FatCow’s flagship offering is shared hosting, but this web host also provides a comprehensive list of support and services to complement its main business.
Their message is straightforward: simple hosting service coupled with easy user navigation, without the technical hassles.
The company provides two plans:
- The Original FatCow Plan
- And The Minimoo.
In addition, professional service is also made available to customers at a fee.
FC has been in operation for a while. It started life in 1988 in Albuquerque in the USA, only to be bought over by the Endurance International Group.
EIG is, of course, the giant conglomerate that owns quite a few web hosting companies like BlueHost. The parent company itself is an online solution provider, servicing about 2 million customers across their 40 different brands, mostly through acquisitions in the recent years.
Fat Cow’s Hosting Plans & Pricing
The 2 shared hosting plans described above are only available on Linux platform on Apache powered server farm.
The website just focuses on shared hosting and makes no attempt to mention VPS, dedicated or cloud hosting.
- MiniMoo: $5 a Year
The MiniMoo is the low-cost alternative here. It’s not really a web hosting package. It’s actually for domain parking. It offers a single page and single email account solution to get you quickly started on the web.
- The Original FC Plan: $3.15 a Month, or $40 a Year
This plan ($3.15 per month) does allow you to do more with your website.
Reliability (i.e. Uptime)
FC does not provide any uptime level guarantee, so they never bother to publish stats with regards to their uptime or downtime. However, the systems management tools and technical folks work 24/7 to ensure that data center can keep to maximum uptime.
Moreover, the data center employs a clustered architecture on all its servers (i.e. if one has to go down, another one will take over, no question asked!) The backup operation is also done at regular intervals, to minimize the risk of loss data.
Boston, USA hosts the FatCow data center. The facility boasts of half a petabyte of storage space spread through its army of over 800 servers.
There are two firewalls to provide protection to the data center, and it is under professional surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
An automatic backup option is available for customers who are willing to pay to have their sites backed up daily. It consists of the daily backup routines and a backup and restore tool. If you do not want to pay, it is prudent on your part to back up your data regularly.
Support facilities come in the form of a knowledge base, user guide, and tutorials. In addition, there are also the 24/7 telephone, email and live chat support.
Take note that all these mentioned come free. But the absence of forum or message board makes it difficult for you to look for help from other users. They are not into wiki either!
All these suggest that the company would like you to approach their technical support department when you run into a problem with their service.
Another thing that shows how nontransparent the company is is the fact that it never explicitly says that if their support operation is outsourced or maintained in-house.
They do have a blog on their website, but it does not seem to attract active participation, as the last entry (at the time of writing this review) was dated some half a year ago.
Its Facebook does fare slightly better, the same thing with their Twitter and Google+ account.
One outstanding feature from FC is a unique ‘HeiferCratic Oath’, to underline their commitment to delivering a positive support experience to users.
If they can’t keep up to the oath, an account credit (worth one month of hosting) would be awarded. I thought that is a pretty cool gesture and the act also aligns with the lighthearted image they company projects.
As mentioned earlier, FC employs a custom built control panel for website administration. As you try your hand at it, you are not likely to be blown away by the experience, especially if you have been a Cpanel user.
But the navigation is actually quite straightforward and it is really decent when it comes to customization.
They also have a video tutorial handy to educate new users on this control panel, and you don’t need to be a paying customer to access to this help video.
So, if you are still not entirely convinced about this new custom panel, you can check it out first!