Very user friendly, great for first timers, green hosting, low priceCons
not for those doing big businessVerdict
Love Fat Cow!
FatCow is targeted to a specific market. If you fall into that market you'll be extremely happy with FatCow. If you don't or if your needs change, you'll likely feel frustrated. That's a brief overview of my FatCow research, now let's get into the nuts and bolts:
What's the market?
In Brief: New bloggers, new website owners, small businesses and those on a budget. FatCow is incredibly user friendly for those entering the virtual space for their first time and for those who are not tech savvy. They have great features like 24/7 phone support, unlimited storage and bandwidth (this means if your website suddenly gets a lot of traffic, it won't crash), a ton of site templates so you can create your site on the fly, a free domain name and unlimited mailboxes.
They also feature a Shopsite shopping cart solution if you intend to sell products online. Generally this can be a complex process but FatCow makes it easy. Shopsite is compatible with Paypal so you can be up and running quickly, but bear in mind, ecommerce is an additional monthly expense.
What about price?
Regarding the price, FatCow has a great introductory offer. Your first year is just $3.15/month (or $38 for an entire year) and you have a 30 day money back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to live with the service at a great rate and see how it works for you. If you're curious about the price increase after your first year just ask a sales representative. Your price increase will vary depending on whether you stick to the basic plan or upgrade your hosting features.
One of the features that appeals to me, personally is that FatCow has gone green and is now an eco-friendly web host. They purchase wind energy recs, which means that although they don't have access to wind power themselves, they compensate by purchasing recs which funds wind energy use and sustainability. I like the fact that FatCow are being accountable for the environment. You may not know this but the giant servers web hosting companies are housed on account for a lot of our energy use, generally. The nice thing too, about being a website hosted on FatCow is that you can proudly display a green badge on your own website, showing your visitors your own commitment to being environmentally responsible.
So how's FatCow's Rep?
I found extremely mixed user results for FatCow, mainly because of what I mentioned above. A complaint that came up frequently was that people did not understand the first year rates were not fixed and they got surprised when they increased. Although the site does clearly state their rate is an introductory offer, this could probably be more blatantly displayed, which would lead to less confusion and venting. Another complaint I saw was that people who had essentially outgrown the service found the transition inconvenient. They were disgruntled about that fact and blamed FatCow.
Overall, FatCow receives generally excellent ratings for their service. People who are using the service as it's intended absolutely love it! They love the customer service, they have no problems with the server speed and have consistent up time. FatCow also has an A+ rating with the BBB.
Before you get the impression that this is website hosting 101 time I've listed their quick glance features list so you can get a clearer sense of the breadth of what FatCow offers:
30 day money back guarantee, price plan: $3.15/month introductory rate or $38/year. No set up fees. 1 free domain name.
Unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains per account, unlimited email accounts
website builder, web analytics tools, front page extensions, new integrated google custom search and webmaster tools. FTP access.
google adwords $75, Yahoo!/Bing search marketing $25, FB advertising $50, yellowpages.com free listing, google webmaster tool, free toll free number for US businesses with 100 minutes per month free, free Hubspot website grader
unlimited pop mailboxes, free 60 day trial of constant contact autoresponder, webmail client, spam filtering and newsletter management tool
Shopsite online store, accept credit cards, Paypal shopping cart integration, powerpay payment gateway integration, shared (secure) SSL
Wordpress, Gallery2, phpBB, GBook, Joomla, Poll, Survey, Counter tools
"Moo Crew" Support:
24/7 phone email or live chat support, customizable control panel, FAQ library and step-by-step tutorials
PHP 4&5 support, CGI directory, Python, Script Library are all supported along with unlimited MySQL databases.
Powered by 100% wind energy, load-balanced platform, multi-GB connections, daily server backups, backup generator system, 24/7 facility monitoring
My ConMoosion (couldn't resist!):
If you're new to the web space and/or your plans are relatively modest, I highly recommend FatCow. If you're doing big business, I would check out Arvixe, one of the top rated business hosting solutions.
Visit the official site for FatCow Web Hosting
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Fat Cow A+ with BBB.
Reviewer has never tested this product, all content in this review is purely based on speculation and should be treated as entertainment only.
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