12/9/2016 Provo Data Center Outage

By Fatcow
December 14, 2016

On Friday, December 9th at approximately 4:00 pm (ET) we experienced a network outage at our Provo Data Center located in Utah. This resulted in service disruption for Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated customers as well as some of our shared customers served out of that facility.

With any significant event that affects our customers, we conduct an extensive examination to understand the root cause and develop a course of action to improve our systems and procedures. To that end, we wanted to provide a synopsis of the situation that occurred and our reassurance that we are working diligently to proactively mitigate and prevent future outages.

Here’s what happened: In an effort to address network instability affecting a small segment of customers, a configuration change was applied which impacted a core router in an unintended manner — specifically, applying a traffic filter in the router towards an aggregate switch resulted in an unexpected network response. This triggered a spanning tree loop and resulted in the loss of gateway response for this critical network segment. The change was immediately reverted, but the instability remained. We worked through every segment of the network to identify the loop while attempting to minimize disruption. Our engineering team and the service vendor wrote and applied the proper Bridge Protocol Data Unit (BPDU) filters and service was methodically restored.   

Network instability lasted approximately 16 hours for some customers while the servers/switches were restored to normal functionality. While we attempted to keep customers apprised as information became available, we realize we need to do more.  

So, here’s what’s happening: We are in the process of modifying the current network architecture to prevent or reduce the impact of any particular network event or device failure by improving Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) segmentation. Part of the strategy includes creating smaller sub segments of the network so we can isolate problems and manage infrastructure. We are also investing in switch upgrades to allow support of packet filtering throughout our entire infrastructure and most importantly, dedicating significant financial resources to hire additional industry experts to join our team.

Outages disrupt your life and your business. We understand – we take our responsibility to you very seriously.

Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and provide my personal assurance that we are dedicated to meeting our commitment to you.



Ron LaSalvia
President & Chief Operating Officer, Endurance International Group



4 Tips to Start Using Social Media for Your Business

By Jessica Ann
April 12, 2016

The number of people using social media in the U.S. and around the world is growing at an extraordinary rate. These new ways to communicate may seem like it creates many great opportunities. But it’s only great if you can get your products in front of the right audience to increase sales. In this article you’ll find four tips to get you started using social media as a sales tool. But before we dive in, it’s important to understand the significance of the word “intent” when it comes to sales and social media.

When a user does a search on Google for a product that you sell, and then visits your website, they have buying intent. Social media is different as the users you encounter do not typically have an immediate intention to buy. They may have buying intent at a later date. But when they first come across you, they are most likely not ready to make a purchase. Instead, they simply want to get a better idea of what you’re about.

Here is where most businesses fail on social media. They create their accounts and then start putting up posts which are essentially “Buy Me, Buy Me, Buy Me”. Frankly it is not surprising that most social media users respond with a metaphorical “bite me” when presented with this sort of message.

If you understand the intent of users on social media you are much more likely to make it a success. Here is how you do it:

  1. Pick The Right Social Networks

You’re good. But you’re not superwoman or superman; your team is not superhuman; and you probably don’t have Apple-esque reserves of cash at your disposal. In other words you can’t do all social media platforms really well, so you have to pick the ones that will get you the best results.

This is about knowing who your customer is, predicting which social media network they are most likely to use, and then picking one or two of those networks that you think have the best chance of success.

  1. Create Fantastic Content

The content that you create should match your selected social media platforms. For example a how-to article that works well on LinkedIn won’t be as suitable on Facebook.

Also, make sure the content is engaging. This statement is easy to make, but not easy to put into action. Think of making your content engaging for engaging sake, instead of engaging for the sake of your business. You almost have to forget about promoting your business, at least for the majority of your posts.

Mix up your content to include images, videos, retweets, shares, third-party links etc. You also have to think about frequency – look at what your competitors do, and look at companies who offer similar services in other markets, to get a guide for the right post frequency.

  1. Build Your Following

This is not an easy part of a social media sales strategy, and in many respects it is getting more challenging each year, but it is crucial to your success. If you work on building your social media following consistently over time, you will see results.

Following other social media accounts, building up relationships with social media influencers, and reaching out to individuals and businesses in your industry, are some of the ways that you can build your following. You should also include your social media profiles on your website and email signature. you should explore running ads to build your following.

  1. Connect To Your Business

The objective of your social media strategy is to increase sales. One way to bring in business is to better understand your customer’s journey. This means being at the front of their mind when they are ready to buy. Include strategically placed promotional posts in your content strategy. Make sure there is a link back to your website and that your contact details are up-to-date. And immediately respond to any queries you receive through comments or direct messages on social media.
You can even explore the growing trend of completing the sale on the social media network, depending on the platform you use. Wherever the transaction takes place, though, you have to win trust first. The four steps above will help you achieve this.

How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back

By Jessica Ann
October 29, 2015

Beautiful young freelancer working on her laptop in a coffee with wifi

Establishing a website with a company (such as FatCow) is the first step in getting your company known. Each page of your site is uniquely important to engage with your customers. When done right, you can elevate your web presence for your products or services. But you’ll need to understand the basics of website content management to keep your customers coming back.

Here are some ideas:

Create Unique Content

You don’t just want to create content for the robots. You want to create content for humans too, while understanding what the Internet spiders (such as Google) do. Here is a brief overview:

Internet spiders crawl each website and focus on the text that’s on each page. Keywords are important but if they are repeated too many times, Google will assume it’s ‘irrelevant keywords’ or ‘key word stuffing’ and the site will be reduced in positioning. This rule-of-thumb is also important when crafting individual blog posts or sales pages. Repeating the same message will act like keyword stuffing, so ensure that each site page has different and unique wording.

As of 2014, Google changed the manner in which they place ‘value’ on a site page. Everything that is ‘above the line’ (within the viewers first screen view, without scrolling down) is considered to be the priority text. This can be likened to the old newspaper days of the most important editorials and advertising being “above the crease” – the most important area viewed. This is one of the many reasons why should you should include the most important part of your message at the top.

Change Things Up: Text and Images

A static website doesn’t do much for your readers. If you’re not providing value (through fresh content), you’re not giving your customers a reason to revisit. Instead think about ways you can add fresh, creative content to attract your customers attention. Post helpful information as blog posts. Or offer coupons or special offerings for your product or service. Make sure that these posts can be ‘clicked through’ to make any potential transactions seamless and efficient.

Swap out your images on a regular basis. Whether you are using a single image or a slide show, give your readers a reason to come back. Just make sure that that you find the right photos for your website. Images should be high-quality. Also, try to avoid the cheesy, cliche stock photos.

Spice Things Up with a Blog

Website content management is about getting people to return to your site. Consider adding a blog and include a way for readers to subscribe. Potential customers are more willing to ‘buy’ if they believe you have their interests at heart. This form of ‘soft selling’ allows repeat visitors and makes your business more human. It’s also a good way to maintain loyalty from your clients.

Your customers are busy people. But when you provide value to them, you’re showing that you respect their time. You can curate the latest news, trends or information in blog posts or social media. Or you can even provide exclusive content to subscribers on your email list. Include information about your products or services minimally, so that it doesn’t overtake your message.

Use various techniques to take charge of your website so that you can engage with your audience. Iterate on your ideas while learning about your customers so that you endlessly evolve your business – and you keep them coming back for more.


How to Have a Successful e-Commerce Presence

By Jessica Ann
August 21, 2015

Whether you are setting up an exclusive virtual store (and managing your domain with FatCow) or adding it to complement your existing brick-and-mortar location, focus in on a few areas to ensure that your e-commerce presence is a success. Your website should be an extension of your branding. When you take the steps necessary to represent your name, you can ultimately engage your customers for purchases.

Florists using digital tablet while making bouquet of pink roses in flower shop

The first thing to consider is to think of your e-commerce site as another store. You will want the look and feel of your personal branding to be extended to the site with your logo, contact information, and a homepage that’s designed with a ‘call-to-action’. Customers should feel comfortable on your site, knowing that they can buy from you with confidence. Remember that ‘text’ is what causes your website to increase in website search engine spiders, so balance pictures with the right wording to help increase your brand presence.

Selling products on a website is very similar to how you would present them in a store. Images need to be clear and sharp, product descriptions should include the pertinent information as well as size or weight, pricing should be large (especially if it’s on sale) and product categories easily displayed so that your customers can navigate to make their selections. You will need to keep the products updated with everything that is new (or even out-of-stock).

Many of your suppliers may have images and descriptions that they can send to you for upload. Make use of this – as they want to sell the product as much as you do! If you are introducing new products, you will want to make sure that these are highly featured. An example might be a pharmacy that is expanding into health, wellness, vitamins and supplements. This is an extension of the services that they already provide but now offer more of a focus on the care of their customers and patients beyond just medication.

Marketing is key for an e-commerce site. But having a website is not enough. Here are some tips to build your e-commerce presence:

  1. Get your site registered with ‘keywords and metatags’ to elevate your site for the search engines.  Your site url should also be listed absolutely everywhere: business cards, flyers, social media.
  2. Announce exclusive online specials. For example, make use of your Facebook page to announce the site, offering FB only specials that can be purchased online. Use the same physical store marketing plans for your site for pre-holiday and special event offerings. If you don’t have customer emails, create a signup sheet for a ‘special giveaway’, letting them know that they can receive monthly (or weekly) emails that will have online discount announcements.
  3. Create an email schedule that will include fun information that’s catered around the seasons to catch your customers attention, along with your product offerings. The goal is to attract the customers, keep them on your site and get them to return.
  4. Create fun, engaging articles for your website so that your customers actually want to read the information. When you find new ways to say the same things, your business is seen as a leader in the industry. This differentiates your website, and in turn your business, from your competitors.
  5. Work with your webmaster to ensure that you have a secure checkout process. This is critical for online purchases.
  6. Make sure that you are completely prepared and set up for shipping options and charges as well as preparation for expedited shipping of the products. Depending upon your product, you may want to include an incentive such as ‘everything over $50 ships free’.
  7. Have a page that defines your shipping and return policies as well as a ‘contact us’ in case customers have questions.


An e-commerce store will take some of your time, so if you are too busy, allocate someone on your staff to be in charge of maintenance, orders, contact us and updating. The purpose of your ecommerce site is to encourage customers and increase your sales. Make continuous changes to the site to keep it from becoming ‘static’. When you create engaging content and sell quality products, you’ll win your customers business. Just make sure that you keep them coming back for more.

How to Manage Photos with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
August 6, 2015

You have photos. And you have a FatCow account. And you want to make a website for your photos on your FatCow account. You could buy some soft drinks and turn the dubstep up to eleven to hand-code your own photo management and display solution. Or you could benefit from the handiwork of your nerdy forbears and save yourself loads of time (and calories too!) We’re going to assume you have no interest in a windowless coding binge, so here’s some information on the powerful photo tools we provide access to in your FatCow account:

GalleryLittle boy with camera is shooting his dog

Gallery is a great tool for organizing groups of photos for display on your website. The functionality is part of the Simple Scripts group of tools in your Control Panel. Scroll through the Scripts List until you see the item labelled Photo Galleries and select the sub-item Gallery.

You will see a popup labelled Install Gallery and a few options, including Install a Brand New Version and Import. Click Install to begin the installation process. You will have to choose a location and set some other options and then you will get a confirmation message when the script has finished installing.

If you find yourself confused while trying to install or use the Gallery tool just head to your Control Panel, select Website and click Simple Scripts. Use the Find Support link for the Gallery item in your My Installs list. Click Find Support and choose from the options presented, including Official Site, Documentation, Support Forum and Live Demos.


For something even more simple have a look at ZenPhoto. At first glance it’s another gallery tool, but ZenPhoto strives to keep the focus on the display of your photos. If you didn’t think Gallery was quite right for your site, give ZenPhoto a try.
Install ZenPhoto from your Simple Scripts  page, just like Gallery. ZenPhotos is in the same list, too, so click Photo Galleries and then click ZenPhoto.

ZenPhoto displays a similar Install message as well, walking you through the process until your ZenPhoto is ready for photo uploads.


Gallery and ZenPhoto are both great ways to display photos on your site, but they aren’t built for actively engaging your visitors. Coppermine, on the other hand, brings more personality to photo handling. Your visitors cannot only use Coppermine to view your photos, but they can leave comments on them, provide ratings and view the gallery in a slideshow.

Coppermine is what you should choose if you want to do more with your photos than merely display them. You can use it for running photo contests and to get information about what photographs or products your audience likes (and even the ones they don’t like).


In fact, if you’re a photographer who really just needs a website optimized for someone in your line of work, have a look at Pixelpost. It’s a photoblog tool, which just means it can display your photos in reverse chronological order. It supports tags, descriptions, themes and comments.

Pixelpost’s functionality is similar to some Tumblr uses. However, using Pixelpost with your FatCow account gives you the ultimate control over the platform and tools you use to publish your photos.

Our powerful photo tools work overtime to save you lots of time. No matter which tool you choose to use, managing your photos within your FatCow account allows you to focus on the more important things in life – like running your business.


How to Set Up a WordPress Sandbox

By Jessica Ann
July 29, 2015

WordPress is a great platform for building a website, especially when you’re not an expert web designer. But the first rule of web design is to divide your site into development and production. This means that you will want to have one version of your site you can play around with and edit and another version your readers see. Dividing your site into these two parts allows you the freedom to play in your sandbox without worrying how it looks to your audience.How-to-Set-Up-a-WordPress-Sandbox-for-Development

A development environment encourages your creativity because it eliminates the anxiety you’d otherwise feel around changing things on your website. It also gives you a simple way to display the changed site next to your live site for a perfect side-by-side comparison.

Get started with the Sandbox at your Fatcow Control Panel, in the WP Essential section. Click the gear icon named Settings to pop out the drop-down menu. Then click Create Sandbox and patiently wait. WP Essential will create new folders and populate them with copies of all of your site’s files.

Your Sandbox generates four new buttons when it’s done installing. You should see buttons for Launch Sandbox, Sync, Publish and Delete Sandbox Installation. The first new button opens the Sand