FatCow.com Review: More Moo For Your Money?

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Founded in 1998, FatCow is a provider of web hosting plans whose website, marketing materials, and more are all cow themed. Why? Well, why not? FatCow doesn't provide a reason for its choice of branding, except to muse on why people would name a computer after the apple.
FatCow hosting homepage screenshot via HTML.com
All that aside, FatCow aims to provide user-friendly web hosting backed by solid customer service and good value. If you've sharpened your HTML skills and you're ready to get your website up and running, read on to see if FatCow is the host for you.

Domain Names

FatCow offers domain name registration services. This means that you can register and hold a domain name in which you are interested, even if you're not quite ready to purchase a web hosting package.

In addition to domains with the more common extensions, such as .com or .net, FatCow offers more unique options such as .bike, .associates, and .cab.

Grab a Cheap Domain with FatCow

Hosting Plans

Originally, FatCow boasted the simplicity of their hosting plan: it offered one plan at once price. This plan, which they called the FatCow Web Hosting Plan came with everything you need to “stake out your piece of the internet, right out of the box.” They also offered the MiniMoo, which came with just a domain name and an email address, for those who felt that a full plan was a bit much.

However, FatCow's hosting options have grown over the years. In addition to the Original FatCow plan (which we briefly mentioned above), FatCow offers options for those looking to start a WordPress blog or for those with larger, more heavily-trafficked sites who want a VPS hosting package or a dedicated server.

The Original FatCow Plan

The Original FatCow Plan is probably the option you're most interested in if you're just getting started with a website. Despite the fact that this plan is a full-featured option that includes everything you need to get up and running, the plan does not come with a sky-high price tag. Here's an overview of what you can expect from the Original FatCow Plan:

  • Website Hosting: FatCow's robust, all-in-one hosting solution includes everything you need to serve your website to the internet
  • Point and Click Site Building Tools: create a professional-looking website, even if you don't have an in-depth technical knowledge or design experience. FatCow's dynamic theme and templates mean that you can create and edit sites with just a few clicks and little to no hassle
  • App Installation Wizards: if you want to extend the functionality and feature set of your website, you can use the installation wizards to add things like photo galleries, content management systems (CMS), and more to your website
  • Online Store and Selling Tools: those who are looking to build an online store in addition to a website or blog can take advantage of tools such as shopping carts, product catalogs, coupon functionality, PayPal integration, and more
  • Email: get an email address with a domain that matches that of your website
  • Search Engine and Marketing/Advertising Credits: get the word out about your new website and grow your viewership using the marketing and advertising credits that come with your package

WordPress Hosting

For those who are looking to get started with a website or blog that's powered by WordPress, consider FatCow's WordPress hosting. These plans are almost identical to the Original FatCow Plan, but they also include a customized control panel and pre-installed themes and plugins designed to work with your WordPress site.

There are two WordPress hosting plans from which you can choose. The entry-level packages get you all-in-one hosting, a selection of themes, pre-installation of important plugins, and free domain name registration. The premium offering gets you everything in the entry-level plan, but with additional themes and plugins, SSD storage, and a deluxe security bundle, premium support.

VPS Hosting

If, after a bit of time, you find that you've outgrown your shared plan — your site has grown much larger, you're seeing much higher traffic levels or both — you might consider FatCow's VPS hosting plans. There are three options from which you can choose, and they differ from one another based on the number of CPI cores, RAM and storage allocation, and bandwidth maximum.

Dedicated Servers

If you want an entire server — or, in FatCow parlance, your own pasture — and are comfortable with managing everything that has to do with the said web server, consider a dedicated server. These are typically used for the largest and most heavily trafficked websites, but you might opt for these from the get-go if you're expecting rapid growth — if you do, you'll eliminate the need to upgrade when you realize that you've suddenly outgrown your shared (or even VPS) hosting plan.

FatCow offers three different dedicated servers from which you can choose. They differ from each other in the number of CPU cores, RAM and storage allocation, and maximum bandwidth.

Reseller Hosting Plans

If what you're looking for is a reseller plan, FatCow offers a fully managed option where all of the server system administration is left to the FatCow staff. You're welcome to brand your products as you see fit, so your customers need not know what you're reselling FatCow products.

FatCow Web Hosting is offering a free domain name and oodles of storage and bandwidth right now. Don’t miss out!

Customer Service and Technical Support

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, FatCow's customer service team, which they call the Moo Crew, is available 24/7 via email, telephone, or live chat. The Moo Crew pledges to abide by what they call the HeiferCratic Oath. This means that the Moo Crew will:

  • Call you within seven days of your purchase of a hosting plan to welcome you to FatCow
  • Answer your call in under one minute
  • Provide 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
  • Resolve your issue during your initial contact with FatCow or set up a hard deadline by which FatCow will follow up with you
  • Be friendly and courteous at all times
  • Adhere to the highest training standards, so you'll speak to a knowledgeable person no matter who answers your message or phone call
  • Send you a follow-up survey to see if you were satisfied with your customer service experience and ask for tips on improvement

Many web hosting providers promise top-notch customer service, but few spell out exactly what this means the way FatCow does. If FatCow, for whatever reason, doesn't meet the HeiferCratic Oath, it will compensate you with account credit equal to one month of hosting.

Self-Help Resources

FatCow's self-help resources include a searchable knowledge base and a user guide that walks you through every step of getting your website up and running. The latter is probably what you'll find most useful after you've purchased a web hosting package, with the knowledge base coming in handy when you have specific questions about a feature or functionality.

Pricing and Billing

When purchasing hosting plans from FatCow, you have the option of paying on a monthly basis or paying upfront for an extended contract lasting 12, 24, or 36 months (VPS and dedicated server contracts are capped at 24 months). If you opt for the latter option, you'll receive a discount commensurate with the length of your contract — those who opt for the longest contract receive the biggest discounts (and thus pay the least on a month-to-month basis).

If you're new to FatCow, you'll receive a special, introductory rate for your first billing cycle. The discount varies based on the plan you've chosen.

Summary

FatCow is a solid provider of all-in-one shared web hosting packages, as well as options for WordPress users and those with large or highly-trafficked websites. If you're just getting started and you find the prospect of managing your web server daunting, FatCow is a good option for you to consider.

In addition to making their products as easy to use as possible, FatCow provides well-written documentation and a customer service team that can be reached around the clock. Furthermore, their products are reasonably priced, and if you ever need to upgrade your hosting solution, you can do so without switching away from FatCow and to another hosting provider.

If you're still not sure whether FatCow is the option for you, note that FatCow offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If you're not satisfied for any reason, you can get a full refund of all fees paid within 30 days of your purchase.

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Your FatCow Hosting Review

Are you a former or current FatCow Hosting customer? Following your experience, would you recommend them to your nearest and dearest? How do they perform in terms of speed, features, and customer service? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let us know what you think.

Katie began her tech career as a C# developer before turning her hand to technical writing. She still codes regularly but these days she can be found writing about web development, coding and technology for HTML.com and our sister websites.
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