Fantastico has been on our servers for a long time now, and it is quite possible that you know and like the smiley face in your cPanel, and have used it to install or update a software on your hosting account. However, we have started to get the impression that the guys behind the auto-installer have become a little spoiled by the fact that many people use Fantastico just because it is integrated in the cPanel and are sometimes a little negligent about the quality of their service. Just a few examples from our experience to back up this statement:

Software updates are painfully slow in Fantastico. Imagine there's a vulnerability out there for the current WordPress version. It would take 1 or 2 days for the WordPress guys to fix that vulnerability and provide an updated version. Then it would take 1-4 months for the Fantastico guys to put that new version into their software. This means that you would not be able to update your Fantastico installed WordPress through Fantastico during this time, and even worse, it means that for up to 1 to 4 months the Fantastico will release thousands of vulnerable new WordPress installations to the world, though the issue is known and fixed.

Another thing that Fantastico can really work on is the speed of their support. A recent example for that was just last month 600 of our servers were left with no Fantastico license, as the Fantastico guys made a change in their licensing schemes. You would imagine though, that they would fix it pretty fast right? It's 600 paid but unlicensed servers we're talking about. Wrong! It took a week!

So having in mind these little or not so little shortcomings, you may imagine that I was quite interested in meeting some guys from Softaculous on this year cPanel conference, as it has been one of the products we have already considered as a Fantastico alternative. I took the chance to talk with them about their software. As expected they were excited about their own product and what they told me sounded reasonable. So the first thing I did after that friendly chat was to fire an email to my colleague Nikolay Todorov and get our engineers to give Softaculous a try and see if what was claimed was actually true. After two weeks of extensive testing, he came to my office and said it is a good idea to switch, because:

  1. Softaculous guys seem pretty fast, when it comes to updates :)
  2. During the test period Softaculous support was fast and responsive. They took the time to explain everything we had as a concern, prior to switching a server over to their system and they seemed to have an answer for all our problems.
  3. Softaculous has 236 Apps to choose from, whereas Fantastico has only 67. Some of those Apps missing in Fantastico are Magento and MediaWiki;
  4. Softaculous provides Ratings & Reviews for each script to choose from;
  5. Softaculous provides Demo of each script as well;
  6. Softaculous provides API based commands, which SiteGround will use to do various cool stuff for you, our valued customer, such as show you which of your scripts are outdated on the main cPanel page;
  7. Softaculous keeps adding new scripts, whereas Fantastico doesn't;
  8. Softaculous has a very neat interface with category view;

So, true to our philosophy of running only the best software and giving our clients the best service out there we decided to switch over. Now all SiteGround 1100+ servers are converted from Fantastico to Softaculous and we expect the software to keep up the high standards it has already demonstrated. All scripts installed previously via Fantastico are imported into Softaculous, so you should be able to continue upgrading any apps previously installed through Fantastico through the new software. You can already see our Softaculous hosting offer and read our Softaculous tutorial articles on SiteGround website.

Over and out,

The SiteGround Mastermind