Fantastico: A Treasure Box Full of Exciting Webmaster Tools

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Computer expert or not, all webmasters prefer to use a product or service that has the ability to provide them the utmost convenience. You see, running a website should be easy. Web programs are continually improved and updated to make them more user-friendly. On top of this, a number of web software are being developed and tested, so they can be offered as a solution to recently discovered problems. As of now, the two main qualities that most webmasters look for in a product or service are user-friendliness and functionality.

While scouting for a good hosting company that you would like to subscribe to, chances are, you have already read the features of different hosting packages. You've seen the terms that you are familiar with, like disk space, bandwidth, domain, FTP, and the list goes on. But suddenly, you may bump into a strange and eye-catching term that aroused curiosity in you - Fantastico. It is a good thing you find Fantastico interesting because this hosting feature has the power to make your website look fantastic!

What's In the Name?

According to Wikipedia, Fantastico is a "commercial script library which automates the installation of web applications to a website". Okay, let's make this definition a little less boring, just to make Fantastico sound more appealing to the newbies in the web hosting world. Simply put, Fantastico is a one-click, fun-generator. It allows the webmaster to install an additional interactive content on his site, like a photo gallery or blog, with just a few mouse clicks. Yes, you don't have to learn how to write Perl, PHP, or CGI scripts just to make your website look more professional. All you need is to install Fantastico in your server and there, you already have a long list of web applications that you turn on and off whenever you want to. If you're engaged in e-commerce, using Fantastico can save you a lot of money, too. Why? Because you don't need to hire someone to install and run the necessary scripts to make transacting business over the web possible.

What Can I Get From Fantastico?

Fantastico is a third-party add-on for the cPanel that you can get for free when you sign up for a hosting account that has a cPanel web interface. This single program contains a collection of useful open source web applications. As of now, the number of applications has reached 40 and below are just some of the scripts included in the Fantastico installer:

- Blogs - interested in sharing your ideas to the web community? Then you need a blog to make that happen. A blog is like a diary that you can update anywhere there is an Internet connection. You can also use this feature to host other blogs other than your own.

- Content Management System - CMS are programs that allow you to organize your content, so your files will not clutter your server!

- Customer Service - If you have an online business, you may want to give your customers a way to reach you. Keep those customers happy and satisfied with these tools: Crafty Syntax Live Help and Support Services Manager

- Bulletin Boards (Forum) - Want a place for group discussions? Then install one of the following forums available: phpBB2/SMF

- E-Commerce - web tools are not just for website owners. You must also give your customers the tools they need to conveniently shop from your e-store.

- F.A.Q. - Make your website a source of useful information with this tool: FAQMasterFlex

- Guestbooks - Let your visitors leave messages or comments about you or your site. It could help you improve your website.

- Image Galleries - Who doesn't want an online photo album? Upload and arrange your web photos with these solutions: Coppermine Photo Gallery or Gallery

- Mailing Lists - Update your site members about the changes in your site with a mailing list script.

- Polls and Surveys - If you are interested to know the opinions of your site visitors regarding a topic, you can do so with these tools: Advanced Poll and PHPSurveyor

- Other Scripts worth trying: phpFormGenerator and WebCalendar
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