HostGator VS FatCow – Which Is Better

HostGator and FatCow are two of the most famous US-based web hosts. The former is hosting millions of domains for individuals, organizations, businesses and enterprises, and the latter is serving over 200,000 websites, too.

There has been a keen competition between the two web hosts because they hold the same goal to offer affordable and reliable web hosting solutions, and they provide many features in common.

This comparison between HostGator and FatCow will figure out the two companies’ edges in the competition as well as the weaknesses. Also, the few common aspects are presented for a better judgment of the service value.

Based on the reviews of the price, features, support and performance of the two web hosts’ shared hosting services and the common complaints seen in user reviews, we’ve made some sound ratings to show our opinions about the comparison.

Rating HostGator FatCow
Overall 5 of 5 Star 3 of 5 Star
Prices 4.5 of 5 Star 3.5 of 5 Star
Uptime 5 of 5 Star 4 of 5 Star
Speed 4.5 of 5 Star 2.5 of 5 Star
Features 4.5 of 5 Star 3 of 5 Star
Support 5 of 5 Star 2 of 5 Star
Read More HostGator Review FatCow Review

The Similar Aspects Between HostGator and FatCow

Above-the-average uptime

After reading hundreds of user reviews, we have found few complaints about the uptime of either HostGator or FatCow. Instead, there are a large number of compliments about the great availability of their hosting services.

In fact, we have monitored the two companies’ shared servers for years, and the records have also approved their excellence. During the monitoring, their guarantee of 99.9% uptime can be fulfilled in over 10 months of a single year. Small downtimes were detected now and then, but they hardly let their servers down for any time longer than 30 minutes.

In the chart below, you can have a look at the real-time records of HostGator uptime monitoring.

Also, you can learn FatCow uptime in the following chart.

It seems from the official information that neither of these web hosts operates their own data center. Instead, they hand-pick servers and house them in reliable data centers that are well connected, secured, and monitored.

The outstanding availability of the two companies’ services greatly attributes the following factors.

  • Fully redundant systems for cooling, power supply and fire suppression.
  • Quality servers featuring high reliability and constant upgrade.
  • Multi-layered networks that prevent interruptions caused by any network failure.

Green hosting

A common thing between HostGator and FatCow that is worth a thumbup is that they both have been devoted to eco-friendly hosting. They try to make their services green mainly by investing in RECs and taking advantage of the environmental benefits brought by wind energy.

HostGator Edges over FatCow

Upgradable shared hosting plans

HostGator has always been providing 3 plans for shared hosting which are different in features, so you can buy a plan based on your real-time needs, and then upgrade/downgrade the plan as your demands change. However, this flexibility is not available with FatCow because this company offers one plan only which is named FatCow Plan.

At present, both of these two web hosts are encouraging sales by allowing great discounts on their shared hosting plans.

All of HostGator plans are discounted 45% from their regular prices. So you can buy the Hatchling plan at $3.82/mo or the Baby plan at $5.47/mo now, and then renew them at $6.95/mo and $9.95/mo. The discounted prices can be valid for a long time of 3 years. To enjoy the 45% discount, you have to input the coupon HG45PERCENT via this promotional link when checking out.

HostGator Promotion Link Activation

With FatCow, you can get a special promotion of $49/year, which equals to $4.08/mo. This price is attractive since you are able to host multiple domains at such a low cost.

However, attention must be paid that the cheap price is available for the first year only, and the renewals cost double or more. Depending on the billing cycle you choose, you have to pay $10.95/mo – $12.95/mo for renewals.

As is suggested by many FatCow users, if you are planning to stay with a web host for a short time, go with FatCow, or you shouldn’t consider this company because the renewal rates are much too high.

45-day refund

Both of HostGator and FatCow have released considerate refund policies to protect new customers’ right to test and cancel. But there is still a difference. You can try HostGator shared hosting plans and cancel for a full refund within 45 days, while you get a shorter time (30 days) to do this with FatCow.

cPanel VS vDeck

An obvious edge owned by HostGator is the cPanel control panel which is included in all the company’s shared hosting plans. This control panel is the #1 choice for both beginners and advanced users due to the ease of use and rich features.

FatCow offers a control panel named vDeck. vDeck can meet most basic hosting needs, but it is much less popular than cPanel because of the out-of-date design and the lack of some features like custom Cron Jobs. FatCow doesn’t provide a demo for this control panel, neither does the vDeck official website.

Better hosting features

Both of HostGator and FatCow offer unlimited bandwidth, disk storage, email accounts, MySQL databases and FTP accounts in their shared hosting plans.

A big difference, however, is that HostGator allows the users of its Hatchling plan to host one domain only while its competitor doesn’t limit the number of hosted domains. Another difference is that the former has pre-installed more software on shared servers so you get much more freedom when using its service.

To show why FatCow loses competitiveness in this aspect, we have compared FatCow plan with the Hatchling and Baby plans of HostGator. Just read the table below.

Feature HostGator HostGator FatCow
Plan Hatchling Baby FatCow Plan
Site(s) 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Subdomains Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
MySQL DBs Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
PHP/Python Yes Yes Yes
suPHP Yes Yes No
Perl/Ruby Yes Yes No
Script Installer Yes Yes Yes
Site Builder Yes Yes Yes
SSH Yes Yes No
IP Deny Manager Yes Yes No
Ad Credits $200 $200 $200
Regular Price $6.95/mo $9.95/mo $10.95/mo
Discount 45% 45% 63%
Special $3.82/mo $5.47/mo $4.08/mo
Claim It Promo Link Promo Link

Outstanding hosting speed

Though being the same good in uptime, HostGator and FatCow are very different in the hosting speed. According to our surveys, the former has invested more in speeding up the shared hosting services, and it performs much better in our monitoring.

The convincing facts we have found with HostGator include:

  • It has built up a high-performance network based on the network gear purchased from famous brands like Cisco and Juniper.
  • The branded routers always work optimally to guarantee the use of a fast route.
  • The company provides free CDN to help site owners deliver a better browsing experience to their visitors.

Below is the comparison of the two web hosts’ server response speed made based on our monitoring.

Reliable and responsive technical support

If you have a rough glimpse at the support center of HostGator and FatCow, you will see many similarities including the following ones.

  • They both offer live chat, phone and ticket system for technical support.
  • All these support methods are 24×7 available.
  • They provide a knowledgebase with beginners’ guides and various tutorials for advanced topics.

However, searching for a while on Google now, you will easily know how HostGator and FatCow are different in technical support. The facts that are easy to find include:

  • HostGator support team is quick when replying users’ inquiries and dealing with technical issues. Most tickets are responded within one hour. But things are different for FatCow. This company is being criticized heavily for slow replies to tickets, slow responses on live chat, and lack of commitment. The company’s rating for technical support remains less than 2 out of 5 stars for many of its users.
  • HostGator offers forums for users to communicate and share. FatCow doesn’t. It seems that the latter prefers users to go directly to them when in trouble.
  • HostGator has worked out dozens of video tutorials covering the basic website management and account setup topics. Again, these resources are absent from FatCow.

FatCow Advantages

After reading the feature list of FatCow shared hosting plan carefully, we have found the following two things that are currently not available for HostGator customers.

  • A free domain which values over $10. But you should remember that this domain is free for one year only, so you have to renew it at the end of the first year.
  • 1 GB free cloud storage. FatCow provides each user with 1 GB storage on JustCloud, so you can store photos, docs, videos and music files on the cloud and access them from anywhere and any device.

Conclusion – Which Is Better?

Undoubtedly, the answer is HostGator. This web host wins in almost all the important aspects that have been compared, and it offers better scalability, performance and responsive support. Besides, the complaints about this company’s service quality are hardly seen.

If you want to experience the service by yourself, remember to use the coupon code HG45PERCENT when signing up HostGator to get a deduction of 45% hosting fee.