FatCow.com Review: Cute Logo – How’s The Web Hosting?

Our Verdict: #1 Host for Free Domains

FatCow is known for their cheap hosting plans packed with features. Their shared and WordPress plans include a free domain, website builder, and unlimited disk space.

You can get 65% off today by using this discount link .


  • Get a website in minutes with the beginner-friendly site builder
  • Simple control panel gets you up and running fast
  • Low introductory rates


  • No longer offering “green” hosting
  • No Windows hosting

FatCow scores 3 stars out of 5 overall in 140+ actual customer reviews and scores best for quality and features.

Is FatCow the Right Host For You?

Looking for something specific? Jump to our most popular sections:

  • Expert Review — read our thorough analysis by hosting expert Danielle Antosz.
  • Customer Reviews — see what over 140 FatCow customers have to say.
  • Hosting Plans — compare the best FatCow hosting plans and their prices.
  • FAQs — find the answers to the most asked questions about FatCow!

When FatCow was founded, their goal was to provide a fun and friendly hosting option for creatives and small business owners with a commitment to outstanding service and dependable products.

Their site has a funny mascot, cute language, and bright, simple colors. They seem like a solid hosting provider.

But, does FatCow live up to their founding principles today? Let’s find out.

FatCow Quick Overview

Here’s a snapshot of how FatCow’s positions itself versus the competition.

Low intro rates

Very low price on your initial period (up to 3 years) of hosting

Unmetered resources

FatCow offers unmetered bandwidth, storage, websites, and email

Full-Featured Hosting

You get pretty much everything you would want including the choice of two website builders.

Pros and Cons

Every host has a few cons and every business has different needs – but do FatCow’s drawbacks outweigh its benefits?

Here’s a high-level view of the pros and cons of choosing FatCow hosting.


Low introductory rates

Offers WordPress hosting

Free daily backups

24/7 support


High renewal rates

No Windows hosting

Limited server locations

Lots of add-on fees and upsells

Who Should Consider FatCow?

If you are launching a site and need short-term hosting for a lower traffic site, FatCow is an attractive option. They offer limited hosting plans for cheap — at least until you need to renew.

So, if you are launching a new project and aren’t ready to invest in a higher end host, FatCow is an acceptable hosting option.

Let’s dig into the details of FatCow so you can decide if it is a good hosting option for you.

Ready to try FatCow? Make sure to get our discounted rate.

Continued after user reviews

Fat Cow.com Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 142 Reviews by Fat Cow.com Customers


Most Helpful Reviews

Dr. Arayan Richard Jenkins avatar
Dr. Arayan Richard Jenkins
Mar 20, 2014

I’ve now hosted over several years with 5 different hosting companies as I had yet to find a hosting company that cares enough to update continuously. FatCow is my last and final hosting company and I YES would recommend Fatcow to anyone who is looking for an affordable, progressive up-to-date host.

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Linda Torgerson avatar
Linda Torgerson torgslabs.com
Jan 17, 2014

We have been with FatCow.com quite a few years now. The cost is one of the cheapest in the industries. They have been very supportive, available at all times.

We have recommended FatCow.com numerous times to friends and family. They are one of the only sites that continue to supported my outdated Frontpage extensions. We have been very happy with FatCow.com.

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Aaron Banikiotes avatar
Aaron Banikiotes herndoncuisine.com
Feb 10, 2018

FatCow.com once was a great company when they had technical service in Canada. Now it is in the Philippines. They once advertised in Wired magazine, I don’t think they do anymore.

I started with FatCow in 2006 when the service was decent. I knew to call late at night rather than in the daytime. Now the calls are routed to the Philippines where the service staff are rude, and today I asked the same question 8 times before I received an answer.

The current front page shows a 50% off first timers charge of $4.08 per month however there is no plan that is double that fee. The ‘full price‘ fee is $179 per year. A month before the payment is due they message you stating you are $466.20 past due (the three year fee) although you aren’t really past due but your control panel won’t show that you have to call in to get that sort of information.

I previously paid for more than 3 years so my new fee had jumped more than $100 yearly. I assumed I was upgraded to a different plan accidentally and requested the lower plan. They emailed back the yearly fee would be $83.40, but I still was unable to locate that fee in the control panel. It doesn’t actually exist, I was told today this is my special rate only good for one year.

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About FatCow 

FatCow was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1998. They chose an odd moniker to differentiate themselves from other hosts that offered “techno babble, confusing pricing schemes, and not much in the way of customer satisfaction or support.”

Like many other hosts, FatCow is now owned by EIG (Endurance International Group). EIG also owns dozens of smaller hosting companies including iPage, Arvixe, Dotsters, and bigger names like HostGator and BlueHost.

FatCow’s Datacenters

FatCow has two datacenters, both based near Boston, Massachusetts. They are equipped with 24/7 security and have redundant power sources.

Servers are pooled, which leads to faster load times as the first server to load the files can deliver.

It all sounds good, but there are a few issues to consider.

Why Datacenter Location Matters

In most cases, you want your datacenter to be physically close to your audicence to ensure fast load times.

With FatCow, you won’t have the option to choose your server location for faster site speed, which is important if most of your audience is in, say, San Francisco or Europe.

Many comparable hosts offer at least two site locations in different geographic locations. GoDaddy , for example, has 9 datacenter locations located all around the world.

With such cheap rates, you might expect their features to be pretty limited but, surprisingly, this is not the case.

Since speed is a ranking factor in Google, the lack of server location options may be an issue for larger sites with audiences far from Massachusetts.

FatCow Hosting Features

FatCow offers some of the cheapest hosting rates around (at least for the first year).

With such cheap rates, you might expect their features to be pretty limited but, surprisingly, this is not the case.

Still, there are a few catches to keep an eye on.

Green Certified Hosting

FatCow is Green Certified, which means they purchase Renewable Energy Certificates to offset their energy use. This is a nice touch for brands who are dedicated to being eco-friendly.

Their green certification page has been taken down, which seemed odd.

So I reached out to FatCow support through their live chat feature, and they confirmed they are green certified.

FatCow support confirmed their green certification.

All sites can choose to display their “Green Badge.” If environmental responsibility is important to you, FatCow is a go.

Daily Server Backups

FatCow does offer daily backups with each plan, however, they charge to restore those backups. This is pretty standard with most budget hosting plans, but it is an important detail to keep in mind if you are relying on those backups.

If you want to manage your backups yourself, you can add on Backup and Restore to protect your website. These plans start at $1.14 per month.

With this plan, you can restore your site to your last back up at any time. Keep in mind, if you’ve made updates since your last back up, you will lose that work.

FatCow Uptime and Response Time

Uptime and response time are the two most important features for a host. Why do they matter so much? Well, there are several reasons.

Uptime Guarantee

If a user can’t get to your site, what is the point of having one? Trying to make sales? Not if your site is down. Want customers to find your restaurant’s street address? Nope. Is your latest blog post going viral? Not any more.

In extreme cases, Google will deindex sites with high downtime, which means your site won’t show up in search results at all. Major bummer.

We tracked FatCow’s uptime on our own test site over a period of six months and here’s what we found: an average of 100.00% uptime.

Uptime Guarantee

FatCow support says they offer a 99% up time guarantee, which is far below the industry standard for a guarantee (it’s usually 99.9% or higher).

Chat support says FatCow offers a 99% up time guarantee.

For reference, 99% uptime means that your site can be down up to 7 hours a month with no recourse. In addition, their website mentions no guarantee, and there is no indication that they provide account credits for extended downtime.

However, their uptime seems to be great and that is what’s most important.

Response Time

Let’s also take a look at server response time – which indicates how quickly your site loads for visitors.

Over our test period, FatCow averaged 348 ms response time.

When it comes to server site speed, every second can make or break you. Searchers are only willing to give your site about two seconds to load before they head back to the search results. Recently, Google announced site speed as a ranking factor, so a slow site will make it hard to rank as well.

My data indicate that FatCow’s response times are excellent: 348 ms for this six month period. This is only slightly slower than WP Engine and notably faster than Bluehost and SiteGround.

FatCow’s Control Panel

The “Original FatCow” and “WordPress Hosting” plans use a custom control panel built on VDeck. Although it’s not as ubiquitous as cPanel, it is intuitive to use. Large icons and a navigation bar make it simple to figure out where to go.

On the FatCow control panel, you can:

  • Access the included advertising credits

  • Register domain names

  • Use the Website Builder

  • Access Mojo Marketplace to install a CMS or other software

  • Link Google Analytics and other Google tools

  • Access your email and all email related tools

  • See your disk usage.

Plans for VPS and Dedicated Server hosting come with cPanel, the most common control panel in hosting.

Think FatCow is right for you? Get our discounted rate.

The Tale of Two Website Builders: FatCow’s Website Builder vs Weebly

FatCow users have the option of FatCow’s own Website Builder or Weebly to build their sites. Both site builders are free to use (at least for the base plans) and feature drag-and-drop editors.


Both website builders offer easy to use themes. Weebly’s seem a bit more modern, but FatCow’s aren’t terrible.

FatCow offers basic theme options.

Here are a few of the theme options from Weebly. They are a bit more attractive.

Both website builders feature themes that allow you to edit text, add images, and update as you see fit.

Pricing for the Website Builders

FatCow’s Website builder is free for most hosting plans. You will have to pay to add e-commerce functionality.

Weebly offers a limited free plan, but you will need to pay for additional functionality, including an ad free site, the ablity to add audio and video, site search, and so forth.

Ease of Use

Since both builders are drag and drop editors, they are both pretty easy to use. However, the Weebly site builder is more intuitive to use.

FatCow Website Builder vs Weebly

Still lost? Here are how the two website builders stack up against each other.

CostFree (limited) Free (limited)
E-commerceAdditional feeAdditional fee
BlogYes (w/ WordPress)Yes (built in)
Template selectionModerateLarge
Ease of useModerateHigh

FatCow is a hosting company that built a website builder as a side gig — and it shows. Weebly is a website building company and offers better themes and an easier to use platform.

If you are looking to build a true blog or publication-style website, I don’t recommend either of these website builders. Instead, install WordPress. It is designed for blogs, and you can choose a theme to fit your needs.

E-commerce Options with FatCow

What if you want to add a shop to your FatCow hosted website? Is it possible? What about drop-shipping? Let’s take a deep look at all your options.

For starters, there is no one e-commerce hosting plan. You will need to piece together your store’s site using add-on features. These include:

  • PaymentSphere: This payment gateway allows you to accept payments on your FatCow site. Use along side your shopping cart or smartphone card scanner.

  • Ecwid E-commerce: This is a well-respected online shopping cart. It is free and simple to use.

  • ShopSite Shopping Cart: A fairly robust, easy to use shopping cart option on FatCow. Their free plan allows you to sell up to 15 products.

  • SSL Certificates: FatCow’s shared hosting plans come with a shared SSL certificate, but you can upgrade to Positive SSL Certificate or Comodo Extended validation for additional security.

  • Dobo: Want to sell without out managing inventory or dealing with shipping? Dobo makes it easy to add drop-shipping.

Mojo Marketplace

Mojo Marketplace is your source for easy, one-click installation of tons of themes, plugins, and services for your website.

It is very simple to use and allows just about anyone to add functionality to their website.

Mojo is the same marketplace used by iPage, BlueHost, and Host Gator

If you have hosted with names like BlueHost or HostGator, you have likely run into Mojo Marketplace before.

For the uninitiated, you can use Mojo to do a lot of things like:

  • Add a contact form to your site

  • Back up your site

  • Hire someone to do SEO

  • Add multi-vendor capabilities to your e-commerce site

  • Set up your WordPress site

  • Add a slider

  • Add a hotel booking feature.

There are literally hundreds of add-ons available in Mojo Market place. All you have to do is click and install.

A sample of Mojo Marketplace’s one-click offerings.

Email Packages with FatCow

The Original FatCow and WordPress hosting plans both offer unlimited email addresses, but there is a small catch: each individual mailbox has a storage capacity of 500MB or 10,000 email messages, whichever comes first.

FatCow support is available by phone, live chat, or online form submission 24/7. But it is only available in English.

VPS and Dedicated hosting both offer unlimited email with no limits on storage.

Additional Email Add-ons

If you only want email hosting (with no other web hosting package), you can host five POP email addresses for $30 or ten addresses for $60 per year.

You can also get email spam protection for an additional $9.95 per year.

Customer Support and Service

FatCow support is available by phone, live chat, or online form submission 24/7. Support is only available in English, and appears to be based in the Philippines.

I tested their live chat support, and the first response time was pretty fast. However, it often took several minutes to get responses to what I would consider basic questions, such as if they offer an uptime guarantee and if they charge for back ups.

It might be a good idea to try out their live chat before you purchase a plan to see if it works well for the types of questions you’re likely to have.

Video: WordPress intro from FatCow’s parent company, EIG.

30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

If you are not happy with your hosting plan from FatCow, they do offer a 30 day money-back guarantee.

This guarantee doesn’t apply to domain registrations or other add-on services (pretty standard for most hosting companies).

However, there are a few details to keep in mind.

Invoking the Guarantee

To get your money back, you must contact their billing department or message a live chat agent. Their money-back guarantee only applies for first-time customers, which means if you cancel an account and then come back you are no longer eligible for a refund.

In addition, refunds are only valid if you pay with PayPal or credit card.

Sitelock Security

For an additional fee, you can add on SiteLock, a security tool that scans for malware, blocks automated bot attacks, and performs vulnerability scans.

For an additional fee, you can upgrade to SiteLock’s “Fix” plan or “Prevent” plan, which offer additional protections.

It is cheaper to buy these FatCow add-ons than to purchase SiteLock directly from their site.

Site Migration and Transfers

FatCow does not offer site migration or transfers. You will have to upload the files yourself via an FTP client such as Filezilla or cuteFTP.

Ready to try FatCow? Get our discounted rate. !

FatCow Hosting Plans: A Complete Breakdown

FatCow offers four types of hosting plans:

  • Shared hosting

  • WordPress hosting

  • VPS hosting

  • Dedicated hosting

All plans come with one free domain and $100 worth of ad credits each for Bing and Google. All except shared hosting offer multiple packages based on features, storage, and bandwidth.

A Note About FatCow’s Pricing

It’s a pretty basic “caveat emptor,” but it’s worth noting that although FatCow’s initial rates are quite low, upon renewal they go up considerably.

These renewal prices aren’t hidden, but you do have to click on the tiny “Special Introductory Rate” link to find this out.

The arrow indicates where to click to find plan renewal rates.

The monthly costs after your introduction are very high. This can be jolting, especially if you get hosting through us because you get almost 25% off FatCow’s usual introductory price.

With this, your renewal price can be almost 5 times as expensive. The best thing you can say about this is that you can lock in the introductory rate for 3 years, but you will have to face this issue eventually.

“Oodles” of bandwidth and storage is FatCow’s cute name for what other hosts call “unlimited.”

The other plans don’t jump as much. WordPress hosting roughly doubles (depending upon plan and term length) and the VPS and dedicated plans go up anywhere from 6% to 25%.

Shared Hosting

Meet the Original FatCow Plan, a shared hosting plan with “oodles” of bandwidth and disk space along with unlimited domains and email accounts.

With shared hosting plans, you are sharing server space with other websites, which means if one site hogs all the resources, your site could slow down.

For smaller or low-traffic sites, though, shared hosting shouldn’t cause any issues.

Features of Original FatCow Plan include:

  • Shared SSL certificate

  • PayPal Shopping Cart Integration

  • FTP access

  • Daily server backups (they do charge to install)

  • Spam filtering for email

  • Email newsletter tool

  • Support for recent PHP, MySQL, and Python.

What Does FatCow Mean By “Oodles” of Resources?

“Oodles” of bandwidth and storage is FatCow’s cute name for what other hosts call “unlimited.”

It means they won’t cap your usage if you are compliant with their terms of service and are using resources for “the normal operation of your FatCow website.”

They do say that 95% of their customers easily stay within the hosting limits of the “unlimited” shared hosting.

WordPress Hosting

You don’t need a WordPress hosting plan to use WordPress. It can easily be installed from the control panel of FatCow’s shared hosting plans. However, the WordPress-specific plans do offer added benefits.

At FatCow, there are two WordPress hosting plans to choose from WP Starter or WP Essentials. So, are they worth the cost?

WP Starter

This plan costs just a few pennies more than the Original FatCow hosting plan and includes a customized control panel that makes it easy to find WP features and pre-installed themes and plugins. Essentially, it saves you a few clicks by installing WordPress and a few basic plugins. The plan doesn’t include any additional support, security, or speed features.

WP Starter is a bare-bones plan that offers pre-installed WordPress and not much else. It’s main advantage is that it is much cheaper than the regular plan after the introductory period.

WP Essentials

For about twice the cost of the standard shared hosting package, you can choose WP Essentials. This plan includes pre-installed WordPress, themes, and basic plugins.

In addition, you get:

  • SSD-based infrastructure for faster speeds

  • SiteLock for enhanced security, including malware removal

  • Personalized WP Expert support.

WP Essentials offers better security, faster speeds, and slightly better support, but still falls short of managed WordPress hosting for competitors like Bluehost.

Like the WP Starter plan, it is much more affordable after the introductory period.

VPS Hosting Plans

Before we dive into the specifics of FatCow’s VPS plan, I want to outline what VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is and how it compares to shared hosting.

Shared hosting is like living in a four bedroom apartment with three roommates. You each get your own bedroom but share common areas. If your roommate has a party, you might find that your access to the apartment is limited.

VPS hosting is more like living in an apartment. You all live in the same building, but there are defined living areas. Your neighbor’s party won’t prevent you from using the kitchen when you want to.

If you need a more space and resources (think more traffic or better security), VPS is a solid option.

FatCow VPS hosting includes:

  • 1-4 GB RAM

  • 1-4TB bandwidth

  • 1-2 IP Addresses

  • cPanel, the industry standard in control panels.

The Basic VPS plan from FatCow is comparable price-wise with other VPS hosting packages.

Dedicated Server Plans

If shared hosting is like sharing an apartment and VPS is like living in an apartment, Dedicated Server plans are equivalent to a single family home. All the resources are yours and yours alone.

Your site will be the only site on your server, which means other sites’ traffic or security issues won’t effect you at all.

But that also means you’re responsible for all the maintenance and behind-the-scenes duties, too.

Dedicated hosting offers three plans, based on your needs.

ProcessorXeon E3-1220LV2Xeon E3-1265LV2Xeon E3-1230V2
Speed3.5 GHz3.2 GHz3.7 GHz
Control PanelcPanelcPanelcPanel
Good ForSmall businessesEstablished brandsHigh traffic Businesses

Feature-wise, FatCow’s dedicated plans are on par with competitors. However, FatCow charges higher rates.

Alternatives to FatCow

Now that we’ve laid out all the deets, there is a good chance you are looking for an alternative to FatCow. Luckily, you have plenty of options.

Here are your best bets for affordable, reliable hosting. We consistently find the hosts below outperform most others.


Bluehost is our number one alternative to FatCow. They are recommended by WordPress (one of just three hosts they recommend), offer cheaper dedicated and VPS hosting, and offer far more advanced e-commerce capabilities.

Read our full Bluehost review here.


If you are looking to get online fast and are on a tight budget, consider GoDaddy. They target small businesses and offer all the tools you need to get online fast, including a website builder, integrated marketing tools, and e-commerce features.

Read our full GoDaddy review here.


Looking for a low-cost host with good support and uptime? And a great website builder? HostGator is the way to go. You can still use Weebly and their plans are more affordable than FatCow. If you are looking to grow, they also offer larger plans.

Read our full GoDaddy review here.

Already decided on FatCow? Here’s our coupon for a discounted rate.

The Bottom Line

Is FatCow the right web host for you? That’s a more complicated question than it needs to be.

In its favor, FatCow offers full-featured hosting. And our tests indicate that its servers are fast and stable.

The biggest problem with FatCow is that it is much more expensive after its introductory period — at least for shared and WordPress hosting. The introductory period can be as long as 3 years, but after that time, you will likely want to move hosts.

Another cause of concern is that very few of the more recent user reviews on this page are positive. There is some concern about their customer support, even though I’ve had good experience with them.

But if you are okay with signing up for a long contract and testing their support system, FatCow may be worth looking into.

TL;DR: be careful with FatCow. But if they look like they might be right for you, visit FatCow.com now.

Contributing editors: Natalie Mootz and Frank Moraes.

FatCow Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does FatCow offer unlimited domains?

    Yes, you can host unlimited domains. However, be wary of going over the limit on their “oodles” of disk space and bandwidth.

  • Does FatCow offer Windows hosting?

    No, they do not. All hosting is on Linux servers.

  • Does FatCow provide a free doamin name?

    Yes. You can get a free domain name with your hosting plan.

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Danielle Antosz

About Danielle Antosz

Danielle is a writer and editor who specializes in digital marketing, online businesses, and tech. She spends her days writing and her nights planning her next trip.

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