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HostGator vs FatCow Web Hosting Comparison

by Martin NortonMay 29, 2017

This HostGator vs FatCow article focuses on the comparison of the two web hosting services. The areas the comparison will cover are performance, pricing, features, security, usability, and customer service. An ascending scale of 1 to 10 will be used to rate these areas, determining the better choice. A score of 5 indicates the item meets the current standards.

HostGator vs FatCow – Performance

HostGator and FatCow offer the standard 3 types of hosting packages. Both companies also have reselling and domain management lines. HostGator offers Windows servers in addition to Linux servers. FatCow only uses Linux servers.

HostGator’s shared hosting has an average reported page speed of 1,067ms. However, HostGator offers cloud hosting that posts an average reported page speed of 625ms. This earns them a 7 for performance.

The reported average page speed for FatCow’s shared hosting is 1,660ms, which is quite slow in comparison. FatCow gets a 4 in performance.

HostGator vs FatCow – Prices and Features

HostGator offers 3 shared hosting plans: the Hatchling, Baby, and Business Plans. The plans seem to vary by options included. The Business Plan includes a private SSL, and VoIP phone service. They also offer shared cloud hosting packages: Hatchling Cloud, Baby Cloud, and Business Cloud that promise 2x faster performance and 4x the resources. The introductory pricing ranges from $4.95 to $9.95 per month. The packages are differentiated by amount of memory, number of CPU cores, and number of features.

HostGator also advertises 3 VPS and 4 dedicated server plans. VPS plan pricing ranges from $19.95 to $39.95 per month and dedicated server plan pricing ranges from $79 to $128 per month. The difference in pricing is due to hardware configuration.

FatCow has one shared hosting plan, called “The Original FatCow Plan.” Its regular renewal rate is determined by the length of service that is paid for up front, so the price ranges from $12.95 per month for a 3-year term to $14.95 per month for a month-to-month service term. They offer 3 VPS and 3 dedicated server plans with pricing ranging from $19.99 to $79.99 per month and $119.99 to $191.99 per month respectively.

Hosting CompanyPrice RangeDomainsDisk Space (min. to max.)Bandwidth (min. to max.)
HostGator$3.95 to $5.95/month1 to UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
FatCow$49/yearUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

Both companies provide similar hardware configurations in their respective plans. HostGator earns an 8 for their large collection of features with their packages. They score a 6 in prices because, despite offering great initial bang for the buck, a customer has no idea what the renewal pricing will be.

FatCow scores a 7 for also offering a great set of useful features. Higher prices and easily findable renewal pricing balances their prices score to a 7.

HostGator vs FatCow – Security

The security implemented by HostGator and FatCow are equally matched. They both employ industry standard best practices to protect their systems and customers’ websites. They both recommend the SiteLock service for additional protection and to recover a hacked site. Private SSL certificates and domain protection services are also available, and come free with some packages. Because these companies provide essentially equivalent services, both HostGator and FatCow earn 8s.

HostGator vs FatCow – Usability

It’s expected that with names like “HostGator” and “FatCow,” these companies would have themed websites with mascots, so both have websites that are very user-friendly and welcoming. Both offer free website migrations and have free, template-based site builders that customers can use to build their sites quickly.

HostGator’s site is lighthearted. There are almost too many plans available, but the site is focused on helping inexperienced customers, which give them an 8 in usability. Everything but renewal pricing is easy to find on the site.

FatCow’s site is almost too cute. Despite that, potential customers can find most of the information they need, including a comprehensive listing of renewal rates for their packages. There’s a special area dedicated to inexperienced customers. Cuteness to a distraction and bad puns earn them a 7 score here.

HostGator vs FatCow – Customer Service

Both companies advertise 24/7 support via chat, email, and phone. Chat is the preferred, and fastest way to contact their technical support departments.

HostGator scores an 8 here, offering a 45-day money back guarantee in addition to great technical support. Some services are not refundable.

FatCow’s technical support is called the “Moo Crew,” and they offer a “Heifercratic Oath,” which outlines clear commitments to response times and follow ups. FatCow offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but no refunds after 30 days. While the cute names aren’t going to earn FatCow an 8 here, committed technical support does.

HostGator vs FatCow – Pros and Cons

HostGator

Pros

  • Free backups and security features
  • Offers both Windows and Linux servers

Cons

  • Plan renewal pricing is not readily available
  • An almost overwhelming number of plans available

FatCow

Pros

  • Simple, inexpensive shared hosting
  • The website caters to inexperienced customers

Cons

  • Slow shared hosting speeds
  • Additional costs

HostGator vs FatCow – Ratings

Hosting CompanyPerformanceFeaturesPricesSecurityUsabilityCustomer Service
HostGator7/108/106/108/108/108/10
FatCow4/107/107/108/107/108/10

Verdict

This comparison was a true “clash of the titans” of web hosting. With close or equivalent scores in key areas, HostGator nails the win by offering lower prices and substantially better performance than FatCow. And, if you are still pondering about HostGator, here’s how HostGator stands up to iPage, another web hosting company. Let us know your thoughts below!

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