There are so many web hosting companies trying to get your business, how can you decide which one is the best? There are many areas to consider when shopping for a web host – features, price, reputation and so forth.
It’s hard to talk about hundreds of web hosts at once, so for now I’m just going to compare two of the most popular web hosts – GoDaddy and FatCow. Naturally, you can also look into plenty of other companies as well but it can be instructive to look at two good web hosts side by side.
GoDaddy Web Hosting
If you’ve been online for any length of time, chances are good that you’ve heard of GoDaddy. They are probably the web host and domain registrar with the highest profile on the whole internet. They have banner ads everywhere, and offer lots of coupons for their services.
By the way, GoDaddy is also frequently seen in Super Bown commercials.
Benefits of GoDaddy
There are some undeniable benefits of using GoDaddy.
Well known and very experienced company
GoDaddy was established in 1999 and has been growing rapidly ever since. They currently have millions of customers!
You can buy your domain name from them and use them for hosting. You can also choose to add on a SSL certificate, premium certified your domain name and more!
Lots of other features and services
GoDaddy also offers other related services such as search engine optimization, email and social media marketing, PPC advertising, e-commerce, tools for building websites, fax through email and etc.
Good prices and discounts
From time to time, GoDaddy offers special promotions and discounts. You can also search for coupon codes.
These are some of the reasons many people use GoDaddy for both domain names and web hosting. There are, however, some drawbacks as well.
Extremely aggressive emailing practices
When you’re a customer, you can expect to get lots of emails from them; sometimes several times per day!
Many complaints about customer service
While most transactions go smoothly, you can find many customer complaints about mistakes made by GoDaddy and difficulties getting them fixed.
Large impersonal company
While there are some advantages to dealing with a huge company, it also makes it difficult to get personal attention.
Overall, GoDaddy is a decent hosting company, but there are definitely disadvantages as well. One of the biggest issues people often have with them is the aggressive way they promote to existing customers. Even when you buy something like a domain, they try very hard to upsell you on more domains and other services.
FatCow Web Hosting
While almost everyone has heard of GoDaddy, FatCow is not nearly as well known. They are still a large and experienced company though, and have been offering web hosting since 2008 (the company itself has been around since 1998).
FatCow makes it very simple to sign up for web hosting. Whereas GoDaddy gives you lots of choices (to the point of causing confusion), FatCow only has one main plan. While FatCow is not as rich in features as GoDaddy, it does provide all the basics that are sufficient for the average customer.
Benefits of FatCow
Here are some of this company’s strong points:
Unlimited disk space, bandwidth and addon domains
FatCow only offers one hosting plan which includes all the features that most of us will ever need. There is unlimied disk space, bandwidth, email accounts and addon domains. This means that you can host multiple websites all under one hosting account.
Tips: This will save you a lot of money, compared to signing up for multiple web hosting accounts!
FatCow is relatively smaller compared to GoDaddy. The advantage of this is that you will get more attention and personalized support.
Talking about support, you can get in touch with them through live chat, email and phone call. Their numbers are in the US though. For sales or pre-sales questions, ring them at 866.544.9343, and for technical support look for a representative at 888.278.9780.
Oh, where is GoDaddy’s live chat support? Can you find GoDaddy live chat anywhere on there website? No. They do not offer live chat!
FatCow is powered by 100% wind energy! Feel proud knowing that your website is being hosted on a green energy facility and run by a green company.
Free domain name
Another benefit is that you get a free domain name and a many other freebies. These include $100 Google AdWords coupon, $25 Yahoo + Bing search credit, $50 Facebook advertising credit, and free YP.com business listing.
On top of these goodies, you get a 30 days money-back guarantee! If you are not happy with them for whatever reasons at all, you can cancel at anytime and get your money refunded!
From my experiences, these are some of the reasons why many people like FatCow. As with any other web hosting company, however, FatCow is not 100% perfect. Here are some of their disadvantages in my opinion.
Relatively small selection of features
GoDaddy offers many features that FatCow doesn’t, such as Ruby on Rails, Microsoft SQL and Cron Tasks. Most people do not need these specific features though.
Only offers Linux web hosting
If you preferred or needed Windows hosting, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Of course, some of the above drawbacks won’t be important to many of us. If you’re just looking for a great reliable web hosting and aren’t very tech savvy, you probably won’t be using many of the features that GoDaddy has but FatCow lacks. Yet at some point you may want to have more control over your site, so it’s still good to know what is and isn’t available. Check out FatCow’s official website to find out more.
GoDaddy vs FatCow: Which is the Best Choice?
There’s no one right answer for everybody. If you visit the two companies’ websites, you’ll immediately see a huge difference.
The GoDaddy site is very commercial and hits you with hundreds of offers right away.
The FatCow site, by contrast, is quaint and low key, featuring a cute picture of a cow with big eyes.
Comparing the appearance of their websites may seem superficial, but a lot really comes down to which style you prefer. If you like a friendlier approach, you will probably prefer FatCow. If you’re impressed by lots of features and don’t mind aggressive promoting, GoDaddy might be great for you!
There’s no rule saying that you have to use the same company for buying a domain and web hosting. FatCow offers you a free domain with its hosting plan but you may need more than this. In that case, you might consider GoDaddy for domains and FatCow (or someone else) for hosting.
If certain specific features are important to you, you should definitely take a close look at each company to make sure that it’s available. Don’t let promotional copy distract you from what you really need!
Keep in mind also that you have many choices besides GoDaddy and FatCow. There are literally thousands of web hosting companies on the internet, and the one that’s just right for you may be a different one altogether. Don’t worry, you do not need to check out all of them as we have shortlisted 10 of the best web hosts. Check out our best 10 web hosting companies.