FastComet is a 9 year old independent web hosting company headquartered in San Francisco, USA. Their team and services span the entire globe. They focus on shared & cloud hosting services with a focus on predictable pricing & fast customer support.
FastComet has been in the hosting business for over 9 years, first providing professional services to private and business clients before launching their own public cloud hosting service in 2013. Their core offering is an SSD Cloud Hosting solution that is “one of the most accessible and affordable on the Web Hosting Market”, and are backed by a 24/7 support team of real people.
Due to their pricing and rapid growth, I’ve had a few readers asking what I thought of them, so while shopping for a new budget host for a side project, I decided to sign up and give them a try.
Here’s my FastComet Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.
Pros of FastComet Hosting
There are a lot of FastComet hosting reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. Like I mention in all my hosting reviews, there is no such thing as a “best” web host. It’s all about the right fit for your project based on your goals, budget, experience & expertise.
Here are the pros (advantages) for considering FastComet.
Like I’ve mentioned in other hosting reviews, declaring that a company provides amazing or horrible customer service to every single customer is impossible. It’s hard to know as a single customer if you are dealing with the one amazing or the one horrible employee or if it’s the general culture of a company.
I have limited experience with customer service reps at FastComet, but here’s what I do know: they are they are available 24/7 across multiple support channels – email, tickets, chat, and phone. They make all their support channels easy to find and simple to use.
They also check in on you as soon as you start looking at pricing plans — which is a nice bonus feature if you’re new to purchasing a hosting package and have questions about finding a best fit.
Additionally, all of their support team is listed on their website.
Usually, when I see “24/7” support and instant chat, I think bot… but from the looks of it, FastComet is actually using a live support team to handle requests, which is a solid pro. They are likely able to provide true 24/7 support because they have an unusually global customer base.
Their customers span every continent with data centers spread out from Chicago to Singapore. There’s always someone working and someone available to help.
Relevant Hosting Extras
FastComet is fairly young for a hosting company. And you can tell with how they’ve planned out their hosting extras. Instead of emphasizing things like ad credits, guestbooks, and dedicated IPs – they have things like free daily backups, free transfers, free (and convenient) CDN and SSL integration, diverse data centers, and free self-installers with no upsells / ads.
But their best “extra” that is most relevant is their plan structure with no contract and 45-day money-back guarantee.
There’s nothing worse than being locked into a long, pre-paid hosting package only to find out that you don’t like the host you’re using.
FastComet doesn’t require a 1 or 3 year commitment. It’s all month to month. And if you want to move, you get the previous 45 days payments back. It’s a bold move and shows FastComet is confident that they can deliver on their promise of reliable hosting with great customer service. One of the toughest parts of a host is predicting customer churn (losing future revenue) and balancing that with ongoing investment (buying ever more powerful servers).
In some ways, FastComet’s extras are a a bit of a yellow flag for long-term websites (see cons) but in other ways, it makes total sense. In a world of cloud computing and super-cheap storage, their “extras” should be what you have in 2019.
One of the biggest frustrations in the hosting industry is the confusing pricing plans. Company plans rarely match plan-for-plan so it’s hard to make direct comparisons.
Some companies cap the number of websites on the lower end, others add a bunch of bonuses to their high-end pricing. The middle (aka “Best Value!!!”) is usually a mix meant to get you to make a decision.
There are pros and cons to FastComet’s pricing. In terms of pros, the biggest is their fixed pricing models.
Most hosting companies have standard pricing that they discount based on how long you sign up for. And most hosting companies also provide a discount for the first year, and then renew you for a higher price in the 2nd year. It provides a better deal for you upfront and provides better lifetime customer value for them if you are happy with the service.
FastComet offers an upfront price and renews for that same price. It’s simple and straightforward.*
*Now…there’s always an asterisk :)
FastComet does offer steeper discounts for the longer you sign up for…but they also keep your renewal rate fixed, meaning you pay the same rate you signed up at when it’s time to renew.
There are a couple of catches that I’ll mention in the cons section, but regardless, the deep discounting for a long period of time without having to worry about confusing renewal rates is a pretty solid pro.
Cons of FastComet
Like any web host, FastComet has disadvantages. There are plenty of FastComet complaints to be found online. Plenty are valid, and some are simply anecdotal. Here are the cons that I found while using FastComet for hosting.
In addition to hosting your website files, a good hosting server will also deliver those files as quickly as possible every time a visitor goes to your domain name address.
There are a lot of variables that go into how fast your website is. You can have the fastest server in the world and still have an incredibly slow website due to issues on your end. But either way, you want to have a hosting server that is fast so that you can work on your side of the equation.
One of the best measurements for approximating performance is TTFB or Time to First Byte. Again, I know that network engineers throw a lot of asterisks here and if you know *exactly* what type of website you are running – you can absolutely ask for detailed allocated specs. My goal with my hosting reviews is to provide a narrative of tradeoffs so that you can make the call for your website.
But here’s how their data center performed with my website when I first set it up on a clean WordPress install –
0.612s for TTFB is fairly good, but also not in the top tier that I’ve seen. Additionally, FastComet’s tests varied wildly. I had to double-check stats with Pingdom Tools before pulling this test as the most representative. Their default memory allocations were fine. And if you are going to be serving lots of images directly from your website, then their SSD drives are a huge plus.
So FastComet is not the best performer, but it’s not the worst.
Now – there is a FastComet offers multiple server locations, allowing website owners to choose the closest location to their customers, so their website can load faster.
This is absolutely a pro for FastComet. There are not a lot of name-brand hosts (others include SiteGround) that maintain this many datacenters. If you are in Africa, Asia, or Australia – this setup can be especially useful.
However, I am also very curious as to why they have so many, so close together. Data centers really only matter on the continent-scale. Having 3 centers east of the Rockies in the US is not the huge benefit that they want it to be. And also, their headquarters are nowhere near any of their datacenters.
On the face of it, none of this matters – in fact, it’s a plus. They have fine performance, and everything else is a bonus. But between the price structure, inconsistent TTFB, large number of data centers – I do have concerns about whether their current structure will last for the long-haul. The hosting industry has ruthless tradeoffs and fairly thin margins unless you have lots of value-add.
If you are looking for a truly long-term host that has consistent performance over the course of years into the future, I would be wary of FastComet. But if you are ex-US and like some of their other features, then I’d take their performance & features as is and use it for your advantage.
Web hosting companies are all selling the same thing – a physical home for your website connected to the Internet – but they all have different plans with different caps, different bonuses, and different renewal prices.
For most, figuring out their true value requires a breakdown into different parts.
To compare “apples to apples” among hosting companies, I break things down into Core hosting features and Bonus hosting features. We’ve talked about how FastComet does really well on Bonus hosting features.
Core hosting features are the “3 D’s” – domains, databases and disk space. The core purpose of a hosting server is to serve website files when someone types in your domain name.
- Domains are how many domain names you can point to your hosting account. If you want multiple websites, you’ll want to have multiple domains allowed. You’ll also need to look at email addresses per domain – sometimes those are capped as well.
- Databases are how many pieces of website software you can run on your hosting server. A WordPress install requires one database. If you have any apps, Listservs, etc – you’ll need more.
- Disk space is how many files you can put on your server – images, text, PDFs, etc.
- Other features could include anything from website builder software to advertising credits to backend software, etc.
One of FastComet’s biggest cons is its plan limitations — specifically its caps across domains and disk space.
With their Starter Plan, you’re limited to one website and domain and 15GB of disk space. If you have one small website, this isn’t a huge problem. But if you want to scale, it can be limiting.
FastComet also limits disk space on their mid-tier and higher-tier plan, too.
Again, if you’re planning on creating a smaller site (AKA you won’t have much need for disk space to store images, files, etc.), then this isn’t a huge problem for you. But if you’re looking to add advanced functionality to your site — like eCommerce — or store a ton of images (like a beauty website) you’re going to want to make sure your hosting plan has the capacity to handle it.
At first glance, FastComet’s pricing seems pretty straightforward. The price you pay now is what you renew at, and each price is associated with a package that comes with some set features. Simple, right? In fact – I count that as a strong pro in their favor.
But when you actually go to purchase a plan, things get a bit muddier. Check out what happens when we tried to sign up for the StartSmart plan:
Suddenly there’s a setup fee and the monthly price is actually higher unless you sign up for a longer-term plan. It can be pretty confusing if you’re coming directly from the pricing plan page.
So again. The ruthless math of hosting returns. FastComet is trying to position their pricing so that it’s “No Contract” and transparent…while also finding tactical ways to prevent churn (committing to a year+) and reduce trial customers (the setup fee).
All that is fair…but also makes their pricing structure a bit less innovative. After all, many other hosts will stop charging you after cancellation. And plenty of others offer an even longer money-back guarantee (like InMotion and DreamHost). And others do multi-year discounts (SiteGround).
Anyway, it’s not a huge deal in and of itself. They still have excellent pricing. But like the performance disadvantage, there’s all these small mini-flags that make me wonder whether they have truly figured out their positioning, business model and future.
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how FastComet compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion.
FastComet vs. GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the industry brand name, even though they are primarily a domain registrar, not a hosting company. They’re much improved as a web host since 2013, but their only real selling point is their deeply discounted introductory pricing. And on that point – FastComet competes head-on with them – but GoDaddy provides more features. Between GoDaddy and FastComet, I would choose GoDaddy.
FastComet vs. HostGator
FastComet and HostGator have some key differences. HostGator is a much larger organization and operates out of Endurance’s Houston and Utah data centers. They have very affordable upfront pricing, but raise the renewal price so that FastComet would eventually be cheaper. FastComet has more international datacenters.
If pricing is your main consideration, HostGator has cheaper medium-term pricing and deep introductory prices with more features than FastComet. Most site owners would like HostGator better. I run most personal projects on HostGator. FastComet would be better for ex-US customers.
FastComet vs. Bluehost
Like HostGator, Bluehost is another larger competitor. Behind GoDaddy, they are one of the biggest brands in hosting. They used to (pre-2015) have a very similar pricing setup to FastComet but with a cleaner backend and better support. However, they’ve changed up their plans and moved “upmarket.” On raw pricing and basic features, FastComet is a better choice. However, Bluehost is good if you’re looking for higher quality and better options.
FastComet vs. Siteground
SiteGround is one of the fastest growing independent hosting providers. They operate out of Bulgaria with regional data centers, and have similar datacenter reach. If you want similar features at a very cheap price, FastComet is for you. If you can pay a bit more, SiteGround is a much more established company with better performance.
FastComet vs. InMotion
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest and fastest growing hosting providers. They offer the full-spectrum of hosting services. This website uses a VPS server from InMotion. They’re more expensive than FastComet’s pricing specials, but offer a much better product on every consideration. InMotion also has a brand called Web Hosting Hub that offers entry-level shared hosting plans. They are competitive with FastComet on price (slightly more expensive), but provide a much better product and more options inside their plans. Check out Web Hosting Hub here (review here) and InMotion here(review here).
Conclusion & Next Steps
Overall, I found FastComet hosting to be good for what they are. If you have a small website, they’ll do just fine. And if you are ex-US, they’ll be a solid option with datacenters closer to your audience.
If that pricing is your main consideration (and you don’t mind the plan limitations), you can sign up for FastComet here.
If you are looking for an affordable shared hosting company with almost as intro pricing, better long term pricing and a much better product, then go check out InMotion Hosting here. You can also check out HostGator here if you want the option to pay monthly.
Good host that seems to still be establishing its business-model. Good for price-conscious, ex-US customers, and short-term projects. Others may want to look elsewhere.
Application Category: Web Hosting