FatCow Review


By Basil
FatCow

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Disclosure: BestWebHosting2014.zone serves as an independent web hosting reviews resource for the consumer. While we receive compensation from the companies we review, the compensation is used to cover our testing costs, as well as compensation for the authors who take the time to provide such thorough reviews. However, the compensation does not influence the end review; it is not tied to the rankings in any way.
Main Features
  • Free Domain
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • FTP Access
  • Web-Based File Manager
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • vDeck Control Panel
E-Mail Features
  • Unlimited E-Mail Accounts
  • Web-Based E-Mail
  • POP3 / SMTP
  • IMAP
  • Autoresponders
  • E-Mail Forwarding
  • Spam Protection
Domain Features
  • Free Domain
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Sub-Domains
Language Support
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby & Ruby on Rails
  • SSI
  • .htaccess
Website Creation Tools
  • Website Builder
  • Wordpress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Image Gallery
  • Forum Software
  • Online Store / Selling Tools
Marketing Tools
  • Google AdWords Credit
  • Yahoo! / Bing Search Marketing Credit
  • Facebook Advertising Credit
  • YP.com Listing
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Toll-Free Phone Number (US Only)
Customer Service
  • 24/7 Phone Support
  • E-Mail / Tickets Support
  • Live Chat Support
  • Video Tutorials
  • FAQ / Knowledgebase

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Summary

FatCow, a shared web hosting service provider, positions itself as an old-fashioned company that prioritizes quality. Founded in 1998, FatCow focuses on small and medium-sized businesses and ensures that working with the host is easy in every detail: from purchasing a hosting plan and initial account setup, to resolving technical issues and tailoring services to your exact needs.

The company also claims that its servers are fully powered from environmentally friendly wind energy (as attested by Renewable Energy Certificates) which means that you not only get space for your website, but also the pleasure of knowing that you are being friendly to the environment.

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Instead of multiple plans, each one targeting a different market segment, FatCow concentrates on a one-plan-fits-all approach. For a monthly payment of only $3.15, you get unlimited bandwidth and disk space, a large number of e-mail accounts and SQL databases, plus a number of programming and development tools. Domain parking or e-mail hosting services, called the MiniMoo plan, are a cost-effective way to obtain quick setup of an ‘under construction' page displaying a contact e-mail address.

A range of exciting features including script libraries, website platforms, and shopping carts are standard, while additional options, such as built-in Google Webmaster Tools and a $125 deposit for search engine advertising, make FatCow quite likely the perfect solution both for novices and for experienced users.


Reliability

FatCow owns two data-centers, each one with 2400 sq feet of floor space. Pooled server infrastructure ensures minimum response times in almost every situation, while server clustering increases reliability. Daily backup enables your data to be salvaged in the event of primary equipment failure. All in all, these facilities and services provide top-notch web hosting. According to data provided by the Pingdom™ monitoring service, FatCow has shown 99.97%* uptime reliability and an impressive 0,309* sec average response time.


FatCow Uptime FatCow Response Time
Uptime Response Time

Money Back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with FatCow's level of service for any reason, you may request a refund within 30 days by sending a message to the support team. The company promises to refund all hosting fees for your plan, exclusive of fees for additional services like domain name registration (as long as you wish to keep your domain name), primary account setup, and SEO services.


Ease of Use

The FatCow control panel is powered by vDeck 4, which means that if you have some experience with this hosting control panel, you won't get lost in the menu maze. And even if you're not familiar with it, the setup process is quite easy. All common tasks, including e-mail account setup, creating and managing SQL databases, checking server-side logs, and uploading files via FTP accounts, are hassle-free experiences.

Control panel
Control panel

Thanks to the SiteDelux application, you can quickly deploy a website using one of hundreds of design templates, and convenient point-n-click editing makes it easy to customize content and adjust layout in a wide range.

SiteDelux
SiteDelux

Despite drawbacks such as the design of many templates offered by the application, which can be very hard on your eyes, and the fact that some templates seem not to be fully supported, this is still a great opportunity, considering that it's provided for free.

Some templates are not fully supported
Some templates are not fully supported

The CM4All Website Creator is an alternative solution featuring the same set of design templates and nearly the same functionality.

CM4All Website Creator
CM4All Website Creator

Neither is very convenient, but if you can't handle HTML editing (or don't want to) these options are worth taking a look at if you want to get up and running quickly.

If you prefer proven solutions, FatCow supports 100% automatic installation of WordPress, and the installation process works like a charm.

WordPress
WordPress

Technical Support

FatCow has a convenient range of support options starting with a 24/7 toll-free phone number, e-mail support, online ticket support, and live chat. Even better – they all work.

Online Ticket Support
Online Ticket Support

The support team seems to be responsive and helpful. Time gaps between the request and the answer were among the lowest of all the web hosts we have tested. Live chat responses arrived after just 20 seconds, which is the fastest result by far. Quite impressive!

Live Chat
Live Chat

Self-help materials are also available, featuring an extensive knowledge base, step-by-step tutorials, and a beginner's guide – must reading for first-time users.

Conclusion

Overall the FatCow web host looks like a company doing what it promises to do. Reliable and fast servers, professional, responsive and straightforward support, an intuitive control panel and an array of bonuses: free website templates, free credit card billing for your website, free unlimited bandwidth and storage, plus free advertising opportunities in the form of $100 credit for Google AdWords and $50 for Facebook ads.

In other words, FatCow is ready to equip you with virtually anything you need to launch a brand new website, even if you are a total novice.

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* Uptime monitoring and response time data for hosting with iPage, FatCow, HostGator, WebHostingHub, JaguarPC, GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostMonster, and InMotion Hosting are presented for the period spanning from August 15, 2012 to September 30, 2012 inclusively. Monitoring data for hosting with JustHost are presented for the period spanning from October 02, 2013 to October 08, 2013 inclusively. Check interval is one minute.

How do we check uptime / response time?

Web hosting accounts are acquired from the providers that we are reviewing. Next, we design custom made sites to put on these hosting accounts. With the help of Pingdom™ monitoring services we receive the most accurate information available. We believe in doing everything ourselves and tweaking our sites to simulate different types of users. Other review companies just take the short way out but we are dedicated to up to the second information.
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