2016 Fatcow review: Everything you need to know
Overview: Fatcow provides a simpler hosting structure that caters to new businesses and other less technical users.
FatCow: $4.08/mo for shared hosting.
Basic VPS: $19.99/mo for VPS hosting.
Business VPS: $47.99/mo for VPS hosting.
Ideal Customer: Small businesses or website novices looking for hosting with simple yet competitive prices and easy to use features will enjoy Fatcow.
100% Wind-Powered: Many hosting companies are going “green” these days and some elaborate on the fact as one of their main selling points. But FatCow is one of the few companies that is 100% wind-powered, not just partially. The company purchased wind-generated Renewable Energy Certificates to offset 200% of their electricity used in website hosting. This commitment is equivalent to planting 2,390 acres of trees or not driving over 6.1 million miles per year. If you rate eco-friendliness high on your list, you can be assured that your website and emails are truly green with FatCow. Their staff also makes an effort to be eco-friendly by riding their bicycles to work, printing on both sides of the paper, and using public transportation.
The Original FatCow Plan: Most hosting companies offer multi-tiered plans. There’s a basic and barebones plan, a mid-tier (and supposedly most “popular”) plan, and a higher-end business plan. The plans get even more complex with VPS and dedicated hosting. FatCow does offer VPS and dedicated hosting, but they take out all the complications of shared hosting by providing only one plan, their Original FatCow Plan. This all-in-one hosting has most of the standard features offered by other companies’ high-level plans, including unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited mailboxes, free domain name, website builder, shopping carts, unlimited number of FTP users and subusers, search engine marketing, and ad credits to name a few. It even throws in 1 GB of JustCloud Storage. Having just one plan for shared hosting makes pricing much simpler. The plan is quite robust and comprehensive for the price. They now have a good introductory pricing of $49 a year with no setup fees and instant activation. These features make this plan very attractive to novices and experienced webmasters alike.
Farm-Fresh Web Icons: Every web designer knows that having a collection of resources (free or paid) at his/her disposal saves time and makes the design process easier. To answer this, FatCow has free Farm-Fresh Web Icons. Since this is free and readily downloadable by anyone, you don’t actually need to sign up with FatCow’s services. But what’s commendable is that by creating these icons and making them available for free, FatCow demonstrates their commitment to the design community. This isn’t something every web hosting company does. Many web hosting companies do offer their own templates, but they’re often poorly designed or don’t follow modern design practices. On the contrary, FatCow’s Farm-Fresh Web Icons are attractive, usable, and there are close to 4,000 of them. They’re free to use for private or commercial purposes. This feature can be extremely useful for any web designer or blogger.
We have looked at online reviews for Fatcow to see what customer had to say. We found that many customers were pleased with their pricing and bonus features.
One happy customer writes: “We have been with Fatcow.com quite a few years now. The cost is one of the cheapest in the industries. They have been very supportive, available at all times.”
Another reviewer agrees saying: “Their pricing for this hosting plans were nice they gave me a free domain with free advertising credits from google, bing and facebook.”
Not all reviews were positive however. We found users were disappointed with add-on fees and inconsistent service.
One reviewer states: “I am very disappointed with Fat Cow. We started off great. I got a great deal and a decent website. Then they started tacking on all these additional charges and add-on that I didn’t even request.”
Another frustrated customer explains: “Fatcow seems to deliver an inconsistent customer experience. Some of my sites work well there, and others don’t.”
We also checked Twitter to see what people are saying about Fatcow. One user is happy with his experience with customer service:
— Paul Hocking (@Phocking) November 4, 2015
Another user is frustrated because customer service can’t be reached:
— matthew mikulsky (@mikulsky) September 29, 2015
- Low Introductory Rate: $49 per year introductory rate is pretty hard to beat for such a comprehensive plan.
- 1 GB Cloud Storage: With your plan, you get access to 1 GB of JustCloud storage so you can save your photos, files, music, and other media, and access it from anywhere and on any device.
- 24/7 Support: FatCow offers the standard 24/7/365 support through phone, live chat, and a ticket system. They also have a pretty extensive knowledgebase and user guides.
- Simple Plan: Having one simple plan makes things easier. You don’t have to suffer from analysis paralysis to see which plans would meet your goals and needs. For a flat-priced simple plan though, the Original FatCow Plan offers many features that you’d have to pay more for with other hosting companies.
- No Uptime Guarantee: There is no published uptime guarantee on their website.
- No Backup Included: You’re required to do your own backups manually and there doesn’t seem to be any service that’ll provide backups for even a monthly charge.
- No Cloud Hosting: FatCow’s hosting plans are limited to shared, dedicated server, and VPS hosting.
FatCow takes the headache out of hosting by offering one simple shared hosting plan, but it’s still robust and includes most features that you’ll likely look for. You can be assured you’re dealing with a green hosting company as 100% of their operations are wind-powered. They also display commitment to the web design community by offering their own icons. But there is no uptime guarantee and the lack of any auto-backup features may concern some users. If you want to try cloud hosting or would like more control you will have to look at other hosting companies.
Takeaway: FatCow isn’t exactly distinguishable from other web hosting companies, but their simple pricing plan and low introductory pricing makes the company ideal for personal websites, bloggers, and small business websites.