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FatCow Web Hosting Review | PCMag

FatCow is one of the strangest names in the web hosting space, but that doesn’t mean it’s a service that shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, FatCow has a strong web host that can challenge our overall Editors’ Choice hosts like DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds. FatCow is nowhere near those top services, but it’s still a highly recommended web hosting company.

Shared web hosting

Like many of its competitors, FatCow offers shared web hosting. Shared web hosting is a form of hosting that allows your website to share server resources with many other websites. Shared web hosting is usually also cheap web hosting due to shared costs. It’s also a solid investment for low-traffic bloggers or anyone else with a website that has low server resource requirements. Of course, you get what you pay for; in the case of shared hosting, that means your website speed and stability may depend on your server partner. For example, if the website you are sharing resources with suddenly goes viral, your website may be temporarily slow or even unavailable.

FatCow has a single, Linux-based shared web hosting plan starting at $5.00 per month. We like the monthly payment option, especially for the cheaper plans. That said, if you sign up three years in advance, you can drop the price down to $4.08 per month. With FatCow’s plan, you get unlimited email, unlimited disk space, and “a lot of bandwidth.” Technically, FatCow doesn’t say it offers unlimited monthly data transfers, but the site says it’s “architected to support over 99.5 percent” of customer needs. “The plan also includes a free domain name, which is common in this space.

FatCow’s shared hosting is a very good plan, but HostGator ($2.75 per month at HostGator) retains its Editors’ Choice title for shared web hosting. Champion’s plan offers unlimited storage, email, and monthly data transfer, but also includes Windows servers. The Windows server option is important because some webmasters build sites using Microsoft’s ASP or ASP.NET technologies; technologies that are not compatible with Linux.

WordPress Web Hosting

For those unfamiliar with content management systems, WordPress is the most popular website backend in the world. It’s very simple to use and has a thriving ecosystem that lets you augment your site with fresh WordPress themes and WordPress plugins – with little to no coding.

FatCow offers two tiers of Linux-based WordPress hosting: WP Starter and WP Essential. WP Starter (from $3.75 per month) comes with a custom control panel and several recommended WordPress themes and WordPress plugins that you can install at your leisure. WP Essential (starting at $6.95/month) builds on WP Starter with faster speeds thanks to solid-state drive servers, enhanced security, and WordPress-trained support staff that’s there when you need it help. Both plans have unlimited storage, monthly data transfer, and email.

However, TMDHosting ($2.95 per month – 65% off TMDHosting) remains our Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting. It also has unlimited monthly data transfers, emails, and storage, but adds unlimited subdomains and full expert-level support. If you want to explore WordPress, TMDHosting’s product is a great option.

VPS web hosting

In terms of features, VPS hosting goes a step further than shared hosting and WordPress hosting. With VPS hosting, your site exists on a server along with several other sites with guaranteed server specs. If you want a lot of traffic to your website, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then VPS hosting is your best option. You’re still sharing with other sites, but your site is more isolated and less likely to encounter the kinds of issues that occasionally affect those hosted on shared servers.

FatCow has three VPS tiers: Basic, Business and Best. The basic version (starting at $24.99 per month) includes one CPU core, 1GB of RAM, 40GB of storage, and 1TB of monthly data transfers. It is followed by Business (starting at $59.99 per month), which has two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 90GB of storage, and 3TB of monthly data transfers. The top-of-the-line Optimum (starting at $99.99 per month) offers two CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 120GB of storage, and 4TB of monthly data transfers. The VPS servers all run on the Linux operating system.

Although FatCow has solid VPS plans, Hostwinds is an Editors’ Choice. Hostwinds’ impressive VPS servers (starting at $99) come with up to 3TB of storage, 128GB of RAM, and unlimited monthly data transfers. These servers are also available in Linux or Windows.

FatCow Website Builder

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated hosting costs a lot, but with the high price comes great hosting prowess. With dedicated hosting, your website can utilize the full resources of your server and share it with anyone. As you might suspect, dedicated hosting plans are for websites that expect extremely high traffic, for which bulletproof stability is an absolute must.

FatCow offers three dedicated cloud-based hosting plans. Startup (from $149 per month) has two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, and 5TB of monthly data transfers. Next up is the Professional plan (starting at $189 per month), which boosts performance with four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 1000GB of storage, and 10TB of monthly data transfers. The top enterprise plan builds on Professional, increasing RAM and monthly data transfers to 16GB and 15TB, respectively.

AccuWeb is our Editors’ Choice for dedicated hosting, with plans starting at $105 per month (8GB RAM, 1TB storage, and 20TB monthly data transfer) and going up to $360 per month (16GB RAM, 1TB storage), plus 20TB monthly data transfer ). Like AccuWeb’s VPS plans, Windows-based dedicated hosting plans let you create up to 250 email accounts; with Linux-based dedicated plans, you can create unlimited email accounts.

FatCow Hosting Theme

Reseller Web Hosting

If you want to get into the web hosting business but don’t want to deal with infrastructure issues, then reseller hosting is your path to success. With reseller hosting, you can rent server space from established players and resell it to your own customers. FatCow’s reseller hosting plan is $49.95 per month and includes unlimited monthly data transfer, storage, email, subdomains, and databases. You can also apply your own company branding, which is a good option.

FatCow’s reseller plans have great specs, but they’re not enough to topple Hostwinds, our Editors’ Choice for reseller hosting. Hostwinds’ plans, starting at $25 per month, feature unlimited email, storage, and data transfer. Dedicated and VPS packages are available in Linux and Windows varieties, as well as Linux-only shared hosting. These servers have the same amount of RAM and storage provided directly by Hostwinds, which is not always the case. Hostwinds also allows you to apply your own branding to your rented servers, and it also offers 24/7 technical support.

Build a website

FatCow’s hosting package includes the simply named WebsiteBuilder, the website builder I use to build my test site. There are many attractive templates available to customize your website, so you don’t have to look elsewhere to decorate your online presence.

WebsiteBuilder lets me enter my site name, then drag and drop site elements, such as text and images, using the HTML5-enabled builder. It’s also easy to use. Of course, you don’t need to use a website builder. You can also take advantage of the aforementioned WordPress, as well as Weebly, FileManager or FTP.

E-Commerce and Security

FatCow has several e-commerce options for you to sell items online, including Ecwid Online Store, Mojo Marketplace, and ShopSite Starter. The backend control panel also includes a list of companies for search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing services.

If you want to sell products, you will need Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security to protect payment transmissions. FatCow has partnered with Comodo to sell SSL certificates starting at $35.99 per year. The regular edition gives you the security of multiple subdomains, a $10,000 warranty, secure customer information, and a trustmark. The top ecommerce protection plan (starting at $269 per year) includes a $1,750,000 warranty and a green “Trust” visual bar.

Ultimate Uptime

Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of hosting services. When your website is down, customers or customers won’t be able to find you or access your products or services – they may not come back. If a website has low uptime, it won’t get a good rating in PCMag reviews, no matter how good it is otherwise.

For this test, I use a website monitoring tool to track the uptime of my test site. The tool pings each website every 15 minutes. If it can’t contact the site for more than a minute, it will send me an email. I looked at the last two weeks of data for each hosting service I tested.

In my latest round of testing, FatCow proved very stable. In fact, my site never went down once. As long as it continues with this course, you can rely on it to provide a rock-solid web hosting experience.

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Cool customer service

FatCow offers web chat and 24/7 phone customer support. When I asked about the definition of cloud hosting via web chat, a FatCow customer service representative joined the chat in less than a minute. I also called 24/7 phone support and asked the same question. The representative gave me a satisfactory answer.

I am very pleased with FatCow’s help group. It’s easily one of the best customer service teams I’ve come across in the web hosting space. The site also has a knowledge database to explore.

FatCow has a decent 30-day money-back guarantee, but DreamHost is best with an impressive 97-day money-back guarantee.

A worthwhile web hosting service

FatCow has many enticing features, though it just misses out on taking Editors’ Choice crowns in the sharing and WordPress categories. Still, anyone looking to build a website should check it out, as this web host has terrific uptime, comprehensive plans, and great customer service.

For more information on getting started online, read our tips on how to create a website. You may also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.

bottom line

The web hosting service FatCow was stable in our tests and has top-notch support. It is particularly good at shared and WordPress hosting.

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