Monthly Archives: May 2011

softaculous vs fantastico

For WordPress users, beginners or advanced, they love the easy installation of WordPress, which may be completed from the hosting control panel, such as cPanel offered by Arvixe.

I had been enjoying the great web application installation services from Fantastico until I found Softaculous also available from the ControlPanel.

With Arvixe Hosting service, you can find both Softaculous and Fantastico are listed side by side in the "Software/Services" section:

softaculous fantastico side by side

softaculous fantastico side by side

Both Fantastico and Softaculous are great in offering quick installation of popular software (web application) with simple steps (Fantastico makes the installation into 3 steps while Softaculous requires only one, thus few clicks.): blog, cms, shopping carts (online stores), ERP, and educational Software. Both of them create the needed database and install the software automatically for you. However, it seems that with 200 auto installation scripts (premium license that Arvixe bought), Softaculous, the new comer, is winning more users. According to a Cpanel user forum poll, over 85% of users prefer Softaculous over Fantastico.

One of their users said

Softaculous is good forWHMCS and Magento users as well as hosting provider becasue both scripts are present in Softaculous and easy to install as compared to manual installation.

The e-commerce web applications from Fantastico only include three: "CubeCart, OS Commerce, and Zencart" while with the premium Softaculous that Arvixe hosting offer, you have 13 choices, including the above three and OpenCart, PrestaShop, phpShop, Magento, WHMCS, CubeCart, AccountLab Plus, PHP Point Of Sale, TheHostingTool, TomatoCart. (Even the free version of Softaculous has 10 more scripts than the paid version of Fantastico, which has only 50 scripts.)

For WordPress users,  the installation of WordPress offered by Softaculous are so up to date: see our WordPress news on WordPress 3.1.3. It makes Fantastico's WordPress installation a bit outdated. One good thing about Softaculous WordPress Installation is that it offers you different language versions of WordPress, which is not found with Fantastico.

It seems that it takes a lot more efforts for Fantastico to catch up with Softaculous. Otherwise, Fantastico may lose more and more market to Softaculous.

I was frustrated a few times when the installation is missing for some popular Web application by the Fantastico auto installer. Way to go, Softaculous!

WordPress & HookPress

Mitcho created a great WordPress plugin and a video tutorial on

The great features of HookPress were well explained clearly by Mitcho, the HookPress author.

With HookPress on WordPress, you can

  • create Post webhooks
  • create push notification (it supports both actions...)
  • create filters

The bottom line is that you can extend WordPress without PHP

Here's the video:

Mitcho is a MIT Linguistics PhD student. He has another "must-have" WordPress called "Yet Another Related Posts Plugin", also popular among WordPress users. Way to go, Mitcho!

To install HookPress, just go to "Add New" Plugins menu in your backend (Dashboard), and search for "HookPress", then you can have it automatically downloaded and installed with a couple of clicks. If your hosting server does not allow you to do that, you may go to to download and install it.

WordPress 3.1.3

A new WordPress version 3.1.3 , a minor upgrade, was released yesterday (5/25/2011). Great job WordPress team. Keep up the good work. Thank you!

WordPress 3.1.3 was released on May 25th, and on May 31, when I tried to have a new installation of WordPress with Softaculous ( free service offered with Arvixe Hosting ), WordPress version 3.1.3 was already available! Meanwhile Fantastico's WordPress is still giving you online version 3.1 (Of course WordPress upgrade is easy with Arvixe Hosting server, but still that is extra clicks and some new WordPress users may not be aware of the necessity of upgrading to 3.1.3 in timely manner.

The bottom line is Softaculous WordPress auto installation is now more updated, easier and faster (one step compared to Fantastico three steps). Also it offers installation backup which Fantatico does not have.

WordPress 3.2

As WordPress developers, we need to prepare for WordPress 3.2 even it is still beta 1 and not recommended to run on a production web site as of this writing. WordPress 3.1 was official released on Feb. 23rd, 2011 and we heard that WordPress 3.2 release will be in June, 2011.

We need to know that the minimum system requirements for WordPress 3.2 will be: PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.  This has to be considered if you plan to upgrade and you still have some plugins or themes that are not compatible with these version of PHP and MySQL.

The PHP version of  Arvixe hosting server is higher than 5.2.9  and MySQL is higher than 5.0.9. So there should be no problem you want to transfer to their hosting service and upgrade to WordPress 3.2. If you need help in transferring your WordPress site to Arvixe, you may contact us before you sign up your hosting service and we can lead you through the whole process.

As the beta release notes remind us: "Theme and plugin authors, if you haven’t been following the 3.2 development cycle, please start now so that you can update your themes and plugins to be compatible with the newest version of WordPress."

As WordPress users, you also need to prepare yourself if you plan to have someone to help you to upgrade to WordPress 3.2 because Internet Explorer 6 will no longer be supported for the Admin. There will be an Admin GUI refresh, but that will not be a major redesign so you may still find your way around.

Great things being expected from WordPress 3.2: 1) Improved performance will make your WordPress site much faster. 2) A new default theme called Twenty Eleven, based on the popular Duster theme with rotating header images and more. 3)Distraction-free Writing

WordPress 3.2 Full Screen Editing

If you can't wait to see the WordPress3.2 Full Screen "Distraction-free Writing" mode, the above video just shows you that for your curiosity. We also show you the most ignored but useful features of "Kitchen Sink" and spell checking language options, which has been available for quite some time, even in previous WordPress versions. It is useful for people who want color text or change some text to heading 1 to heading 5, etc.

WordPress 3.2 Preview Video presents a HD (720) video on WordPress 3.2 preview:

This is meant for those who doesn't want to install WordPress 3.2 beta version yet so they can get prepared for their upgrade.
Something we cannot show you here: better performance.

Next, we are going to show you the most talked about "Full Screen Editing Mode of WordPress3.2 for Distraction-free Writing"

WP89 WordPress Theme with 335 Side Bar

If you like to have a theme like, now you can down it from here.  The wide right side bar allows you to have enough space for your income generating sponsoring ads such Google Adsense, Affiliate programs, etc.



Features: fixed width, 335pix wide right sidebar, two columns, valid XHTML, widgets.

We will show you how much you can do with this multifunctional theme.

Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog 2nd Edition

One of the great books for WordPress development beginners was scheduled to publish on June, 2011, but it is available now. So it is the latest book for WordPress users or developers. It is not for WordPress beginners, but developers. If you are a Web developer who want to learn WordPress to develop a web site for business ( not just for a blog), and want to do the following things:

  • Build Beautiful WordPress Themes, including Child Themes
  • Create Custom Login Forms and Admin Themes
  • Use the Loop to Control Content
  • Build Plugins, including Widget Functionality
  • Use Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies
  • Use Post Formats
  • Integrate WordPress with the Social Web
  • Use Conditional Control Elements
  • Integrate Theme Options
  • Build Your WordPress Projects for SEO

You may read the detailed Table of Contents of Smashing WordPress :Beyond the Blog here. A former editor of the Blog Herald, a popular website for bloggers and WordPress users, the author Thord Daniel Hedengren, is a professional web designer and developer who has created numerous WordPress themes, developed plugins, and put WordPress to good use powering both blogs and big editorial sites. You sure can learn a lot from his new 350-page WordPress book. At Amazon, the 22 readers gave it 4 stars of 5 and as a WordPress developer, I agree with that. Got a copy and start your WordPress development today!

Left side is the Kindle version.

Basic WordPress Tutorial: Widgets

How to use widgets for your WordPress sites

One of the most useful WordPress features is being able to use widgets or add custom widgets to enrich the site contents and facilitate navigation.

Using WordPress Widgets (2) will show you more on how to use widgets for better interface of your site.

Making Money With WordPress

I may say that not all WordPress users run their sites for money, but in order to cover the cost for the self-hosted WordPress sites and the time they invest, advertising is a great way to help them to keep the balance and grow their sites. No money no talk is the truth unless you are talking about Jesus. We, as the owner of, would also like you to buy from our sponsoring advertisers so we can cover our cost to roll out more free tutorials and tips for everyone.

This article here only briefly cover a few ways to make money with WordPress as there are lots of books covering this topic only. The following should help you to get started

Usually, most people may think of Google Adsense ads on the their sites and blogs as their first choice.

How to put Adsense ads on their WordPress sites?

  • Creating a Google adsense account (if you don't already have one): ( What is Adsense? )
  • Get the Adsense code and insert it into your WordPress posts, pages, or widgets manually.
  • Or install a WordPress Adsense plugin to help you insert the ads.
  • A friendly reminder: Adsense ads are PPC (pay per click, the advertisers pay Google for every click, then Google pays you a percentage of that payment), but never click on those ads by yourself because it is considered fraud and get your serious result.

Actually, some people can make big money with their blogs with affiliate programs. Most of these programs are pay per action, meaning if the visitor from your site links enroll or pay for the advertised services or products, you will get the commission.

How to put affiliate ads on Your WordPress Sites?

  • Create/Open an affiliate account from Amazon, Commission Junction, Clickbank, etc.
  • Get the affiliate ad code and insert it into your WordPress widgets
  • You may also install some WordPress plugins to manage your affiliate ads on your WordPress sites (We will cover this soon)

You may sign up a hosting affiliate here: .( Please remember to click "Affiliate Program" link at the left bottom when you get there. Also remember that you cannot get any commission if you use your own affiliate link to buy things. That is general rule for all affiliate programs. If you want to get your own hosting account now, you get use our link to open your own hosting account first and then make money from the sites you build with your hosting account.)

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