Tech Insight : Softaculous : What Is It And Why Is It Used?

In this insight, we look at what Softaculous is, what features it offers, and how it can be used to help businesses.

What Is It? 

Softaculous is a time and hassle-saving, open-source app, auto-script installer that enables the user to install any app in a couple of clicks, and to install and configure many different commercial and open-source apps via scripts and PHP classes. It has 380 scripts, 1115 PHP classes (templates of objects), and the company says Softaculous is widely used in the web industry. Softaculous has an auto-installer that integrates with many popular control panels such as cPanel, Plesk, DiractAdmin, InterWorkz, and H-Sphere, and it can take up installs of other auto-installers. If supported by the hosting provider, Softaculous also has a built-in WordPress Manager to simplify WordPress website management.

The Features 

Some of the notable features of Softaculous include one step install apps, daily script updates, one click upgrade, backups/restore installations – allows users to backup their sites and backups can be done on Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP/FTPS/SFTP locations. Other features include clone installations, demos, ratings and reviews, access control for which apps are available to different users, and auto backups, i.e. users can configure to backup installations at regular intervals daily, weekly, monthly or at custom times.

What Sort Of Things You Can You Do With It? 

To use Softaculous, log into your web hosting account, go to your control panel and find “WordPress Manager by Softaculous” in the software section, or use the WordPress icon (top right) if you’re already in the Softaculous user panel.

Here you can see all your WordPress installations, e.g. your plugins and themes and can add, upload, and install them in a matter of seconds. It also enables you to change some settings, e.g. enabling/disabling debug mode, WordPress cron, search engine visibility, and auto-upgrades for plugins and themes.

Some other examples of what you can use Softaculous for include:

– Create a staging environment for your website where you can test the updates add new content, plugins, themes, and the push the changes back to your live installation.

– Using the ‘Remote Import’ feature to import your installation from a remote server to your new server.

– Using the ‘Clone’ feature to create a new instance of your installation to another sub domain / addon domain within the same account.

The Benefits 

The benefits of using Softaculous include:

– It saves a lot of time, e.g. in installing, updating, and testing out a CMS and other apps.

– It simplifies typically tricky but important processes such as the installation of popular website building apps, and simplifies, for example, the building an online store or business website.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Dealing with the platforms that enable the building of websites, online shops, and blogs can be complicated and time consuming enough, let alone building and managing the site itself. Also, if integrations and installing apps are needed this can also sometimes be complicated, all of which can disrupt and delay business plans and add costs. Having one app, therefore, with auto-installers and the ability to complete complicated tasks with just a few clicks gives businesses of all sizes (particularly smaller businesses) the opportunity to save time, costs and trouble and have greater confidence in pursuing their digital strategies. Features such as the built-in WordPress Manager is particularly valued by many businesses. Also, auto-upgrades for plugins and themes can make maintenance easier, all of which means that businesses without a great deal of technical expertise in-house can carry out many of the tasks that a skilled technical person would have been needed for, thereby saving time, and making available resources go further.

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