FatCow.com Review: Affordable & Green
Location: Burlington, MA
Year in Business: 11
Low price and a deep feature set make FatCow a very strong web hosting service, especially given the short contract options. For just $3.15/month (select the 2 year contract) there is a "fat" amount of resources including unlimited helpings of the following: disk space, monthly bandwidth, e-mail accounts, MySQL databases and hosted domains.
Every web hosting package also includes a free domain name, website builder, shopping cart and "script barn" that is full of programs to increase the functionality of your website. This means a blog or forum can easily be added to make it more interesting and useful for visitors.
In addition to the competitive price and good features, FatCow provides 24/7 customer service by phone, live chat and e-mail. Just choose the most comfortable option to get help anytime. There is also a comprehensive help center including a FAQ and library of video tutorials for those seeking a self-help approach.
FatCow web hosting is a good value when considering the low cost, wide range of features and full complement of 24/7 customer support options. FatCow is also investing in renewable energy to help the environment – another good reason to make this company one of your top web hosting choices.
- Advanced feature set
- Free domain name for life of contract
- 24/7 phone, chat and e-mail support
- Costs about 12 cents per day
- Eco-friendly web hosting
Price & Plans
FatCow offers one feature-rich plan with either a 1, 2 or 3 year contract:
12 Months - $3.67/month
24 Months - $3.15/month
36 Months - $3.15/month
This makes choosing a package very simple, especially since there is no set-up fee with any contract and a free domain name is included for the life of your account.
See table (left) for a list of key features and benefits. For a complete list of features,
visit FatCow Web Hosting.
Phone support and live chat are available 24/7. All phone support is based in North America and wait times average about 2 minutes. If you're a real customer service buff, you can purchase an upgrade for $3.95/month that delivers faster, U.S. based service along with a unique toll free number and custom console. Given the extra cost of this service, we recommend trying the standard customer service first. Also note that hostmonster and bluehost include U.S.-based support with every web hosting package at no extra charge.
FatCow also offers a comprehensive help desk that includes a responsive ticket system, knowledgebase, FAQs, and video tutorials on topics such as using your web hosting control panel and setting up a shopping cart.
Many web hosts are now offering unlimited disk space. While no host can truly provide unlimited resources, FatCow easily supports the average website that uses 20 megabytes or less (1 gigabyte = 1,024 megabytes).
In addition to disk space, many web hosting companies are also offering unlimited bandwidth. Again, no web host can provide infinite bandwidth each month, but FatCow easily supports the typical website that uses 10 gigabytes or less. If you're not sure about the numbers, don't worry – FatCow will probably suit you just fine.
FatCow utilizes SSL (Secure Socket Layer) secure servers with 128-bit encryption. This ensures that any information exchanged between your visitors and the website is encrypted and safe. Note that you will need to enable this feature via your control panel in order for it to be effective.
Additionally, all FatCow servers are stored in a high-tech data center that employs both technological and environmental safeguards to protect the equipment and your information. This means industrial-strength firewalls are in place to keep hackers out and security equipment and personnel are present 24/7 to prevent physical theft.
FatCow has a variety of mechanisms in place to deliver a reliable web hosting service that results in maximum uptime. This includes utilizing the latest hardware such as Dell servers and equipment from top companies like Cysco, Juniper Networks and Foundry.
There is also load balancing technology which simply means that your website can be reached via multiple servers, in case one should fail. Backup generators, multiple gigabyte connections to the Internet and daily server backups are also available – as is common practice with most top web hosting companies.
Ease of Use
Although FatCow does not offer cPanel (our top-rated control panel) its V-Deck control panel is a good alternative that has a simple, intuitive layout. Its appearance can also be customized to your preferences to make it even easier and faster to manage your account. There is a section in the FatCow Help Desk that explains the set-up process – just conduct a search in the Knowledgebase and scroll down to the ’Website Management’ area.
Every new web hosting account receives a free domain and free set-up on all plans. All new accounts also receive $150 in free credits for Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Facebook Advertising to help drive more customers to your website. A free 60-day trial subscription to RatePoint is also included. RatePoint is a suite of tools that improves customer relationship building through e-mail campaigns and surveys.
All accounts come with a full 30 day money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the service for any reason, just ask for a full refund. This gives you a full month to test the service. Just keep a backup of your website files so that it's easy to move to another web hosting service in the unlikely event that you are unsatisfied.
FatCow web hosting has dropped its price to $3.15/month – one of the lowest in the industry – but they frequently run promotions for even less.