Even though FatCow has a funny name, it is one of the oldest hosting companies in the industry. FatCow was first established in 1998 and acquired in 2004 by the popular EIG. (Who owns HostGator, Bluehost and many other hosting companies) As we did before, we purchased The FatCow Plan shared hosting plan in June 2015 to find out the real facts about the FatCow. And then we set up a WordPress website and kept monitoring their statistics including uptime and speed.
So, now we are here to present to you our honest review. Keep reading!
Advantages of using FatCow Hosting
Gladly FatCow performed very well in the important and necessary categories. You can see a summary of them below.
1. Good but Inconsistent Support
The overall experience with FatCow’s customer support was good. Their support staff was able to connect with us within about 4 minutes. And they provided instant responses.
But our background check reveals the opposite. The other customers had an inconsistent experience that doesn’t match with ours. Apart from living chat support, FatCow offers a large user knowledgebase. You will be able to find answers to common questions by using that. You can see answers to the questions regarding the account, domains, email, files, partnership programs, policies, security, etc.
Additionally, you can search for a keyword or phrase that is compatible with your question bypassing the filtering through preset categories. In a nutshell, FatCow’s customer service is amazing. The live chat will be suitable for users who prefer self-help and the knowledge base can be considered as a backup method when the live chat is offline.
2. Trusted Pricing
The pricing structure of FatCow is very impressive and transparent. As you already aware many web hosts use confusing pricing structures to attract you. But then disappoint you.
They will use many tricks. A common one is doubling or tripling the price when its time to renew.
Surprisingly, the advertised low price in FatCow is real. No tricks, no games. Just signup with them and you will be benefited.
3. Free Website Transfers and Domain Names
FatCow offers free site migration at the beginning. So they will help you to transfer your existing site to their servers.
Furthermore, they will offer a free domain name for new account sign-ups.
4. 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Similar to most of the web hosts FatCow also offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy with their service. But there is something you have to keep in mind. That is the orders made via a credit card will only be eligible for the refund. Not the orders made through PayPal.
5. Eco-Friendly Hosting
All offices and data centers of FatCow are powered by wind energy. Even though that is not eco friendly as GreenGeeks, a quite good right?
FatCow appears to be an EPA Green Power Partner. That shows their claims are reasonable.
Moreover, the company purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Those certificates are used to generate wind energy to fulfill regular energy usage in the office. Actually they buy them twice the amount that they use.
Another thing is that FatCow claims to prevent the release of around 999 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Similarly, according to the EPA, this is equal to,
- Stopping 214 passenger vehicles from going in the road
- Driving 2,448,529 miles
- Recycled waste of about 28 tons
- And recycled 49.8 garbage trucks.
So, FatCow will be a good choice if you are looking for a green host who is socially conscious.
6. Free Web Icons
Even though the icons are free, FatCow expects to credit them for creating the icons.
Disadvantages of using FatCow Hosting
In the following paragraphs you will see the negative aspects of FatCow. We think this will help you to weigh the pros and cons and thereby to get a decision.
1. Poor Uptime (Only 99.86%!)
As far as we know most of the EIG brands have failed to deliver a consistently good uptime.
When considering FatCow, they were only able to deliver an uptime of 99.93% which is way below the industry average. Actually that is very bad.
Another thing is that they are started to show mixed results recently.
Average Uptimes during last year:
- January 2020 average uptime: 99.95%
- December 2019 average uptime: 99.87%
- November 2019 average uptime: 99.90%
- October 2019 average uptime: 99.95%
- September 2019 average uptime: 99.96%
- August 2019 average uptime: 99.96%
- July 2019 average uptime: 99.89%
- June 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.93%
- April 2019 average uptime: 99.92%
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.96%
- February 2019 average uptime: 99.93%
2. Very slow page loading
FatCow has failed in this section also. As the name implies they have moved as a slow animal.
They showed a page loading time of 1,166 ms. That is slowest among the 31 hosts we have reviewed up to now. To make the problem worse, they had below-average loading times when we first signed up them about three years ago.
As the page loading times are an essential thing for site rankings and conversions a slow page loading time will do no good to a commercial website. And some studies have proved that half of your traffic will leave you if pages don’t load within two seconds.
Average load times during last year:
2. Cancellations will cost you
As we have mentioned previously, FatCow offers a free 30-day money-back guarantee. No issues with that.
But if you want to cancel after the 30 day period, there will be a minimum $35 early cancellation fee. Additionally, they require a 30-day notice to cancel.
3. Backups are not free
Often minor site issues are likely to come up when you are working on making website updates or changes. That is the reason why many hosts offer backups.
FatCow also offers backups. But for a price of $16.95 per year. But there is a silver lining in that cloud. That is this upgrade includes daily backups.
4. Too many upsells
Unfortunately, FatCow has a lot of bothersome upsells that will kick off immediately after you enter your credit card number. So its better to stay alert!
5. Extra Security – Extra Charges
To ensure your website doesn’t get blacklisted, FatCow has some impressive security features. Example of such features is SiteLock which can protect your website from cyber attacks, malware, and much more. But you have to pay for it. If you are planning to get full protection, including daily malware and vulnerability scans, automatic malware removal, a web application firewall, etc, the cost will be around $24.99/month.
However, you have to keep in mind that other hosting companies offer the same features for free!
FatCow Pricing, Hosting Plans, and Quick Facts
- Cheap Sheep Hosting
Unbelievable low price; $9 annually for the first year
Then onwards $20 annually
Free Domain name
200 GB bandwidth
Integration with WordPress and other famous CMSs
$100 Google AdWords
Yahoo + Bing bonus
30-day money-back guarantee
- Shared Hosting
$49 annually for the first year
Then $10.99 per month (vary with your renewal term)
Unlimited disk space
Free domain name
Integration with WordPress and other famous CMSs and shopping carts
- Free domain Yes
- Ease of signup Yes, only two steps
- Payment methods Credit Card, PayPal
- Hidden Fees and Clauses $35 is the early cancellation fee. They only refund orders made via Credit Card. When signing up, you agree not to use “excessive” amounts of CPU processing. But they do not specify what they mean by “excessive.”
- Upsells A lot
- Account Activation Instant
- Control Panel and dashboard experience a customized control panel
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc) Via InstallCentral which is in their control panel or via Mojo Marketplace
Do we recommend FatCow Hosting?
They had an honest price with a cute name. But the uptime is below average with inconsistent customer support. And they even have a very low page loading speed and too many upsells.
There are some betting hosts to consider.