Web Hosting - Fantastico



Fantastico is a commercial script library which automates the installation of web applications to a website. Fantastico scripts are executed from the administration area of a website control panel such as cPanel. Fantastico's web site boasts that they are installed on ten thousand servers, with a million users worldwide, which would make it the leading product of its type.




Typical usage

Fantastico scripts are usually executed when a new website is created, or a new application is added to an existing website. The scripts typically create tables in a database, install software, adjust permissions, and modify web server configuration files. Although Fantastico is typically associated with open-source software, a handful of scripts are also available which install commercial products, which once installed, are available to all of the domains hosted by a physical server; such as web site builder SohoLaunch, PerlDesk customer support software, and AccountLab Plus software for interacting with Internet registrars.


There are more than 50 applications that have Fantastico scripts associated with them. The most commonly added systems include:

  1. Web content management system
  2. Shopping cart software
  3. Wikis
  4. Blogs
  5. Photo sharing


Criticism of Fantastico

Fantastico has been criticized in several areas:

  1. The installation scripts, although easy to use, are frequently not maintained by the ISP, and thus older releases of products with known security problems are in current use.
  2. The default configuration for many applications may not be secure. So although the systems are easy to set up, it also provides opportunities; for example for spammers to write automated scripts which post spam messages on websites.

Since open source projects can not legally prevent third parties from creating alternative installers, users are thus responsible for monitoring updates and patches, as well as installing them. This process is generally much more technically challenging to users who installed it via an automated control panel, rather than doing so themselves from scratch, using files from the open-source web site.


Despite these criticisms, Fantastico presently has the largest installed base of like products for web site usage.