What is Softaculous and How to Use?

What is Softaculous and How to Use?

Softaculous is an add-on available for multiple web hosting control panels that will allow you to install a wide variety of applications into your web space with a few clicks, saving you from fiddling around with all the small things that could prevent you from getting an application to run smoothly including setting permissions and setting up the database for the application in question.

A majority of the applications that are included in the Softaculous repository are open source, which means that you won’t need to pay a penny to use any of them. The major benefit of using an application such as Softaculous is that it will allow you to provision the installation of many web applications in the time that it would take you to install a single application if you were to do it by hand.

As a VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting user you will need to pay for your own Softaculous license, but at the cost of the application is so low that the cost is easily justifiable; as a shared web hosting customer, the inclusion of Softaculous with your web hosting service is dependent upon you using Linux web hosting and your chosen web hosting provider having it installed on their Linux servers.

Control Panel Integration

Traditionally the most popular script auto-installer application has been Fantastico, however the disadvantage of this is that it can only be integrated with cPanel servers and so is limiting for most web hosting companies.

Softaculous can be integrated with several different control panels including Plesk, cPanel and DirectAdmin meaning that there is a wide market for the product as a larger number of web hosting companies will be able to adopt it; even though cPanel is a popular control panel, not every web hosting company wishes to use it for certain reasons.

However, Softaculous is still limited to the Linux platform because of the applications and services that it needs access to aren’t available on the Windows platform, this also means that the application can’t be integrated into the Windows version of the Plesk control panel.

For web hosting companies it is important for any add-ons that they use in conjunction with their control panel configurations integrate seamlessly with the control panels so that their customers don’t get confused when it comes to using the add-on or how the add-on can affect their web hosting account. Softaculous is able to provide this seamless integration and can appear as being a integral part of the control panel software.

Scripts and Applications

There are a wide variety of scripts and applications available through Softaculous that can be installed with a few clicks, providing you with a facility that will save you time because Softaculous takes care of the technical side of things including copying all of the files that are required into your web space as well as setting the correct permissions and configuring the database as appropriate.

As a majority of the applications contained within the Softaculous repository are open source, you can install them in your web space as many times as you want without the need for any additional licenses because they are free to use. The other benefit of installing applications through Softaculous is that the application will always install the latest version of the different applications; you can also use Softaculous to manage your installations to update particular applications when a new version is released.

Once you have finished using an application or wish to move over to another platform, you can then use Softaculous to uninstall everything, which will include the removal of the files and the deletion of the database.


Softaculous is well known for its speed and the whole idea of script auto-installers is that they save you time when compared to installing web applications manually. The whole process of uploading the files required for an application, configuring the database and then setting the relevant permissions can be a long process which is why applications such as Softaculous are so popular.

For beginners and the not so technically competent, installing a web application can be a daunting process, regardless of the technologies and applications that have been used to develop the application; a script auto-installer will remove that fear and will provide you with a fast and easy way to install an application that will be fully functional in a few simple clicks.

As well as shortening the whole installation process, you can be sure that Softaculous will be able to provide you with a working application once it has been installed; one of the main issues you could face when installing an application manually is that you do something wrong that could either prevent the application from connecting to the database or incorrect permissions could render certain files unreadable.


If you are unsure of which application to use for a particular purpose then all applications are grouped together into separate categories to make picking the right application for your needs easier. Alongside each application is a star rating based on how good the users of Softaculous think the application is; as well as using the category system, you can rely on the ratings to provide you with an idea as to how good an application is. On the other hand, you can choose to install several applications at once so that you can trial them to see which one you feel is the best for the purpose.

In conclusion, Softaculous is a very good replacement for Fantastico in cPanel hosting environments for web hosting providers who wish to offer an easy to use script auto-installer for their Linux web hosting customers. The fact that Softaculous can be integrated with other control panels will put web hosting companies at an added advantage because it means if they wish to switch over to using another control panel, they can keep the same selection of add-ons.

Softaculous is available for a small monthly fee for dedicated web hosting customers, providing them with a service that will save them time when it comes to provisioning application installations.

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