping carts, search engine marketing, 24/7 customer tech support, and more. You can take advantage of various web applications like blog software, photo galleries, and many other hosting features.
When it comes to this hosting, you get to choose between two WordPress plans:
- WP Starter plan- $3.75 per month
- WP Essential plan-$6.95 per month
The prices mentioned above are once again discounted prices, and the two WordPress plans renew at $9.49 and $12.49 a month for a 12-month term. Both WordPress plans include pre-installed themes and plugins and a customized control panel. However, only the WP Essential plan offers super speed, enhanced security, and WP expert support.
Aside from a customizable control panel, with FatCow’s WordPress hosting packages, you’ll also get unlimited email accounts, free search engine marketing credits, domain registration for free, and unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
The cheapest package offered here starts at $119.99/mo and includes 2 cores, 500 GB storage, 5 TB bandwidth, and 4 GB RAM. For 32 dollars more, you can get 4 cores, 8 GB RAM, 10 TB bandwidth, and 1000 GB storage. The most expensive plan, Enterprise, starts at $191.99 and offers 4 cores, 15 TB bandwidth, 1000 GB storage, and 16 GB RAM.
FatCow’s VPS hosting packages offer you cloud-based flexibility, an easy-to-use cPanel, and High-speed mirrored SAN storage. You can say goodbye to “noisy neighbors” and enjoy a less crowded environment, or “a field,” as FatCows jokes.
Here, the cheapest plan starts at $19.99/mo and renews at $22.49/mo for a 12-month term. With this package, you get 1 core, 40GB storage, 1 TB bandwidth, and 1 GB RAM. FatCow has two more VPS plans for you- Business and Optimum. The former starts at $47.99/mo and the latter at $79.99/mo
So, the big question is do we recommend FatCow or not…
Well, unfortunately, we do not! FatCow may have a great idea behind its name, and we appreciate that it focuses on ease of use and excellent customer support that includes live chat and useful knowledgebase.
We also like the fact that it offers e-Commerce services and is not only a hosting provider but a website builder and store builder as well. Still, there are some factors we cannot ignore!
It is unacceptable for a hosting provider to have slow page loading times and low uptime, and the sad reality is that FatCow has just that! Moreover, all of its plans are just too expensive compared to the ones offered by other providers.
When it comes to web hosting, FatCow just does not score as high as other companies out there, so our recommendations are to check other opportunities before signing up with FatCow.