FatCow Hosting Review 2021: Features, Pricing & More!

FatCow, despite the whimsical name, is also one of the oldest in the business.

It was originally founded in 1998 before being acquired in 2004 by the infamous EIG (which also owns HostGator, Bluehost, and many others.

fatcow hosting review

They provide shared web hosting for small and medium businesses and individuals trying to find affordable hosting options. FatCow hosting also claims to differ from other hosts on the market with its simpler and more customer-friendly approach.

Of course, we are not just going to take your word for it without any consideration.

We purchased FatCow‘s shared hosting plan and tested their uptime, speed, customer service, and other features intimately to find out how they qualify for other hosts we’ve reviewed.

Read on to find out if you should host your website with FatCow.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:Our Verdict: 3.0⭐⭐⭐
SPEED:919 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)
UPTIME:99.96% (February 2020 to January 2021)
SUPPORT:24/7 Live Chat, Phone, and Knowledge Base
APPS:WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, GBook, and more
FEATURES:Unmetered Bandwidth, Storage, and Websites, Website Builder, Email Accounts, SSL Certificate, and more
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and WordPress
SITE TRANSFER:Not Free ($100/website)
PRICING:Starting at $4.08/mo (renews at $12.95)

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Pros of FatCow Hosting


With a name like FatCow, we didn’t quite know what to expect.

The good news first? They’ve performed admirably in a number of important categories during our review process.

Here’s a quick summary of the highlights.

1. Average Uptime 99.96%

In our experience, many of EIG’s brands do not consistently deliver good uptime. So we were interested in what FatCow surprises us with.

FatCow delivered an average uptime of 99.96% during our last 12-month trial period. The result is nothing surprising, but it does fit the industry standard.

It is also worth mentioning that they need to improve their uptime quite a bit this year. Not long ago, FatCow’s uptime was well below average – 99.86%. Therefore, this gives us hope of determining even better results in the longer term.

FatCow last 12-month uptime and speed
FatCow average uptime
Average uptime of the last 12 months:
  • January 2021: 99.98%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 99.99%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 99.98%
  • August 2020: 99.91%
  • July 2020: 100%
  • June 2020: 99.95%
  • May 2020: 99.99%
  • April 2020: 99.90%
  • March 2020: 99.99%
  • February 2020: 99.79%

2. Good Customer Support

Our personal experience with the FatCow support team was smooth. Your support staff contacted us in four minutes, with quick responses.

Fatcow Support

In addition to measuring chat support, FatCow also offers phone support and an in-depth user knowledge base.

By using the knowledge domain, users can find answers to their questions in their accounts, domains, email, files, association programs, policies, security, and more.

You can also search for a keyword or phrase that relates to your question instead of filtering by pre-set categories.

fatcow knowledgebase

This is an amazing customer service feature for users who prefer self-help to live chat. Knowledge domain is also a backup method for support if live chat is offline.

3. Free Web Icons and Domain Name

Do you need some web icons to spice up your overall site design? FatCow has you covered.

The company offers 3,926 professionally designed “farm fresh web icons”. the simplest part? They are all completely free!

Note that there is a little trick if you check the Terms of Use for these web icons.

For example, if you are including these web icons on your site, you will need to confirm that you simply link to the following URL in your credits: https://www.fatcow.com/free-icons.

Also, don’t worry if you’re just getting started, because FatCow releases a free name for new account registrations (first year only).

4. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

FatCow doesn’t offer a free trial, but they do include a typical 30-day money-back guarantee on all hosting plans. So just in case you are not proud of your services, you will get a full refund.

However, the refund does not cover ancillary services, including domains. You would have to pay a $ 15 fee if you want to keep your name.

The 30-day money-back guarantee is valid only for MasterCard payments.

5. Eco-Friendly Web Host

Their offices and data centers are supposedly powered entirely by wind power. almost as green as GreenGeeks, but still commendable.

However, they appear to be an EPA green energy partner so their claims seem pretty legitimate.

The company acquires Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). The RECs they buy typically generate wind power to negate their regular use of power within the office.

In fact, they buy twice the amount they use. FatCow claims to stop the discharge of 999 metric units of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.

According to the EPA, this often amounts to:

  • Take 214 passenger vehicles off the road for one year
  • Driving 2,448,529 miles
  • 248 large amount of waste recycled instead of being dumped in a landfill
  • 49.8 garbage trucks worth of recycled waste instead of landfill waste

… And the list goes on.

If you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint and are trying to find a socially conscious business to host your website, FatCow may be a serious competitor.

Cons of FatCow Hosting


FatCow has many advantages, but unfortunately, it is not all sunshine and roses.

There are a couple of negatives that we should always review before making a final judgment. Below are some of the most important concerns.

1. FatCow is Slow

If speed were a critical element for your business, it would probably take longer to carefully select a word that doesn’t carry the negative connotation of a huge, slow animal.

FatCow, unfortunately for all people, certainly lives up to its name (I guess it shouldn’t surprise us too much).

Over the past 12 months, FatCow had an average page load time of 919 ms. Although there were slight improvements over the past year, it is still too slow for today’s websites.

FatCow Speed Feb 2020 - Jan 2021
FatCow average speed

Considering that site speed is of great importance to both search ranking and conversions, slow page load times are a huge drawback for any commercial website.

Case in point: if pages don’t load within two seconds, half of the traffic will bounce.

2. Cancellation Will Cost You

FatCow offers a free 30-day money-back guarantee. So no problems.

However, if you wish to cancel, the period closes, there is a minimum early cancellation fee of $ 35. They also require a 30-day notice to cancel.

3. Backups Aren’t Free

Minor site problems or issues tend to crop up from time to time as you make changes or updates to the website. This is why many web servers will offer backups to help protect their clients.

FatCow offers them, but it will cost you an additional $ 2.13 / mo. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that this update includes daily backups (so the extra cost might be worth it in this case).

4. Too Many Upsells

Speaking of additional fees …

That’s what registering on FatCow looks like.

Prepare for the deluge of annoying upsells that begin immediately after entering your master card number.

Many will find this irritating and unpleasant.

5. Extra Security Costs More

FatCow offers some incredible security measures, like SiteLock, that can protect your website against many cyber attacks, malware, and more.

The added security is simply what you will get to make sure your website is not blacklisted.

Just one catch is… And it’s huge. You must be able to afford them.

Comprehensive protection (including daily malware and vulnerability scans, automatic malware removal, an Internet application firewall, and more) costs the maximum amount of $ 24.99 per month.

Fatcow security

Many other competitors offer an equivalent type of security measures at no additional charge.

6. High Renewal Prices

Although FatCow’s initial sign-up price is quite cheap ($ 4.08 / month), renewal rates can be 3x higher (starting at $ 12.95 / month with a 36-month plan).

Prices will get even more expensive if you select the shorter periods and can go as high as $ 14.95 / month. Fortunately, they are not as tall as GoDaddy.

This is definitely something to look for, especially if you are on a decent budget.

7. Custom Control Panel

FatCow uses its own custom dashboard instead of your favorite cPanel. Now, this does not immediately mean that it is bad. You still use your purpose and you will do all the necessary things for website hosting from there.

However, it is a bit more confusing than cPanel and takes time to urge you to do (especially if you are new to the hosting world).

fatcow dashboard

From your control panel and under “Advanced Tools”, you will access domains, see information about disk usage, visitor statistics, and more.

WebHostingBuzz advanced tools

Overall, FatCow’s dashboard is not something too overwhelming, however, you could use some enhancements (for example a query bar) to make it easier to use.

8. Site Migration Not Free

In their joint hosting plans, many hosts offer free site relocation, but sadly, with FatCow, that’s not the case.

You would need to pay $100 per domain if you already have an existing domain and wish to move it to FatCow’s server.

Your site can also be manually moved using FTP.

FatCow Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

FatCow has a simplified shared hosting plan:


The Original FatCow Plan
Pricing$4.08/month
Renews at $12.95/mo
WebsitesUnlimited
BandwidthUnmetered
StorageUn-metered
Email AccountsUnlimited
Other Features• Website Builder
• SSL Certificate
• Unlimited FTP Users & SubUsers, and more.

Quick Facts

  • Free domain? Yes (for 1st year).
  • Ease of Signup: Simple two-step registration process.
  • Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Payment Methods: MasterCard, PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: $ 35 premium for early cancellation. Only MasterCard orders are refunded. You agree not to use “excessive” amounts of CPU processing by registering. They do not specify what “excessive.” means to them.
  • Upsells: lots of upsells.
  • Account Activation: Instant Activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Your own custom dashboard.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): WordPress and other popular CMS and applications are often installed through InstallCentral on their dashboard. Mojo Marketplace is also available for quick app installs.

Do We Recommend FatCow Hosting?

Not really.

The FatCow price is comparatively cheap, but the renewal fees are too high. They need to improve their uptime over the past year, which is great, the customer support is great, and they also offer a lot of useful features.

They even have a fun and whimsical name. Ironically, it’s a touch too precise. In general, they are a bit too normal for us.

Your page speed is very slow, and there are too many upsells or additional fees (eg early cancellation, site migrations, etc.).

I’d be happier looking at other options.

Best alternatives for Fat Cow are:

Bluehost
Very Good Uptime | Easy to Use for Beginners | 24/7 Support
Read Bluehost review

Hostinger
Affordable | Top 3 Load Time | Multilingual Support
Read Hostinger review

DreamHost
Best Monthly Plan | 97-Day Refund time| Unlimited Bandwidth
Read DreamHost review



FAQ’s

For FAQ’s about choosing the best web hosting providers for you go through our detailed article over here

Further reading: Best Cheap Web Hosting in 2021!

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