What Is Fantastico?

Recommended Hosting with Fantastico
Blue Host

Fantastico Introduction

Many Webmasters that have partaken in shared Unix hosting accounts that include the popular cPanel control panel will have probably already come across Fantastico. If that is the case then it is certainly likely that they will remember it. Fantastico is an exceptionally useful component of cPanel and usually comes for free with any hosting account that includes this control panel over others. To many it is the reason that they prefer cPanel to other leading web-based interfaces because it enables Webmasters to include a greater amount of functions, thus increasing the dynamics of their website.

The Benefit Of Fantastico (Apart From Being Free)

Fantastico is Unix based and is designed primarily to aid in the installation of extremely popular scripts and software. In many cases, the scripts are pre-configured and ready to go, requiring just one or two mouse clicks before they are fully installed on your web server. The range of scripts is alarmingly long, and we have broken them down into their respective category. Generally you are able to install as many instances of each of these as you like with your hosting plan.

Blogs

Blogs are the latest thing and even though they have been around for quite a while they certainly don’t seem to be losing any of their steam just yet. B2Evolution, Nucleus, and pMachine Free are all included in Fantastico but perhaps of greatest note is WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging formats or publishers available. Because of its popularity and open source programming there are a great many templates, add-ons, and extra features available from numerous libraries and programmers across the Internet.

Content Management Systems

A content management system (CMS) facilitates the quick and simple addition and amendment of content on the pages of your website. While most web hosting accounts include a site designer they are still cumbersome for adding new pages. Content management systems also allow numerous logins with varying levels of access and priorities. The CMS list is again a long one:

Drupal
Geeklog
Joomla
Mambo Open Source
PHP-Nuke
PhpWCMS
PhpWebSite
PostNuke
Siteframe
Typo3
Xoops

A lot of these content management systems are already very popular because of how easy they make managing a website. Installation and configuration is incredibly simple using the Fantastico interface making them even better.

Customer Support

Customer support is one of the underlying factors in the success of every business. Reactive and responsive customer support will not only help to win new business but will also increase the amount of repeat customers and can even help appease angry customers. In the online, always-open era we operate in it is not enough to offer a nine-to-five customer support answer machine. These customer support scripts are included as part of Fantastico:

Crafty Syntax Live Help
Help Center Live
OsTicket
PHP Support Tickets
Support Logic Helpdesk
Support Services Manager

Discussion Boards

Discussion boards, also known as forums or message boards, allow for an excellent level of customer interaction. By including a discussion board on your site it is possible to attract your visitors back to your site over and over again. Fantastico includes phpBB2 and SMF discussion board scripts.

Ecommerce Software

If you intend to sell any products on the Internet then you will need to use ecommerce software to ensure that you offer the best experience to your visitors along with easy payment and shopping. Commercial ecommerce packages can cost a lot of money but these are included with the Fantastico suite:

CubeCart
OSCommerce
ZENCart

Other Site Features

Adding an FAQ page to your site prevents the numerous questions that you would invariably receive from confused or uninformed customers. FAQMasterFlex is an easy to use script that helps you publish your own FAQ page.

Guestbook

A guestbook lets visitors show their appreciation with a message on the pages of your site. You can use a guestbook to show other potential customers just how happy your existing client base is or just let your visitors post whatever they want. ViPER guestbook is a fully operational guestbook that is once again included with the Fantastico script library.

Further Scripts

Three image galleries are included in the shape of 4images gallery, Coppermine Photo Gallery, and the aptly named Gallery. PHPList enables you to build mailing lists of all your customers and potential leads so you can stay in touch and inform your entire list of new offers or products. Polls and surveys are not only a great way to involve your visitors, they can also provide invaluable feedback regarding your site and your service. Advanced Poll lets you quickly create polls and add them to your site while phpESP and PHPSurveyor enable you to not only create surveys but collect and analyse the results.

Project Management Software

Running an online business requires good project management skills. With potentially numerous people working on various aspects of any project at any time project management applications become invaluable. PHProjekt and dotProject let you create users, assign tasks, and set deadlines. Users are then able to log in, view their assigned tasks and work through them marking them as completed when necessary.

Web Building Templates

Templates Express is an excellent application for new, inexperienced, or busy Webmasters. While it isn’t a site editor it will quickly install templates onto any server and account that includes the Fantastico license. This provides a quick way to create professional looking sites that can be easily altered, amended, or ripped apart at a later date.

Wiki Software

PhpWiki and TikiWiki are Wiki scripts. Wiki scripts are a sort of global content management system. They allow a Webmaster to grant rights to anyone or to only allow access after verification. Once users are registered they are then free to post new content, amend existing content, or completely delete content. Perhaps the largest known wiki on the web is Wikipedia, a free open-source encyclopedia.

Fantastico Conclusion

More scripts are also included that allow the creation and collection of online forms, a realty management system, classified ads posting, and much more. Fantastico is a superb addition to absolutely any hosting account and if you have it then you should take advantage of it as much as possible. If you don’t have it then you should consider getting it because of its incredible functionality, not to mention the list of free scripts you receive.