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 WebHostingPad over FatCow, but please take a look for yourself:

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PRICEYes, I’ve been going on about price in this review already, but it is a point of emphasis here. In my experience working with several other hosting companies, I have learned a lot about how hosts can afford to offer such cheap hosting and still offer a good (or even great) service. WebHostingPad does this in two main ways. The first is that they don’t offer outrageous commissions to affiliates who promote their products. I won’t go into too much depth about this here, but if you’re interested in how that works you can read my article on How Affiliate Programs Work.

The second way WebHostingPad saves money for their customers is by offering their basic shared hosting plan as an a la carte type option. Many other hosting companies will offer a bunch of additional features and market them as great tools, thus justifying the higher price. The fact is that most of these additional features won’t be used by 80% of the customers. They are useless to the majority of people who own small personal websites. Instead of adding these on and increasing prices, they offer them as additional features that each customer can pay for individually should they decide that they need the service. In my opinion, this is a much more efficient and cost effective offer.
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.
FEATURESAs explained above, you aren’t going to get all of the additional features you may get from other hosts, but this won’t take away from your ability to run your website. WebHostingPad offers the same features as most every other shared web host including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free domain name, 30 day money back guarantee, free website builder, and so on.

WebHostingPad also provides additional features at a cost like SSL certificates, SSH access, an advanced security scan, and more, but these are more suited for advanced web developers and business website owners. These tools are not going to be used by the vast majority of beginner and novice website owners, so why pay for them? They are an optional extra if you decide you need them at a later date, but this is how they save their customers from high prices.
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.
RELIABILITYYou might expect your performance to be lacking because of how inexpensive WebHostingPad is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. WebHostingPad’s servers are stable and reliable. After a 7 month test my website had a total up time of 99.942%, which is above their 99.9% guarantee. Server response time is fast and my websites loaded quicker than on competitors servers.

This is just a guess, but my assumption as to why the server speed was quicker than other hosting companies is due to the lack of the additional features on every account. Having these features running in the background on every account on a server causes more resources to be used on the back end, which in turn leaves less of those resources to be used on website functionality. Again, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
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 SUPPORTWebHostingPad’s support team is generally knowledgeable and able to help quickly with easier questions that most beginners would face when starting a new account. The one gripe I have (which is the case with most hosting companies, not just WebHostingPad) is that only level 1 support is available over the phone or through live chat. If you have an issue that needs to be escalated to a higher department then you must submit a ticket. I will say that the response times of the tickets was quick, usually within 1 hour. In any case, the WebHostingPad support staff was able to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.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.
CONCLUSIONWebHostingPad is a great choice for beginners. It is cheap, easy to use, and reliable. You won’t get some of the features that other hosts include, but these features are not useful for customers who are new to web hosting. It is a great starting point for a new customer and it will get you familiar with how to run a website without being too overbearing.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.

Introductory Price$1.99 / mo$5 / mo
Renewal Price$3.49 / mo$10.99 / mo
SSLavailablenot available
Hidden Feesnoyes