FatCow Review – Simple Yet Useful Website Hosting
Are you ready to moo-ve your website to a new hosting service? Bad puns aside, the company with the cute little cow and list of features that resembles a food nutritional label is more than just a pretty face. You get a lot of cool and useful stuff when you choose FatCow, which just might make it the perfect fit your website hosting needs.
So Who is FatCow Anyway?
If you can’t tell by the name, this company likes to have fun. And they’ve been doing it for quite a long time now, since 1998 when FatCow was “born” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Their goal was to simplify things and offer one plan at one price – a practice still in place today. Their motto is that they are “made for those who make.”
Endurance International Group, the big conglomerate that owns many of the most familiar website hosting brands today, snapped up FatCow in 2007. Unlike many of their other brands, which seem to offer the same features and services with a similar design, FatCow still maintains a fresh, unique look.
FatCow has made a commitment to doing business in an eco-friendly manner. To that end, their data centers and even the corporate office are 100% powered by wind energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates. When you host your site with FatCow, you can add a nice little logo to your site indicating that you are hosted by a green company, verified by a FatCow certificate – a feature that some people want to see before doing business with you.
The company maintains a blog with a lot of good information about setting up and optimizing websites. New blogs are posted a few times a month. They are also active on social media, with a well-rounded Facebook page, a Twitter profile that rehashes Facebook posts and a Google+ page with the same content.
FatCow’s Feature-Rich Hosting Plans Fresh From the Farm
As with many shared hosting plans, the FatCow plan comes with unlimited disk space, bandwidth, domains, subdomains, redirects, MySQL databases and email accounts. However, there really are limits. Most site owners will stay within the company’s parameters of utilizing “disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a personal or small business website” and not use excessive resources but for some users, this simply isn’t feasible. FatCow also warns against using your account for file sharing or storage. If you have a large or complicated site, then shared hosting isn’t the best solution anyway and you will be better off with a VPS or dedicated plan.
In addition to the unlimited disk space and bandwidth, your shared hosting account also includes:
For a small business website or personal blog, the shared hosting plan from FatCow includes all the necessities. However, there are a few things to note. For one, the control panel for your website is a proprietary one, not the popular cPanel or even the familiar vDeck, although it is customizable for resellers. There is no site backup tool provided unless you pay an additional $13 per year along with your hosting account.
FatCow Unlimited Hosting: Value for Your Moolah
Something you won’t find with many other website hosts is a monthly payment plan rather than having to pay for a full year of service upfront. That makes FatCow even more budget-friendly, but you will end up paying more in the long run. That also makes it easier to cancel your account if you are dissatisfied for any reason.
FatCow offers a 30-day money back guarantee which allows you to cancel your account within the first month of service and get a full refund (but do be aware you’ll be refunded less the domain registration of $15). Although you can cancel at any time thereafter by contacting support, your refund may be subject to a cancellation fee and will not include partial-month or setup fees.
FatCow’s Server Technology
How does FatCow keep your site running and secure? They have two datacenters located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA that employ a load-balanced platform and multi GB connections. Their thousands of servers are backed up daily and use generators and 24/7 monitoring to ensure they stay functional. Because all the servers use the same equipment and network architecture, it’s easier for FatCow’s team to keep them running. Servers are clustered to prevent total system crashes and pooled so that incoming requests to access a website goes to the first available machine, which makes for fasting loading times for your visitors. They are also load balanced by application type to make them faster and more reliable.
How Good is Their Customer Service?
One feature that seems to be popping up more and more often in hosting companies is the assignment of a personal account manager to each customer. Your rep will contact you now and again to see how things are going – and to offer upgrades and renewals, of course.
But do they deliver the same level of customer service they claim to offer? Surprisingly enough, it was difficult to find any poor reviews of FatCow support and the few we did find were about billing issues, a common problem in the industry. This is a rare find in today’s market of website hosting providers and one that makes FatCow an excellent choice for shared hosting.
Conclusions: Should You Moo-ve Your Site to FatCow?
For some website owners, FatCow won’t be a good fit. This is due to:
It’s easy to recommend FatCow for small business or personal websites. The responsive customer support alone makes this company stand above the rest. But if you have a larger business and need to use a lot of resources, try a hosting company such as InMotion Hosting or SiteGround instead.