There are basically two types of webmasters. There are those who like things done quickly and as automated as possible. The other kind are those who like to do things in a more hands-on, manual sort of way.
Depending on which side of the fence you sit, you may or may not be a fan of your web hosting cpanel software add-on known as Softaculous.
Softaculous is a 1-click installation software and is heralded in most of the blogging how-to courses and programs on the net as being the best friend to even the newest of website creators, because of the ease with which it allows anyone to initiate an online presence.
With a reported one million end users having been satisfied with its installation capabilities since its inception, it’s no wonder the installer lives by such a catchy label.
Not everyone agrees however, that it is as fantastic as it appears. In this blog post, we will reveal the workings of Softaculous, and whether it deserves the hype that its title suggests.
It isn’t easy to miss the script library which is represented by a round smiley icon residing in the software category (or somewhere similar) of your hosting cPanel.
The resounding feature of Softaculous is that it allows for a one-click installation of applications to a user’s website. These applications include, but are not limited to;
- Creating Blogs (like WordPress)
- Content Management Systems
- Image Galleries
- Email Lists and other mailing applications
- Ecommerce & Shopping carts
- Discussion boards
Primarily targeting open-source applications, this list is dependent upon what each particular web host has set up for installation. This list can be found easily by clicking on the Softaculous icon, then simply selecting the one that you wish to install, and then following your nose.
The installation of burdensome applications is said to have become an almost trivial task with the introduction of Softaculous.
Done-for-you features include database creation, copying files, adjusting permissions and setting up configuration files.
It also allows for a quick upgrade of web applications to the latest versions to protect from security flaw attacks. To do this however, it is important that your web host has first updated the Softaculous software, or you will be unable to do the same for your scripts, unless you do it manually.
The biggest benefit offered by Softaculous for most average, non-technically minded website owners is the ease of use and speed with which anyone can quickly install a blog.
Not everyone is a fan, however. Those more experienced webmasters among us have proffered several arguments as to why they would never use the tool to install WordPress and other scripts. The concerns expressed about Softaculous can be summarized as follows;
- Update Timing Delays – the latest version of any script reaches Softaculous as an update several days after its release, leaving blogs exposed to security flaws.
- Learning Capabilities Reduced – auto installing of php scripts negates the need to learn the task manually, which otherwise would increase the user’s awareness of how to make beneficial tweaks and troubleshoot problems.
- Database Limitations – databases cannot be customized during installation.
- Installation Settings Bypassed – Softaculous directs the user to the installed script, bypassing settings options that would be available during a manual install.
With its turn-key installation process, Softaculous has lived up to its name for both experienced on-the-go webmasters as well as for beginner site creators looking to cut their teeth into the online market.
Speedy installation, ease of access and simple to use, the auto installer for open source scripts has, in conjunction with a friendly cPanel interface, changed the pace and progress with which websites are now populating the web space.
Contrary arguments however, that Softaculous has more hindered than helped the webmaster public, have their place in so far as exposing areas of concern with potential security issues from delayed application upgrades.
Like most software and scripts, the viability of each is judged by the response from its users and with this as a major criteria, Softaculous remains a competitive force for website enthusiasts.