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Go Daddy vs Fat Cow

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GO DADDY

GoDaddy is, arguably, the biggest name in the hosting business. Starting with their infamous SuperBowl ads of the early 2000s, GoDaddy has become a household brand for people wanting to get their website up quickly. Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, GoDaddy's revenue is between $1.6 billion and $2 billion and has about 4,000 employees.

The features GoDaddy provides are numerous, including:

  • Domains (registration, transfer, privacy, listings and auctions)
  • websites (static and WordPress)
  • hosting (Linux and Windows, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud servers, and cloud apps)
  • web security (SSL and SiteLock)
  • online marketing (SEO, local listings, email marketing, and social media management)
  • email and office tools (email, MS Office, online bookkeeping)

In addition, they provide experts to design logos, websites, eCommerce setups, and other marketing materials for your websites.

GoDaddy prices are among the lowest for registering domains and hosting websites. Like most other hosting companies, GoDaddy attracts customers at low introductory rates of between $4 and $8 per month that turn into renewal rates of between $8 and $18 per month after 12 months. Presently, their non-WordPress plans are as low as:

  • $3.99 per month with a renewal rate of $7.99 per month. That includes 1 website and 100 GB of storage.
  • $4.99 per month with a renewal rate of $10.99 per month. That includes unlimited websites and storage.
  • $7.99 per month with a renewal rate of $16.99 per month. That includes unlimited websites and storage, plus more processing power, premium DNS services, and a 1-year SSL certificate for eCommerce and SEO.

GoDaddy separates its WordPress plans out from its traditional, static website plans. The first tier of WordPress plans is as follows:

  • $3.99 per month with a renewal rate of $7.99 per month. That includes 1 website, 10 GB of storage, 25,000 monthly visitors.
  • $4.99 per month with a renewal rate of $9.99 per month. That includes 1 website, 15 GB of storage, 100,000 monthly visitors, and a built-in SEO wizard application.
  • $7.99 per month with a renewal rate of $14.99 per month. That includes 2 websites, 30 GB of storage, 400,000 monthly visitors, built-in SEO wizard, daily malware scan and removal, and SSL certificate.

GoDaddy also has a set of Managed WordPress service plans that optimize WordPress on their servers so you get the best performance and easiest upgrades. The plans are currently set at:

  • $3.99 per month renewing at $7.99 per month. That includes 1 website, 10 GB of SSD (solid-state drive) storage, and 25,000 monthly visitors.
  • $4.99 per month renewing at $9.99 per month. That includes 1 website, 15 GB of SSD storage, 100,000 monthly visitors, a 1-click staging site, and an SEO plugin.
  • $7.99 per month renewing at $7.99 per month. That includes 2 websites, 30 GB of SSD storage, 400,000 monthly visitors, 1-click staging, search engine optimization for 2 sites, an SSL certificate, and malware scan and removal.
  • $13.99 per month renewing at $24.99 per month. That includes 5 websites, 50 GB of SSD storage, 800,000 monthly visitors, 1-click staging, and 1 SSL certificate.

Despite its popularity as a hosting company, GoDaddy suffers at present from a poor reputation. Many reviewers of the service reported being unhappy with the quality of technical expertise and the slowness of GoDaddy's shared hosting packages in serving up websites. They also didn't appreciate the complex sales process and mystifying configurations of options and upsells when making purchases with the service.

GoDaddy has also engaged in the practice of selling new user information to marketing companies, which again resell the information, resulting in confused users being bombarded with offers from other hosting companies trying to lure them to their services as well.

Further adding fuel to the fire is GoDaddy tech support's unethical practice of upselling packages or additional software without addressing the root cause of the problem the customer was calling about. These upsells are often positioned as solutions to the core issue, but rarely result in a resolution of the ticket. In several cases, users have complained that when their website was hacked, they were told they must buy an additional security package called SiteLock in order for tech support to rescue their site. The more technically-savvy users knew that sites could indeed be rescued without resorting to another purchase and wondered why GoDaddy wasn't concerned enough with security to upsell on SiteLock before the incident had occurred.

GoDaddy has a relatively slow website response time compared to other services in its class. It performs fairly well, with sub-second response times, until between 10 and 25 or more users are concurrently using a GoDaddy-hosted site. At that point, response times range between 25 seconds to 4 minutes.

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FAT COW

FatCow was founded in 1998. Since then they've made a speciality of low-cost hosting for individuals and small businesses. FatCow uses energy generated from wind to power their services. Their brand is quirky and even includes a "heifercratic oath" stating, among other things, that their mission is to provide "around-the-clock phone and online support, a satisfactory resolution to any issue that may arise, and - most importantly - a consistently positive, can-moo attitude."

Hosting plans at FatCow include "Original FatCow" static website hosting, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated servers. For static web hosting, which is essentially unlimited in everything except cloud storage, they have a sale price of $49 for the first year, renewable at a regular rate. The regular renewal rate prices are:

  • $12.95 a month (billed $466.20 for 3 years)
  • $13.95 a month (billed $334.80 for 2 years)
  • $14.95 a month (billed $179.40 for 1 year)
  • $14.95 a month (billed $44.85 for 3 months)
  • $14.95 a month (billed monthly)

There is a $15 non-refundable domain fee if you register a free domain with monthly service through FatCow and later cancel.

For WordPress, here's what you'll expect to pay for the introductory rate:

  • $3.75 per month for WP Starter. This includes the core hosting plan, customized control panel, pre-installed themes and plugins, and standard support.
  • $6.95 per month for WP Essential, which is everything in the WP Starter plan plus Super Speed, enhanced security, and support from WordPress experts.

When you renew the WordPress packages at FatCow for the WP Starter, you pay:

  • $8.49 a month (billed $203.76 for 2 years)
  • $9.49 a month (billed $113.88 for 12 months)
  • $10.49 a month (billed monthly)

Renewal for the WP Essential plan will set you back:

  • $15.95 a month (billed $574.20 for 3 years)
  • $16.95 a month (billed $406.80 for 2 years)
  • $17.95 a month (billed $215.40 for 12 months)
  • $17.95 a month (billed monthly)

FatCow's reputation, in terms of net positive reviews, is higher than other hosting companies. But because it has grown beyond its kitschy beginnings, and has been acquired by Endurance International Group (a company that tends to drag hosting company brands down when it buys them), customers are starting to see and complain about FatCow's focus away from an optimal support experience in a perceived pursuit of more profits.

Performance of FatCow's web hosting clocks in at about 99.90% uptime, which is lower than BlueHost. In terms of overall percentage, it's not too terrible, but it still leaves about 9 hours that an average website might be down in a 12-month time span.

FatCow also has some pretty slow page speed times. One reviewer measured average speed of an active account's web pages over 12 months and found it to be 1.2 milliseconds. That is far slower than many of the speedier hosts out there which tend to fall into the sub-millisecond range.

Support includes live chat, a support ticket form with email notifications, and a toll-free phone number. However, even with FatCow's higher satisfaction ratings, there are still a significant number of customers who aren't happy with the company. One complaint was with a $35 fee charged for cancellation after the 30-day moneyback guarantee period. In other words, if you go past the guarantee period, you can't just walk away and cut your losses. You must pay to leave the service.

Backing up your site isn't free, either. You can get daily backups of your site for $16.95 per year.

Other complaints were about far too many upsells when signing up for the service. New registrants are encouraged to watch the line items at checkout carefully to make sure to not buy more than is needed.

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Web Hosting

To help you find the Best Web Hosting, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Go Daddy and Fat Cow.

If you're a business owner, a writer, or a hobbyist, sooner or later you're going to want a website. To have a website, you'll need a web hosting service. There are hundreds of web hosting companies available to host your site, but which one do you choose? And, how do you know what to look for?

The first step in choosing a web host is figuring out how much you want to spend per month in hosting costs. While some web hosts are nearly free when you sign up, there is often some fine print involved. Many web hosting companies will lure you in with cheap pricing at the outset, but then will raise the monthly subscription cost when you renew at the end of a month or a year.

Some web hosting companies will offer you a lower overall cost if you choose to pay up front for multiple years. While some web hosts will seem really expensive compared to other, that's because they're usually offering more value for your dollar in more advanced or innovative features their cheaper competitors aren't covering. Whether you choose a more expensive host will depend on whether those features improve convenience or lead to a better return on investment (ROI).

That leads us to the next decision to make: features. You'll want to decide which features you genuinely need versus which ones you don't really need at all. Aside from the core service of hosting the actual website will be offerings such as web design, do-it-yourself site theme implementation, domain registration, email, eCommerce tools and setup, online advertising to promote your website, website development tools, and search engine optimization (SEO) help. Some of these will be important to you and others will not be necessary.

Security and performance are considerations that often get overlooked in the drive to find the cheapest web hosting available. Cheaper cost to you means the web host is cutting corners somewhere in how they host your site. Often that means "shared hosting", which means your site is put on the same web server as hundreds of others. There are security and site speed implications to this that often are not in your best interests.

Reputation can also be a key factor - web hosts with bad reputations or "fly by night" business practices can hurt your business or position in search results.

Finally, you want to know how reliable and supportive each web host is from the perspective of its customers. How many people are complaining about hacked sites, slow page load times, poor support, and price hikes over time? There will be many, many complaints across all web hosting options, so you'll want to narrow the list of things that are important to you and focus primarily on those as you evaluate options.

Once you have an idea of which web host you want to subscribe to, shopping online will make it easier than ever to find it. To summarize, as you decide which web host should get your business, keep in mind these criteria:

  • Features. Which features does the web host offer and do you need all the features or just some of them?
  • Cost. How are the hosting costs structured? Will there be monthly subscription cost hikes after a certain period of time?
  • Reputation. What are people saying about the web host online? Is the web host going to shut down or change names soon, and are they engaging in shady practices that can hurt your brand?
  • Security. How many security incidents has the web hosting company experienced? Are there widespread complaints of site outages? If so, how quickly and to what extent were those issues addressed?
  • Performance. Are websites generally faster or slower on one web hosting service compared to its competitors? Does the web host offer plans that handle increasing numbers of visitors or sudden traffic spikes with more ease?
  • Customer Service. If you experience problems with your website, what are the contact options for getting support, and how responsive are they? Are support representatives courteous and helpful, or are they rude and condescending? How long does it take to fix problems?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best web hosting companies available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the right web host to make your website appealing, secure, and affordable!



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