Cows have an average lifespan of 3-5 years. However, this time frame does not apply to FatCow. They not only won’t die but they are fully alive and functioning as a powerhouse web hosting leader. They are one of the oldest hosting services in the industry as their history dates back to 1998! As such, they are quite possibly one of the most well branded hosting providers aside from GoDaddy. They have taken an unconventional approach to web hosting as can be seen directly on their “fun” and outgoing home page. While FatCow is surely a top hosting provider, they are much better known for their actual website building as a majority of FatCow customers chose them specifically because of that. Naturally, FatCow has an excellent list of features. You will find a few small and large sized businesses who use FatCow, though generally speaking, FatCow is intended for the individual webmaster. This especially can be seen by their standard low pricing and their frequent flash sales for a web hosting plan.
Since FatCow’s primary audience are people looking to build a website, they needed to keep up and even outdo the quality and amount of features offered by some of the main competitors. Sticking to their unconventional approach, they use the term “oodles” instead of “unlimited” in regard to how much you receive on some of their basic features. While this could be confusing, we can confirm that it does in fact mean unlimited within the “fair usage” policy. As long as you are not spamming, it truly means unlimited. FatCow’s features list also needed a page of its own since there were too many to list. Their core features are:
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited domains per account, subdomains and domain pointing
- Unlimited e-mail accounts (and unlimited POP mailboxes)
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- FTP access
- Free domain name (1 year)
- Website builder
- Site statistic tools
- Custom control panel
In addition to these key features, FatCow offers all of the advanced features webmasters generally look for. This includes many e-commerce features, advertising credits, countless applications, server backups and security, and programming languages such as PHP and Python.
FatCow clearly invested greatly in their customer support. This was bound to happen with website builders likely as the majority of their customer base. They also maintain professionalism while adding their fun attitude to the mix. The customer service department refers to themselves as the “Moo Crew.” Aside from the top level support options you receive (24/7 live chat, phone, email, user guides, a knowledgebase and tutorials), the Moo Crew backs their customer service with something called the “HeiferCratic Oath.” This oath guarantees a list of promises including one minute average phone responses, set a firm deadline to resolve any issue you may have, and contact you within the first week welcoming you to FatCow. If you believe FatCow broke the oath, contact them and if they have found that they did not live up to their oath, you will receive one month of hosting for free. While this is all nice and lovey-dovey, how are their actual support representatives? We were surprised that while they understood all technical queries, they were also really upbeat as if FatCow trains their employees to constantly be positive, outgoing and happy.
Ease of Use
Before we talk about the control panel, we would like to note that in our opinion, FatCow has the best and easiest registration process. We have made it known, in several previous web hosting reviews, our fondness of the vDeck control panel. The cPanel is also an extremely user friendly control panel however we have found that not only is vDeck just as user friendly, but it is slightly more powerful and offers a bit more flexibility that more advanced users may be looking for. As mentioned a few times in this review, FatCow’s customers are mainly people looking to build a website. FatCow realized this and therefore not only chose the vDeck control panel, but they went with vDeck 4.0 (over vDeck 3.0) which comes with the aforementioned (customization) flexibility. The control panel design is sleek which makes it easy to find your way around, even for the most beginner of users. Since you can customize the dashboard, it can make processes like uploading files to the FTP and CMS installation a simple procedure that can be done in just a few clicks.
Like most major web hosting services, FatCow uses the ‘drag & drop’ website builder making building a website a pain free experience. You also have options of using a CMS such as WordPress, Concrete 5 and Joomla!. This is clearly geared toward more beginner users and people with no technical background. So what about more professional webmasters? FatCow’s website building experience encompasses users of all types, however something that is generally not spoken about is what they offer to the technical savvy individual. If you were to choose FatCow as your hosting provider, you have the option of designing a site using tools of your own. For example, you could download the industry leading web design software called DreamWeaver, a popular choice among skilled site builders. Another new and interesting tool that is only offered by FatCow is the ‘goMobi’ mobile website builder. This neat piece of technology should not be overlooked. You can create a mobile website with this tool which makes for faster navigation, easy to read text, and aesthetically pleasing for your mobile visitors. A little known fact: on average, roughly 30% of a website’s visitors come from mobile.
goMobi Mobile Site Builder
In keeping up with the big hosting companies, FatCow guarantees 99.9% uptime. FatCow operates 2 server farms with close to 1,000 total servers. They use load balancing for their servers which enables redundancy and ensures maximum speeds. While their uptime is fantastic, we personally experienced a bit of slowness but the overwhelming majority of FatCow customers tend to be very happy with FatCow’s speed. They also have something called their ‘Network Operations Center’ which employs both human and artificial intelligence to safeguard the premium performance they brag about.
FatCow is a great overall web hosting plan. However, if you are specifically looking to build a website and especially a high powered one, FatCow is a great choice for you. They offer a plethora of features, they use a customized version of the intuitive vDeck control panel and their website building tools and customization options are second to none. Further, they back all this with their optimal performance which definitely makes FatCow a well-regarded leader in the web hosting industry.