Fatcow Hosting Reviews

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Fatcow Hosting Reviews

<Introduction>

A budget-friendly hosting service with essential features and decent server performance is all you need to kickstart your online presence. If you have been looking around for all things mentioned above, then for you, Fatcow is a dream come true.

Fatcows’s incredible hosting plans not only get you off the ground but also offer adequate room for your website to grow. Anyone who has used Fatcow’s hosting service is left with maximum satisfaction and a great experience to share. It is rated highly by beginners as well as website owners with advanced needs.

Fatcow targets the majority that is still on the lookout of a reliable yet affordable hosting service with essential features and an easy-to-use interface to set up and manage the website with ease.

Fatcow supports some of the popular Content Management Systems, such as Drupal, Joomla and all-time favourite, WordPress. Plus, it allows you to set up blogs, picture gallery and forums with a few clicks. With a premium purchase, WordPress Essential, you will get a 60% faster WordPress website, integrated plugins & themes and virus detection and removal.

On the other hand, if you are looking forward to setting up a digital storefront, Fatcow has got your back with a free online store and a choice of shopping cart. Further, you can integrate PayPal for faster, easier and secure payments on your website. Fatcow offers all of this and much more at a highly competitive price.

Their website runs fully on wind power – that’s how they intend to contribute to the environment in their own subtle, unique way. Their website is full of cow puns which are sure going to put a smile on your face and make you feel good about the decision of using their services. The best part is that their website runs on 100% wind energy, which means zero carbon footprints.

You might think that their website runs totally on wind energy and what happens on days when the wind is not blowing as fast? Well, they have power backup to sustain their website for a couple of weeks.

Server Performance

With load balanced servers, Fatcow delivers high performance at an affordable price. Load balancing distributes the incoming traffic across a server farm to minimise lags and maximise speed. Fatcow has been around since 1998 and is growing stronger every day with tweaks and improvement to their resources, especially the servers.

Average hosting uptime

Fatcow keeps up with industry’s standards by offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee across all hosting plans. However, the average hosting uptime recorded over a span of 6 months turned out to be around 99.77%. And being the high scorer on this test puts Fatcow in the league of hosting providers of upper echelon as well as in our list of top 50.

Webpage Speed test

When it comes to webpage speed test, we have mixed reactions from multiple tests. The webpage speed turned out to be okay for beginner websites but showed a bit of lag with resource-heavy websites. So we decided to pick a website that’s neither small nor big, to give you an idea what you can expect depending on the size of your website. Here are the speed tests below:

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Server Response Time

The server response time varies with the traffic influx and since they use load balancer, the request goes to less busy servers to create a high-speed effect for the end users. After running the test, we weren’t actually amazed by the results. Have a look and see if their server response time is anywhere close to what you were expecting.

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Choice of server locations

Fatcow has two datacenters, both based in Massachusetts, the USA. Their data center is a treat for the sore eyes for tech freaks, featuring an extensive stack that carries thousands of servers neatly aligned and tethered to where they are meant to be. Each data center has a pool of servers where each server is configured to return the request from any of their client’s website, from anywhere across the globe.

Resource protection / Security Options

Fatcow does provide SSL certificates but won’t allow you to integrate any external purchase. You can install your SSL certificate only if it is purchased from Fatcow. This is kind of annoying and unfair for customers who have already purchased an SSL certificate of their choice from some other source.

Cloudflare

With Fatcow, you get access to Content Delivery Network to let your global visitors browse through your website quick and easy. Additionally, you get extra caching which is a definite boost to your website’s speed.

Hot link protection

Fatcow protects your website from opportunists who try to live off your bandwidth by linking directly to any media files, such as photos or videos on your website.

SSL Certificate

Fatcow offers shared SSL to allow its clients to enjoy secure access to the administration environment of their website. This should not be confused with private SSL that provides encryption on your website. Shared SSL is not recommended for websites of high calibre that contains sensitive details of the users, such as credit cards and other credentials that might be of value to a hacker.

SSH access

SSH access is an excellent feature offered by Fatcow to enable its VPS clients to grant root access to other users without divulging the log-in details. However, this feature is not available with the Shared plan.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication minimises the risk and maximises the security of your administration account. The standard username-password log-in is followed by a security question, which is a form of two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorised access.

Load Test

Fatcow may not be as powerful as some of the leading hosting providers out there, but its load-balanced servers do the job pretty well. Sometimes, technology outshines the hardware presence, and Fatcow’s load balanced servers are a shining example of that. To check how efficient their servers are, we ran a load test on a dummy website hosted on Fatcow, and here are the results.

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Hosting Features

Fatcow comes with a variety of hosting features to start with as well as to keep your website not only afloat but also neck and neck with high-performance hosting providers – all this for an affordable price. Fatcow offers load-balanced servers which are monitored 24/7 to avoid any downtime or prevent overloading. Moreover, you get a free Cloud storage account where you can save your files securely without paying an extra penny.

Fatcow also offers an easy-to-use site builder that helps you build a responsive website to fulfil that one specific purpose you have in mind.

Beginner-Friendly Web Host / Easy to Use

Fatcow caters to beginners who want to start out with a basic website but need sufficient room to expand their online presence in the coming years or months. Fatcow brings its products and services under the banner of user-friendliness, wherein every hosting feature is easy to comprehend and implement.

Backups & Restore

Thanks to NetApp Snapshot Data backups, you will never lose your data as long as Fatcow is watching your back. Their daily, weekly and monthly backups give you the peace of mind of owning and managing a website that is immune to any kind of catastrophe. Even if the worst possible Cyber attack strikes, a backup file of your website will be created and securely saved on the server for you to retrieve anytime later.

Flexible Hosting Choices

Fatcow offers various hosting options to let you run and manage your website your way. For a small 5-page website that represents your business in the online world and takes online queries, Fatcow’s shared hosting is the right fit. However, for advanced websites that require more space and undivided bandwidth, their VPS and Dedicated hosting plans are your best bet. Whether you are an aspiring or established blogger looking for a flexible, easy-to-use website hosting, try Fatcow’s WordPress hosting.

 

  • Integrations and Apps, and eCommerce Features

As far as free integrations and extensions go, Fatcow does not disappoint. With features such as PayPal integration, all major shopping cart integration and several other eCommerce features thrown in for free, Fatcow offers everything one needs to build a robust online presence for their eCommerce brand.

  • Migration Policy

While Fatcow doesn’t list this price on their website, you will find that moving your existing files from your current server to a Fatcow server can set you back by $150 over their yearly hosting fee. This fee can be avoided if you or someone in your team is capable of making this transfer without the help of Fatcow engineers.

  • Upgrade Policy

Scalability is an important feature when it comes to choosing the right hosting service. With Fatcow, you can seamlessly upgrade to a better plan by simply paying the difference. The upgrade will take place in the blink of an eye and you will be presented with extra features and bandwidth abilities almost instantly.

  • Unlimited hosting or not

While your website may not demand resources to perform at its full potential all the time, Fatcow believes in preparing for the most demanding scenarios. For this reason, the hosting service offers unlimited disk space, transfer capabilities, and bandwidth. Along with these features, the Fatcow hosting service gives you access to unlimited domains and MySQL databases to grow your online network with ease.

  • SSD Storage

While the Fatcow servers, unlike some of its competitors, are not SSD-powered, their load balancing techniques more than make up for the lack of features in terms of website load speed. A reliable load-sharing algorithm that is constantly under surveillance, you can expect decent loading speed and any issues can be instantly resolved by getting in touch with their 24X7 “Moo Crew” support team.

 

  • Support NGINX and HTTP/2

Fatcow trumps a lot of its competition when it comes to ensuring responsiveness of the websites they host. With the Fatcow hosting service, you get NGNIX and HTTP/2 support and if you are planning to create WordPress sites then you can make use of cache plugins like WP3 Total Cache for responsiveness.

  • Customer Support

Fatcow offers World class customer support that is available throughout the day, and night, all year long. In other words, you can reach out to their “Moo Crew” 24X7, 365 days a year, through either chat support or on their toll-free number.

  • Support Documents/ Video Tutorials/Guides/ How To’s

While the customer support at Fatcow is fairly responsive and quick, if you don’t wish to dabble with an engineer for small queries, the Fatcow website has an extensive “Help” section of their website that is categorised by the different services they offer. The “Help” section is easy to navigate and has answers to almost all commonly asked questions.

  • Live Chat Support

The live chat support at Fatcow is one of the best in our experience. The executives are quick to reply and hold enough knowledge to be able to solve the basic queries on their own.

  • Phone Support

While the live chat support ensures you will not need to pick up the phone but if you do, the phone support team is available 24X7, 365 days a year. The waiting period is minimal and the agents or the “Moo Crew” is equipped with all the answers. The support staff is monitored through a rigorous quality analysis team, ensuring top of the shelf customer support at all times.

  • Ticketed Email System

Fatcow customer support also offers a ticketed email system that is as good as other aspects of their customer service. The engineers at the other end of the email communication are quick to reply and the email replies are usually pretty straightforward and to-the-point. Not to forget, a similar ticketing system is available when you avail their customer support through Twitter.

  • User Forum

While the Fatcow knowledge base is full with information that can easily be searched using keywords, the website does not have a user forum. However, with a competent customer support team in place that is constantly monitored for quality assurance, Fatcow has ensured that their users never feel the need for a customer forum.

  • Billing practice – whether users can refund or cancel account easily or not

While the service termination process at Fatcow is pretty straightforward, the 30-day money back guarantee comes with a small catch. If your subscribed plan includes a domain name, a $15 “domain fee”, along with any applicable taxes will be deducted from your refund amount. Apart from this, the refund and cancellation policy is easy and user-friendly.

  • Price

While the prices of Fatcow are right up there with the rest of their competition, they regularly introduce offers and discount coupons that bring down the initial cost of sign up by up to 60%. This is great for those that are just starting with building their online presence. The discounts can usually be availed directly through their websites, eliminating the hassle of surfing coupon websites to find a discount coupon..

  • Free Trial

Fatcow unfortunately does not offer a free trial. Instead, users can opt for a 30 day money back guarantee that can be claimed without any hassle. However, Fatcow will deduct the price for the domain ($15+applicable taxes) from the refund amount if you have purchased the domain through them.

  • Renewal Rates

It comes at no surprise that the renewal rates for Fatcow hosting are inflated, mainly because initially, customers can avail a hefty discount on their services. However, if you have used their services to the full potential, you will realise the amount of features and quality of customer support is well worth the inflated price.

  • Cross- and Up-selling Practices

The Fatcow hosting services come with a c-panel attached for additional ease of use. Their managed services take the hassle out of installing software like Apache and MySQL and handle the hardware monitoring for you and offer a myriad of pre-installed scripts. Most iconic features of the hosting platform are available at no extra charge.

  • Money Back Guarantee

Fatcow offers a 30-day money back guarantee on their services. However, their commitment to offering a seamless web hosting experience along with first class customer support ensures that most customers do not opt for the refund. Dissatisfied customers can claim a no-questions-asked refund without any hassles.

  • Plans

Fatcow offers a number of plans to suit different hosting needs of their customers. Apart from their most popular “original Fatcow Plan”, they also offer WordPress hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting plans to suit unique customer needs. 24X7 customer support and top of the shelf security features come as standard with all their plans. Established in 1998, the comic-looking business offers a plethora of freebies that make their hosting service one of the best budget hosting services in the industry.

Let us learn about each one of Fatcow’s hosting plans to understand the brand better:

  • The Original FatCow Plan

Perfect for individual or small business websites, the Original Fatcow Plan offers a plethora of features along with “oodles” of freebies. The plan starts at $9.99 per month when paid yearly, and gets cheaper as you opt-in for longer periods. In all probability, when you decide to choose the Original Fatcow plan, you will be greeted with a great initial discount. Let’s see what Fatcow’s flagship plan includes:

 

 

Bandwidth Unlimited
Storage Space Unlimited
Email Addresses Unlimited
Domains 1 Free Domain (First year only)
MySQL Databases Unlimited
Uptime Guarantee 99.9% uptime guarantee
Plugins WordPress, Gallery 2, phpBB, GBook, Joomla, Poll, Survey, Counter Tools
Google AdWords bonus $100 bonus after spending $25 on AdWords
Bing Search Marketing bonus $100 free search marketing credits for users in The USA and Canada
Website Builder Free point and drag website builder
PayPal Integration Yes
Online Store Integration Yes

 

The Original Fatcow hosting plan is their best selling plan, and for good reason. For the price, the plan offers a plethora of features that the competition does not. If you are just starting to build your online presence, the Original Plan, combined with the available discounts, might turn out to be the most cost-effective option available in the market.

  • WordPress Hosting Plans

Fatcow offers two WordPress hosting plans that vary in the amount of features, depending on the price. Both plans have pre-installed themes and lots of cool plugins as standard, making them perfect for those that are just starting their journey. Here’s a feature comparison of both the WordPress hosting plans:

Plan/Features WP Starter ($3.95/month) WP Essential ($6.95/month)
Domain registration Included Included
Customised control panel Included Included
Pre-installed themes/plugins Included Included
SSD-based Infrastructure Not Included Included
Deluxe security bundle Not Included Included
Customer support Standard Personalised

 

Finding a reliable WordPress hosting service has never been a challenge. However, with the additional cost that website owners pay to WordPress, the plans offered by Fatcow are easy on the pocket and yet, pack a feature-packed punch that offers seamless utility.

  • Cloud VPS Hosting

With added features and prioritised bandwidth speed and storage space, VPS hosting is obviously a little expensive. In such a scenario, it is important to exactly understand the extent of your own needs, and then select a plan that fits them. As Fatcow says on their website, if your business is a “big cow” in a “small field” shared hosting is not for you. Fatcow offers the follow cloud VPS hosting plans that suit the “big cows” of online business:

 

 

Basic Business Optimum
1-Core CPU 2-Core CPU 4-Core CPU
1 GB RAM 4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
40 GB Storage 90 GB Storage 120 GB Storage
1 TB Bandwidth 3 TB Bandwidth 4 TB Bandwidth
1 IP Address 2 IP Addresses 2 IP Addresses
Free Domain Free Domain Free Domain
CentOS 6.4 CentOS 6.4 CentOS 6.4
cPanel cPanel cPanel
$24.99/ month $54.99/month $99.99/month

 

As you can see, Fatcow offers three different cloud VPS hosting plans to suit the needs of various size websites. As with every other plan on Fatcow, these come with a 20% initial discount, along with a 30-day money back guarantee, making the opt-in decision easier for potential Fatcow customers.

  • Dedicated Hosting

Made with small and growing online businesses in mind, the dedicated hosting service at Fatcow grants access to personalised and dedicated resources. This translates to a comprehensive hosting solution for your business and excellent loading speed and a seamless experience for your users. The dedicated hosting plans also come with a ton on pre-installed plugins and extensions, along with a host of cPanel features. Fatcow offers three different dedicated hosting plans:

 

Startup Professional Enterprise
Intel Xeon E3 – 1220LV2 3.5 GHZ Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2 3.2 GHZ Intel Xeon E3-1230V2 3.7 GHZ
4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM .16 GB RAM
500 GB Storage 1000 GB Storage 1000 GB Storage
5 TB Bandwidth 10 TB Bandwidth 15 TB Bandwidth
3 IP Addresses 4 IP Addresses 5 IP Addresses
Free Domain Free Domain Free Domain
CentOS 6.4 CentOS 6.4 CentOS 6.4
cPanel cPanel cPanel
$149.99/month $189.99/month $239.99/month

 

The plans can be availed at an initial discount of 20% on the mentioned cost and offer VIP treatment to your website. As far as hosting goes, it does not get more premium than this. The most pressing advantage of dedicated hosting service is that the website is managed by the hosting provider. This means, you can concentrate on building a robust online presence and bringing in new business while your website is being managed by some of the most talented engineers in the industry.

 

  • Other Services

 

Domain Purchase Service

Even those customers that don’t opt for the hosting services offered by Fatcow can avail the benefits of their domain sales service. With new and unique domain extensions and domains being introduced every week, the collection available with Fatcow is truly extensive. Customers can even purchase domain extensions that compliment the nature of their business. For instance, a marketing agency can go for a “.agency” domain and an attorney looking to build an online presence can go for a “.attorney” domain extension. The best part about the domain purchase service at Fatcow is that domains can be booked prior to launch to overcome the “first come first serve” barrier and secure the domain name and extension of your choice.

Fatcow Reseller Program

Fatcow prides itself in its extensive reseller program. The program is managed by a separate reseller management team and offers some great benefits to web designers, developers, online marketing companies and advertising agencies offering Fatcow as part of their service. In order to take the program a step further, Fatcow has introduced the Wholesale Plus program. Under the Wholesale Plus program, Fatcow offers customisable version of their vDeck that enables resellers to sell the services offered by Fatcow under their own brand name. Apart from this, resellers that are part of the Wholesale Plus program also enjoy wholesale pricing on Fatcow products and services, effectively increasing their earnings with every sale.

Fatcow Affiliate Program

Just like any other affiliate program, Fatcow affiliates will be given a link. Every time a customer clicks on the link and makes a verifiable purchase, the affiliate will earn a referring fee. The payouts at Fatcow are nothing short of great, with affiliates having the potential to earn as much as $150 for a referral to a dedicated hosting plan. The sheer number of hosting products available with Fatcow is truly a treat for any affiliate marketer out there. The best part is that even the affiliate program is overlooked by a dedicated team to ensure seamless experience for those affiliates that are responsible for bringing business to  Fatcow.

 

Verdict

Fatcow knows how an ideal small business hosting looks like, and all their plans and services are devoted to making high-performance hosting accessible for beginners, at a lower price. Fatcow tops the list of affordable hosting providers with $100 Google ad credits, free domain name for a year, 30-day money-back guarantee and friendly customer support that has got you covered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and returns your call within 2-7 minutes.

Fatcow operates from its two fully equipped data centers based out of Boston. Their strategic location allows them to run their infrastructure on wind energy. Clearly, their hosting service is more than just affordable rates and incredible features. Their service is accompanied by oodles of positive vibes that make you want to be a part of the community they staunchly cater to.

Pros

  • Transfer your domain over to Fatcow free of cost
  • They mean it when they say promise ‘Legendairy’ support
  • $100 credits for Bing and Google ads
  • Dedicated WordPress Support
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • Free website builder with tons of themes which allows you to create a website from the ground up in a few simple steps
  • 24/7 support via phone and email ticketing system

Cons

  • Higher renew rates as compared to competitors
  • Server speed is less than that of its competitors

 

FAQs

 

Q1. Do I get unlimited disk space and bandwidth with Fatcow?

Ans: Yes, with the Original Fatcow plan, users get unlimited disk space and bandwidth as standard features.

 

Q2. Is there a site transfer fee if I transfer my existing website to Fatcow?

Ans. Yes, Fatcow charges a $150/website fee to transfer the data on to their servers.

Q3. Do I get SSL certificate with Fatcow?

Ans: Yes, Fatcow offers free SSL for all hosting customers.

 

Q4. Do I get any kind of security with Fatcow hosting service?

Ans: Yes, SiteLock security comes as standard with all Fatcow hosting plans. The security will be a basic one, that will protect your website from malicious malware and bad requests.

 

Q5. Is there a money back guarantee with Fatcow hosting plans?

Ans: Yes, Fatcow offers a 30-day, no questions asked money back guarantee with all their services. However, if you have also purchased a domain with Fatcow, the price of the domain registration is deducted from the refund amount.

 

Q6. Does Fatcow Offer an extension on payment deadline for renewal?

Ans: Yes, subject to approval, Fatcow subscribers can get a renewal extension for up to 28 days.

 

Q7. How many email accounts do I get with Fatcow?

Ans: Fatcow subscribers get access to unlimited email accounts with their domain name.

 

Q8. Does Fatcow offer a CDN network?

Ans: Yes, Fatcow offers a CDN service as a standard with all its packages. The same simply needs to be activated under the SiteLock settings.

 

Q9. How many programming languages does ASO support?

Ans: Fatcow supports all major programming languages including MySQL, CGI, UNIX, and PHP.

 

Q10. Does Fatcow offer a reseller program?

Ans: Yes, Fatcow does offer a reseller program, complete with a control panel where resellers can monitor their earnings and more.

 

Q11. Can I host my Magento website with Fatcow?

Ans: Yes, you can host your Magento website on Fatcow.

 

Q12. How do I contact Fatcow support?

Ans: Fatcow support is available 24X7, throughout the year, through email, chat support, and phone support. All the details are available right on their homepage.

Positives
  • Transfer your domain over to Fatcow free of cost
  • They mean it when they say promise 'Legendairy' support
  • $100 credits for Bing and Google ads
  • Dedicated WordPress Support
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • Free website builder with tons of themes which allows you to create a website from the ground up in a few simple steps
  • 24/7 support via phone and email ticketing system
Negatives
  • Higher renew rates as compared to competitors
  • Server speed is less than that of its competitors
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Bottom Line

Fatcow knows how an ideal small business hosting looks like, and all their plans and services are devoted to making high-performance hosting accessible for beginners, at a lower price. Fatcow tops the list of affordable hosting providers with $100 Google ad credits, free domain name for a year, 30-day money-back guarantee and friendly customer support that has got you covered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and returns your call within 2-7 minutes.

Fatcow operates from its two fully equipped data centers based out of Boston. Their strategic location allows them to run their infrastructure on wind energy. Clearly, their hosting service is more than just affordable rates and incredible features. Their service is accompanied by oodles of positive vibes that make you want to be a part of the community they staunchly cater to.

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