If you’ve been reading web hosting reviews or top 10 lists recently, then you have probably seen the names FatCow and Bluehost mentioned many times. Both companies have won multiple web hosting awards in the last couple of years, and both are known for providing affordable, reliable, and user-friendly hosting solutions. Although Bluehost (founded in 1996) has slightly more experience than FatCow (founded in 1998), both companies have developed a sizable customer base during the past decade. In fact, Bluehost currently boasts that they are soliciting an average of 20,000 new customers each month, and it is a well-known fact that they are currently hosting several million domains.
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FatCow and Bluehost both own their datacenters with multiple ultra-high-speed connections, so they are both able to offer redundant and stable hosting solutions to hundreds of thousands of businesses simultaneously. With so many similarities, it can be difficult to choose between one of these hosts. Fortunately, the following paragraphs provide a comprehensive comparison by reviewing the most important attributes of each hosting provider.
Comparing Plan Pricing
FatCow and Bluehost both require customers to pay for at least a year of service in advance, and both have similar pricing. Bluehost plans start at only $6.95 per month (amounting to $83.40 annually, which is the total startup cost), whereas FatCow lists their plan prices annually at $78 per year (approximately $6.50 per month). While this five dollar difference is somewhat nominal, it should be noted that Bluehost does not provide discounts for 24 or 36 month purchases, whereas FatCow does. When purchasing a FatCow hosting plan for 24 months in advance, you receive the low price of $5.58 per month, and when purchasing a plan for 36 months in advance the price drops to $4.67 per month. These discounts make FatCow a slightly better value than Bluehost.
Web Hosting Features
Bluehost and FatCow offer free domain registration on all of their hosting plans, as well as unlimited disk space, bandwidth, mailboxes, MySQL databases, and the ability to host as many domains as you like at any given time, which can be useful for the expanding online business. Bluehost promises the security and protection of a VPS hosting plan at the price of a shared hosting solution. Bluehost also promises free instant set up, and reliable Linux servers that are compatible with various programming languages and platforms, including but not limited to CGI, Ruby, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. Although both companies offer advertising credits, it appears that FatCow offers more because they provide Facebook and Yahoo advertising credits, whereas Bluehost only provides $50 worth of Google AdWords credits. Thus, in terms of features it appears that FatCow is slightly ahead of Bluehost.
Comparing Customer Support and Reliability
Bluehost and FatCow both offer a money back guarantee, however FatCow’s is only a 30 day guarantee, while Bluehost promises an anytime guarantee. Even so, FatCow does take a unique approach to customer service with their patented “HeiferCratic Oath,” which is an additional guarantee that promises a month of free hosting services if you are not satisfied with their customer support at any time. Therefore, Bluehost and FatCow both have similar support and reliability attributes, and are both a suitable solution for an online business owner that needs a reliable hosting service.