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Recommended Host for Fantastico
What is Fantastico Hosting?
Fantastico, also known as Fantastico De Luxe, is an automatic script installer used by many Web hosting services. It features an extensive library of scripts to help you build the website you need, with just a few clicks of your mouse. If you're looking for a Fantastico hosting service, we recommend HostGator. They have been integrating Fantastico for several years throughout their hosting packages.
Fantastico's script library features more than 50 scripts to help you build everything from blogs, to wiki sites, to e-commerce sites, to customer service support functions, and more. Many popular Web applications and scripts, such as WordPress, Drupal, PHProjekt, FAQMasterFlex, and OS Commerce are included.
Many of the included scripts are open-source, although some commercial applications are also included.
Why Use Fantastico?
Fantastico is primarily designed to help individuals who may not be Web or development-savvy, or would simply like an easy way to install and administer a variety of scripts and applications.
In each case, the scripts installed through Fantastico can be installed directly, but may require a varying degree of Web development knowledge. Manual installation may require using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer files to your server, or you may have to edit database tables to complete installation of some packages.
In contrast, using Fantastico is as simple as selecting the desired script and entering some basic information, such as a username, password, and where you want the package installed. If you decide you no longer need the selected package, uninstalling it is equally simple.
In spite of its ease-of-use, Fantastico does have a number of limitations.
Because it is designed to install software with the least amount of knowledge, Fantastico installs most scripts using the minimum number of options. While this may be acceptable for novice users, more experienced users miss out on customization options that manual installations allow.
Updates are another area where Fantastico often falls short. It may be days or weeks after a popular package, such as WordPress, has been updated before the update becomes available through the Fantastico interface.
One of the biggest potential issues is possible incompatibilities with updated packages. Because Fantastico is essentially a way of shortcutting the normal installation procedure, there is no guarantee future upgrades will be flawless, and some users have reported problems upgrading some scripts, such as WordPress.
What Does It Cost?
Not all hosting companies use this application, but the ones that do usually include it for free with their shared plans, and may offer it for a small additional fee on their virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated Web hosting plans. If you already use VPS or dedicated hosting, contact your Web hosting provider to find out whether you can have it installed on your server.
Similarly, since most of the scripts are open-source, they are usually free to install and use without limitation. There are, however, some commercial scripts included. While you may be able to install these scripts, they may not function without a valid license, or there may be limits on some functionality. For example, you may be limited to a certain number of users, profiles, tickets, or other arbitrary limitation, essentially giving you the ability to test the software before deciding to purchase it.
There are several other script libraries on the market, some of them aimed at addressing Fantastico's shortcomings.
SimpleScripts and Softaculous are both compatible with more server operating systems, administration control panels, and offer a greater degree of customization, especially when installing the individual scripts.
Installatron offers even more customization, as well as an Installation Rapid Update Guarantee, promising updates to popular packages within hours of release.
Fantastico Pros and Cons
- Widely available
- Usually free
- Supports the most common Web applications and scripts
- Easy installation and uninstallation
- Limited customization options
- Slow package updates
- Occasional incompatibilities
Points to Remember
Fantastico may be an excellent choice for novice users who need to quickly get a website up-and-running, or who want to experiment with a variety of Web scripts, but lack the necessary technical knowledge.
While there are other packages that do more, Fantastico is widely available, usually free and is supported by some of the largest hosting companies.