PROS / FatCow's single plan offers unlimited space, bandwidth and domain options.
CONS / This web host does not offer as many security tools as most of the services on our lineup.
VERDICT / FatCow is a web hosting company with a sense of fun that does not interfere with its providing you with a strong web hosting plan. However, check the security tools to be sure it's not missing any you "udderly" need.
When a company's site is laden with cow puns, we can barely hold back ourselves. We'll try not to steer you in the wrong direction as we horn in about our beef with web hosting services. Unnecessary puns aside, FatCow is an impressive web host that prides itself on simplicity. It positions itself as the alternative to the technical and overwhelming world of web hosting.
FatCow offers only one package at a price competitive with the highest priced plans of other web hosting services. In addition, it offers free domain registration and doesn't charge any setup fees.
The set of security features on FatCow is not as complete as those of other web hosting companies. It offers a regular backup of your website, so that if you lose the website due to a virus, hacking or catastrophic human error, you can revert back to the previously saved version. However, FatCow charges extra for restoration.
You also can review access logs on the control panel to see who has visited your site by IP address, date and time visited. The web host also has anti-spam safeguards to protect your website from spam and junk mail.
If you use your website for eCommerce, you will benefit from shared secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. The SSL encrypts transmissions to and from the site, making it secure for payments and personal information, a vital feature if you take orders online. One feature it lacks is a secure shell which lets you access other computers through the site. This may not be a vital feature unless you need access to customers' or employees' computers, however.
Another security feature FatCow does not use is solid-state drives, which ensures fast upload and download times, but again, this may not be an issue unless your website depends heavily on high-density graphics, videos or downloads, and a slight lag would discourage customers.
Control Panel Tools
The web hosting service offers enough advanced features to appeal to beginners and experienced users alike. The web hosting service supports WordPress, Gallery2 and phpBB, allowing you to turn your website into a blog or add message boards and photo galleries. It allows for transfer of domain names and other data, plus you can customize 404 pages, which can help you retain branding and possibly entertain customers even if a customer runs into a broken web link.
It provides several eCommerce services, including a shopping cart and PayPal integration. It also offers a free trial to Doba, which offers hundreds of products with which to fill a store. You get an advertising credit to use with search engines or social media.
For all the fun and friendliness of the FatCow website, our testers did not find its administrative panel easy to use.
Help & Support
We found the customer service team, aptly called the MooCrew, to be about average when we reached them by phone and live chat. The average wait time was over 13 minutes. It's far from the worst wait time we experienced in our testing, but anything over 10 minutes isn't great. It does offer 24/7/36 support, so if you try during low traffic hours, you may have a faster response time.
The website, however, offers a knowledgebase with user guides, video tutorials and a searchable knowledgebase. The one thing it lacks is user forums.
It's easy to appreciate the fact that FatCow takes something as monotonous as web hosting and adds some humor, but that doesn't mean it doesn't take its work seriously. FatCow puts all of its focus on one hosting package but is udderly packed with the features for building a website. It also doesn't hurt that they have a great balance of interface features, unlimited hosting boundaries and a solid support page.
Contributing writer: Karina Fabian