Fantastico is a script library that many web hosts install on their web servers. It allows you to install complete web applications to your website with a click of a button. These web applications could be a blog, a forum, a photo gallery, a content management or something else.
Fantastico makes it almost trivial to install certain web applications. It will create a database, copy the files, adjust permissions, and set up the configuration files. It also allows you to quickly upgrade your web application when an update is released. This is a very important feature. Why? Because new bugs or security flaws are found in web applications all the time. If you don’t quickly update your copy of the application to the newest version then you could be attacked.
The list of web applications that can be installed using Fantastico depends on what your web host has set-up. Most web hosts allow you to install:
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An updated list of scripts that can be installed by Fantastico can be found on its official web site.
As great as Fantastico can be for quickly installing scripts, it can have one big weakness. Your web host. When a new version of a script is released to fix a security flaw or add a feature, your web host has to update the Fantastico software so that you can, in turn, update the scripts. If your web host doesn't update often (as they have been known to do), then you will be using a vulnerable application on your server until they do. Just make sure to check whether your web host regularly updates the scripts before using Fantastico. Or you could also just update the script yourself (download it from the script's creator, extract it on the server, run the installer if there is one and change the configuration files). The content management system Drupal has posted an article about Fantastico's weaknesses.
You can learn more about Fantastico by visiting its official web site or by playing around with it on your own web hosting.