HOSTMETRO VS. FATCOW

Review of Features

Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend HostMetro over FatCow, but please take a look for yourself:

HostMetroFatCow
HOST
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PRICEHostMetro offers relatively inexpensive hosting. While they are not the absolute cheapest, they are below the average. With our HostMetro Coupon you will be able to get the best deal possible. The best part about the HostMetro pricing is that they do not increase renewal prices. Part of their Metro Max Guarantee is a price lock guarantee, ensuring that loyal customers get rewarded instead of being hammered with high renewal rates. Out of all the web hosting companies I have reviewed I have yet to see another offer anything like this.

Fatcow starts by offering you a decent introductory rate, but doubles it after your first year. Their hosting seems pricier than most, though it's certainly not the highest. But $10.99 / month seems excessive given their features match other hosts offering similar plans for a lower price.

They also charge a $15 domain registration fee, which is non-refundable. They advertise giving you a "free domain" when you sign up, but the domain isn't actually free, it's $15, which is the average cost of a domain to begin with. So why advertise a free domain if you're not going to offer one? To get more sign-ups, of course.

Another hidden fee is their $35 early cancellation fee. Cancellation fees have always bothered me, since they're not necessary, just a fear tactic used to keep customers with them even if they're unhappy. If you cancel early, you've already paid and they already have your money for the hosting, so then they're just tacking on more.
FEATURESOf course, a low price means nothing if there aren’t any features to go along with it. HostMetro does not skimp on features, and they are pretty transparent about what they offer. One of the biggest marketing gimmicks in web hosting today is the idea of “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth. There is no such thing as unlimited resources. I don’t know who started it, but it was made up to make customers think they can do whatever they want, which simply isn’t the case. HostMetro offers “Max” hosting space and bandwidth, meaning that they do have initial limits for each (10gb disk space, 100gb bandwidth/month) but if you need more you contact them and they can increase these. The initial limits are big enough that 95% of customers won’t have an issue (my test account took up less than 1gb of total disk space).

They also provide a free domain name, the ability to host unlimited domain names, unlimited email accounts, two free website builders, $100 in Google AdWords credit, and more. The list of features that HostMetro includes is impressive. I can’t think of anything a customer would need that they do not offer.
Fatcow does have quite a spectrum of features included in their main package, which is nice. Their backup service is separate and paid, and no backups are taken at all without the service, which is a drawback.

They don't use cPanel, which as I've mentioned before, makes transferring your site to another host very difficult, because cPanel is standard and has built-in functions for easy transfers.

It's also impossible to get dedicated IPs, which means you can't get an SSL for your website. If you're looking to sell anything at all on your website, definitely choose another host. It would be next to impossible to do it with Fatcow.
RELIABILITYAs explained earlier, HostMetro has new, top of the line servers for all of their customers. This is one of the biggest positives of being a newer host in the industry. There is no outdated technology for you to worry about. All of their servers are RAID protected as well to ensure that there is no data loss.

HostMetro also provides automated weekly backups as a safeguard for your account. If you get hacked, accidentally delete a file or folder, or make a huge mistake on your website they will be able to restore your previous files. In the event you need more frequent backups of your account they also offer a free backup tool within cPanel that can be used at any time.

HostMetro also uses industry leading technologies CloudFlare and CloudLinux to ensure the highest stability and reliability of their servers. I did not enable CloudFlare on my account because I wanted to be sure that I was not running cached versions of my website from a CloudFlare server (for the sake of this review only), however I always recommend enabling CloudFlare when it is an option. It is a free way of increasing your website speed and security.

After a 6 month test my website has been up for a total of %99.958 of the time, which puts them in the top 3 of all the hosts I have tested. This is an extraordinary number for a shared web host, especially one so afordable. I was thoroughly impressed with the speed and reliability of their servers.
Fatcow's servers have a tendency to be pushed over capacity, as with a lot of EIG hosts. Despite the fact that they offer "oodles" of bandwith and storage space, Fatcow is the sole deciding factor in how much is too much when it comes to "oodles" and they've set the bar pretty low. If you start reaching a certain level of space or bandwith, expect Fatcow to contact you to pressure you into purchasing a VPS (for a whole lot more money.)

They don't offer an uptime guarantee anywhere on their website, which makes me suspicious of what their actual uptime. My own tests showed 99.7% for the limited time I monitored, but one case study out of hundreds of thousands of clients is not completely reliable. What I can say is their uptime is iffy at best, and your mileage may vary.
TECH SUPPORTHaving been a support representative for several hosting companies over the course of about 4 years I know what questions to ask that annoy employees. I’ve been there. When you contact support you should fully expect them to be able to help you with your questions. What I look for most in a good support team is if they make me feel like I am bothering them with my questions. Some support representatives for other companies made me feel like I should know these things already, almost as if I was an annoyance to them. HostMetro does not have this problem. They were always friendly and courteous when I called or started a live chat. They were able to help me in a quick, concise manner, as well.Their tech support is entirely outsourced, which is a huge drawback. They offer 24/7 phone, chat, and email support, but their chat support is truly awful. They failed to understand even straightforward questions, and half the time directed me to email.

Their response time for emails is 3 hours, which is long enough as it is, but that's only if it's the right response coming in, because oftentimes it's not, just a canned response for something irrelevant. I doubt anyone is spending a lot of time actually reading the emails they receive, not when their support staff behaves like they have a quota to meet and no actual quality checks.
CONCLUSIONHostMetro’s price, coupled with their reliability and customer service makes them my #1 web host for personal websites. They do everything you should expect from a great web host, and they do it better than the rest.Fatcow can be tempting with its first-year lower prices and variety of features, but at the end of the day they're missing some really vital things. They disguise their shortcomings well, offering this and that at lowered prices or included and free, but it doesn't make up for the fact that they're lacking in some of the most important areas a host is supposed to excel in: support, uptime, and transparency.

Key Differences

These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.

HostMetroFatCow
Introductory Price$2.95 / mo$5 / mo
Renewal Price$2.95 / mo$10.99 / mo
cPanelyesno
SSLyesnot possible
Hidden Feesnoyes
SupportUSA-basedOutsourced

 



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