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 limitations, 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.
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Fantastico Frequently Asked Questions
Is Fantastico the same thing as Fantastico De Luxe?
Yes. Despite the different name, this is the exact same automatic script installer. Regardless of what you call it, many web hosting services continue to offer it for free to users as a way of quickly installing a variety of programs.
How does Fantastico help users build a website?
Instead of manually installing scripts, such as WordPress, Fantastico offers a one click install. For those who are interested in building a website or making changes to their existing web property, this is a good way to achieve the desired results in a time efficient manner.
Do all web hosting companies offer Fantastico?
No. Some provide Fantastico to users, regardless of hosting level, while others do not. HostGator is one of the top Fantastico hosting companies, but there are many others to consider. These include: GreenGeeks, A2 Hosting, MyHosting.com, GlowHost, and WooServers. Since some hosting companies do not offer Fantastico, it is best to verify this with the provider before signing up.
How big is Fantastico’s script library?
While most people never take advantage of all the scripts, there are more than 600 that provide service in a variety of categories, from blog creation to e-commerce sites to customer support. Some of the most popular scripts in the Fantastico library include OS Commerce, Drupal, WordPress, and PHProjekt.
What is the downside of using Fantastico to install a script, instead of doing so through a more traditional means?
Since it is a one click installation, Fantastico installs the majority of scripts with minimum options included. For beginners, this is often times enough to get them up and running without any hassle. Others, such as those who are more experienced, may not be happy with the level of features installed through Fantastico. For this reason, they often opt for a manual installation in which they have more control over the process.
How much does Fantastico cost?
Some hosting providers use Fantastico and others do not. Those who offer this typically include it free of cost for users. There are times when there is a small fee for those who use Fantastico with a dedicated or VPS server.
How widespread is Fantastico use?
While it is impossible to put an exact number on this, the official Fantastico website claims that the application is installed on tens of thousands of servers. Even more impressive is the fact that there are more than a million users worldwide.
Are instant updates available?
This depends on the version of Fantastico you are using. With Fantastico F3, you are able to upgrade a script as soon as it is provided by the developer. This can also be done with a single click of the mouse.
How long has Fantastico been around?
Since 2002, Fantastico has been the number one auto installer in the world.
How much flexibility does Fantastico provide the user?
This is one of the biggest concerns with many auto installers, as the user worries about flexibility. With Fantastico, you can install scripts anywhere inside your web root directory. This includes add on domains. You also have the option for split installs when necessary.
Is Fantastico only compatible with cPanel?
There was a time when the answer was yes, but this has changed over the years. Fantastico F3 can support a variety of web hosting control panels. While cPanel remains the most popular, there are others that now offer Fantastico.
Why is Fantastico so popular among beginners?
With one click installation of more than 600 scripts, there is no need to have any advanced technical knowledge. Beginners don’t have to learn about importing structure, MySQL databases, and chmoding files to get started. Instead, Fantastico takes care of all these details during installation.
Do individual users have to upgrade to the latest version of Fantastico?
Some hosting companies do not provide the choice, as they automatically update to the latest version of Fantastico once it is released. If you want to handle this on your own, contact your hosting company to ensure that a cron job is not in place.
Is support available for Fantastico?
Your hosting company may provide support for Fantastico, such as if you have questions during an installation. You can also download a copy of the official Fantastico administrative guide from its website. This is for system administrators, but there is plenty of useful information for those who are simply interested in using the auto installer.
Can I uninstall scripts via Fantastico?
It is just as simple to uninstall scripts via Fantastico as it is to install them. All you have to do is navigate to this area of your hosting control panel, find the appropriate script, and select uninstall. This will permanently remove the installation.
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