Script auto-installers are a common feature of most shared web hosting plans and will provide you with the tools required to install a number of different dynamic web applications into your web space with a few clicks. The main attraction to script auto-installers under most circumstances is that they carry out all of the complex tasks that take place when installing web applications, but in just a few seconds as opposed to the 30 minutes to an hour that you would normally spend configuring databases and then setting up a web application properly. Most script auto-installers will provide you with a large library of web applications to choose from, all of which have been designed for different purposes; this will mean that whatever you require a web application for, you should be able to find an application within the library of your chosen script auto-installer that suits your needs. One of the most popular script auto-installers available is Softaculous and can be integrated with a number of different web hosting control panels, suggesting that if you choose a shared web hosting plan then you will probably find that you have access to Softaculous and can then use this to your advantage. However, it should be taken into consideration that a script auto-installer may not be the best option to choose if you are looking for a more customized setup of a particular web application as if this is the result that you want then you should consider installing applications manually as script auto-installers will only do a barebones installation.
Advantages of Script Auto-installers
There can be several advantages to using script auto-installers as opposed to installing web applications manually, especially for beginners that haven’t used web hosting or developed a website properly before. Some of these advantages include:
- Simplicity – script auto-installers will make the process of installing web applications into your web space much simpler because all of the complicated work of setting up and configuring databases as well as setting the correct file permissions will be done for you – for beginners these tasks can be quite hard to complete as they require skill to ensure that everything is done properly as if for example the incorrect permissions are set on even a single file, the web application that you are working with may fail to work at all and so an auto-installer will allow you to guarantee that the correct permissions are set on all files
- Save time – script auto-installers will also allow you to save time as all it takes is a few seconds and a few clicks to install the web application that you wish to use through a script auto-installer – when installing applications manually you usually have to wait for the application to first download to your desktop and then upload again to your web space, then after that there is the complicated task of setting up and configuring the necessary database as well as file permissions, finally you will then need to follow the application’s installation wizard to tie everything together – overall this can be a very time consuming process and makes it clear why script auto-installers are very popular with web hosting providers and their customers alike
- Low cost – although script auto-installers aren’t part of most web hosting control panels, they are available for a small additional charge to your server hosting plan and in most cases this extra cost is justifiable by the benefits that such a package will be able to bring – as a shared web hosting client you will have your web hosting provider’s script auto-installer application of choice included with your web hosting plan by default, but as a VPS server or dedicated server hosting customer you have complete freedom over the software that you have installed in your dedicated hosting environment.
Disadvantages of Script Auto-installers
There can also be some disadvantages to using script auto-installers that you should be aware of prior to using one to installing a web application, as you may not be provided with the results that you are expecting. Some of the disadvantages that you may experience could include:
- Lack of flexibility – the problem with using a script auto-installer to install web applications is that the installers only usually carry out a very barebones installation meaning that you are likely to be lacking a number of features that you may wish to have access to as you will avoid using features such as the installation wizard that would provide you with the opportunity to select the specific features that you would like to have access to – if this lack of flexibility is going to be an issue then it is recommended that you install web applications manually as to ascertain the best results possible along with an installation that will be more custom to you
- Repository of applications – it is important for web hosting companies to choose a well-known script auto-installer so that they can provide their clients with a large repository of web applications that can be installed in a few clicks – every script auto-installer will be able to provide you with a number of different web applications and for the most part the offerings will always be the same, but at the same time it is still important to have variety there because different customers will want to be using different applications and of course people will change their mind over which application to use over time.
In conclusion, script auto-installers will make many tasks easier for beginners who have never used web hosting before, providing them with a much simpler solution that will allow them to install a number of different web applications in a few clicks. However, script auto-installers aren’t recommended for more experienced users or those who will be wanting a more customized configuration because most installers will only carry out a barebones installation, leaving you without a number of features that you may see as being core to the application that you are using. Furthermore, script auto-installers rarely have the most up-to-date versions of particular web applications.