FatCow Review – From meager beginnings (estimated to be around 1998) in Albuquerque, NM, FatCow has come a very long way, considered to be one of the leaders in Cheap Hosting of our era. Considering hosting with FatCow? Give the following FatCow Review a read first:
FatCow has been making some noise in the Cheap Hosting market with simplicity, and dependability; their Original Fat Cow Plan, and The MiniMoo. I guess they turned enough heads and experienced enough growth to attract the attention of…you guessed it, Burlington, Massachusetts based Endurance International Group (EIG). The hosting powerhouse that to date owns over 50 web hosting and tech companies (including BlueHost, iPage, and JusHost to name a few), acquired FatCow in 2004, further extending both EIG’s arsenal of hosting companies and FatCow’s scalability and resources.
But lets focus on what matters most to you guys: is FatCow better or worse than it’s competitors? Can FatCow really offer a viable hosting solution for as little as $49.00 a year? And last but not least, what the heck is MiniMoo and what do I get for $5 a year!?
The Cow’s Moo
FatCow can definitely throw it’s hat into the cheap hosting ring, considering their ELTP (entry-level teaser plan) is their ONLY plan – disregarding MiniMoo for a moment, but we’ll get to that later. The Original Fat Cow Plan, advertised to be $49.00/mo, gets you unlimited disk space and bandwidth, unlimited emails, a free domain, free website builder, free scripts, and more. In fact, based on our research and diligent testing, FatCow’s low costs, basic features and loyalty to green energy make them a very strong contender for the majority of users…and earns our respect. Though by now we should all be quite aware that there are certainly limits when web hosting companies say “unlimited”, FatCow is one of the few to actually make it blatantly obvious (“unlimited” or “oodles” is a link that when clicked on produces a small pop-up window in which “normal use” is explained).
MiniMoo is the ultimate bare-bone plan (I actually have a hard time referring to it as an actual “hosting” plan) for users who are basically looking to park a domain. That’s literally it. They’ll sell you a domain name, give you access to basic control panel, and provide a generic “under construction” page, for a little under $0.42/mo or $5.00/year. This plan is perfect for anyone who wants to reserve domains, I suppose, and see’s a light at the end of the tunnel – at which point an inevitable upgrade to the Full FatCow is expected.
The Other Side of The Cow
Yes, it’s true, even a company as exuberant as FatCow has its drawbacks. Even a company that uses the term “oodles” for unlimited and refers to their team as the “Moo Crew”, has some downsides. For one, FatCow doesn’t offer any “uptime guarantee”, which is quite peculiar considering almost every other host in their class does. They abide by the philosophy “one plan for all” meaning there is no difference in their eyes between personal use and business use; this could be an issue for anyone who IS looking for a business-specific host and plan, since the typical business-class offerings usually include uptime guarantees, backup services, and other features to ensure your business remains unaffected.
Simply put, FatCow delivers a rather simple hosting solution to consumers. So if you are in the market for something a little more complex, or feature-rich, with a certain level of service guarantee, it would be in your best interest to invest elsewhere.
Though FatCow’s prime rib “udderly fantastic web hosting” is undoubtedly The Original Fat Cow plan (while the burnt ends, if you will, is the MiniMoo), it should be noted that FatCow now offers VPS and Dedicated server hosting. Let’s take a quick look at their base plans (all rates are monthly, and USD):
-The Original Fat Cow (shared hosting) for $49.00 per year (1 year term)
-MiniMoo (bare bone domain parking plan) for $5.00 per year (note: to register your domain it will cost an additional $15.99 for the year)
-VPS Web Hosting from $67.99/mo (24mo term) to $79.99/mo (monthly term)
-Dedicated Web Hosting from $103.99/mo (24mo term) to $119.99/mo (monthly term)
It’s important remember that these rates are their non-discounted base plans, but in reality FatCow almost always has deals for the majority of their offerings. For instance, their Original Fat Cow is currently advertised for $15/year (for the next 19hours). In reality what you you should be really looking at is FatCow’s renewal prices (since all of the discounts and deals you might find generally only apply to your first year):
Something unique about FatCow is their oath to customers. Of course, it’s known as the HeiferCratic Oath, I mean what else did we expect them to call it? It outlines a few service-level guarantees and suggests that in the case any of these guidelines are broken by the Moo Crew, users are entitled to a free month of service.
We hereby pledge to:
- Call you within the first seven days, welcoming you to FatCow.
- Answer your call in under one minute, on average, each day.
- Provide phone support based exclusively in the United States.
- Resolve your issue when you first contact us or set a firm deadline to follow up with you.
- Maintain a pleasant support experience by remaining friendly and courteous at all times.
- Adhere to the highest training standards, so the Moo Crew is always knowledgeable.
- Continually review and improve our support experience by sending you a follow-up survey.
If, at any point during your time with us, you feel that we haven’t satisfied all aspects of this oath, please email us at email@example.com. A Moo Crew investigator will then review your complaint, and if we find that we’ve broken our oath, then I swear on my hoof that we will provide you with an account credit equal to one month of hosting.”
Now THAT is pretty awesome, and not something commonly offered by their competitors.
Cost. Catch FatCow on during a special sale (or check our HSR periodically for the lowest advertised rate anywhere), and you’re going to enjoy some really good savings, if only for your first year.
The Oath. That oath is a key selling feature in my opinion, and helps make up for their lack of guarantees. It also gives the notion that everyone to connect with on the Moo Crew will be as pleasant as Ronald McDonald in the 80’s – and who wouldn’t want service from him?
Green energy commitment. We haven’t discussed it much, but at HSR we are big on supporting green energy compliant companies. FatCow raises the bar with “offices and data centers that are powered by 100% wind energy” assuming of course its the same as saying “powered 100% by wind energy”.
Like most hosting companies (and especially EIG owned companies) FatCow changes their offers, deals, and specials quite frequently. Don’t be surprised if you read a review or see a rate, and once you get to FatCow, it’s different. What we can ensure is that we will have the lowest possible rate listed here.
Currently (for just the next 19 hours), enjoy The Original FatCow Plan for $15.00 per year, regardless of the term (12mo or 24mo). Find out more here: FatCow Surprise Sale
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FatCow Customer Reviews:
I've had a good experience so far with FatCow. For the price they got what I need and I like the control panel. It's budget hosting and not the fastest but my Joomla site runs pretty smooth and whenever I ask for support they are pretty quick to respond. I also have an account with HostUpon.com because they also have servers in Canada which is where I host my Canadian website and have had a great experience with them.