Everything You Need to Know About Softaculous

softaculous apps

If you have just bought your website hosting package, you are now in the company of thousands of new site owners figuring out their online business. Your hosting provider has given you all the tools you need for success; now it’s up to you to learn how to use them.

You now have a piece of software called a control panel, and which control panel depends on your web server’s operating system. Some common control panels are cPanel and Plesk.

Regardless of which control panel you have, you may now use it to install apps for use on your domain. Within your control panel, you have a tool called the Softaculous Apps Installer that makes deploying apps and scripts to your website a breeze.

Why Use Softaculous Apps Installer?

Softaculous helps web hosting companies as well as it helps you. This software takes the guesswork out of server locations, FTP glitches, manual backups, and updates. It provides speed and accuracy for your software installations and has hundreds of apps to choose from.

It also allows you to manage your applications with backup, restore, and cloning capabilities. Softaculous tracks updates and allows for notifications and syncing across multiple websites.

What Apps Does Softaculous Install?

Softaculous can install more than 400 apps and scripts covering several categories. Some of these categories are:


These applications include AbanteCart, Magento, PrestaShop, and OpenCart.

Social Networking

These apps include pH7CMS, Dolphin, Oxwall, and Jcow.

Email Management

Some of the email apps available are Roundcube, phpList, WebMail Lite, and SquirrelMail.

Analytics Tools

Analytics tools include LimeSurvey, Matomo, LittlePoll, and phpESP.


If you want a forum on your site, Softaculus can install phpB, Simple Machines Forum, My BB, and Advanced Electron Forums.

Database Management

Database management tools available include SIDU, phpMyAdmin, MeWebSQL, and Adminer.

File Managers

Some file management software includes ownCloud, ProjectSend, Nextcloud, and Pydio.

Ad Managers

Ad managers available include Yclas, OSClass, Revive Adserver and GPixPixel.

Miscellaneous Tools

SEO Panel, phpFreeChat, WeBid, and Open Journal Systems are some other tools available for Softaculous installation.

These are a small sampling of what you can install with Softaculous. Other full site software includes blog sites like WordPress and Pubvana and full CMS sites like Joomla and Drupal. It also can install all of its applications in multiple languages.

How Do You Use Softaculous?

The following are some tutorials on how to use Softaculous to install, uninstall, and manage your applications and domains.

App Installation

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon. You will see a category listing on the left from which you can browse to the app you want. You can also look at the “Top Applications” to find the most popular applications on the web.

Click on the program you want to install, and hit the install button at the bottom of the page.

Fill out the installation details:

You may choose to email yourself a copy of the details on this screen.

Choose your protocol. Hopefully, you have an SSL certificate so you would choose https:// or https://www. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, choose http:// or http://www.

Choose your domain.

Choose your location, or enter a name for a new folder.

Change your site settings if you wish.

Create your username and password and make them secure.

Choose your language.

Click Install.

App Uninstall

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

In the top menu, click the “Application Installs” or “All Installations” button.

Click the remove icon next to the app you want to uninstall.
Click the “Remove Installation” button.

Apps Upgrades

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

In the top menu, click the “Application Installs” or “All Installations” button.

Click the upgrade icon next to the program you want to upgrade.

Softaculous will ask you if you want to create a backup of your application. It’s usually a good idea to do this in case you wish to revert your application.

Click Upgrade.

Create a Website Backup

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

In the top menu, click the “Application Installs” or “All Installations” button.

Find the site you want to back up, and click the backup icon on the right (you can choose to back up the website, the database, or both).

Click “Backup Installation.”

You can download your backup from the backups page when it is complete. Softaculous will create a directory called “softaculous_backups” as well that you can access via FTP or cPanel.

If you want to keep all versions of your backups, it’s wise to download them and store them locally on your computer instead of leaving them on your server.

You may also tell Softaculous to save your backups to a remote location such as your Dropbox or Google Drive. From your Softaculous use menu, click on the “Settings” icon, and then choose “Add Backup Location.”

Fill in your details and then click “Add Backup Location” to save the new location. These steps will require you to enter your authorization information, and if you choose a remote server via FTP, you will need to fill in the port number, protocol, and username and password.

Restore a Website Backup

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

Click the icon that is labeled “Backup/Restore.”

If you have deleted the backup you want off of the server, you need to upload it from your computer or remote backup location to the “softaculous_backups” folder in your home directory.

Softaculous will give you the option to restore both your site and its database. Choose and click “Restore Installation.”

Once your backup has restored, refresh your website, and it will have reverted to your restored version.

Adding a Domain

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

Click on the link in the header that loads the “Manage Domains” page.

Click on “Add a Domain.”

Fill in the domain name (without the protocol http:// or https://) and the FTP details. You may create a backups directory for this domain now, but make sure it is not web accessible. You may also create a data directory here, and you should also make sure it is not web accessible.

Once you have created your domain, you can use Softaculous to install apps and scripts on it.

Developer Functionality

Softaculous can clone your site so that you may modify and test it offline. The software cannot clone all of the apps available to it, but it can clone many of the most popular apps. Softaculous maintains a list of clonable installations and is continually adding to it.

Staging your website is an important process that helps you make sure that it’s working the way you want. We’ll assume that you want to clone your most recent installation, for simplicity’s sake.

Clone Instructions

Log into cPanel. Click the Softaculous icon.

In the top menu, click the “Application Installs” or “All Installations” button.

Click on the installation you’d like to clone. In the options bar, you’ll see an icon with two identical pages on it. That is the clone icon. Click that icon.

Fill in the clone installation details as you did with other apps and backups, and click the “clone installation” button. Your credentials will remain the same as they were with your source installation.

Other Softaculous Features

Softaculous wants to provide the best experience for its users, so it has a rating system for scripts and apps that everyone may participate in and can access easily. This system allows new users to make informed decisions about their software choices with the help of their peers.

Many of these scripts and apps are open-source, so they are working on a limited budget without strong marketing. Softaculous ratings give these developers a chance to get their work to the public and garner reviews.

Softacuous also can provide email reminders to update any application that it installs. Website applications are always under attack from hacking and malware, so it is more important than ever to make sure you keep your software up to date.

You can control your Softaculous email reminders for each installation from within the application. The option for email reminders is in the bar that has the checkboxes for backups and uninstalls.

Softaculous can automate backups and auto-upgrade scripts. The company has an active user forum with information on troubleshooting, updates, and the company’s other software offerings.

Talk to Your Hosting Provider

Whether you want to sell a service or product online, host a blog, or desire a small web presence, Softaculous can help you begin in minutes. With half the research done for you via the reviews, you can choose and go with minimal time and effort that will free you up for your purpose: your business.

If you think you’re ready to build your website, talk to your hosting provider about the Softaculous Apps Installer and how it can get you started. While it won’t do every single thing you can imagine, it can lay the groundwork for your online presence.