Installing Software in Softaculous: The Basics

Hello, students! Previously, I have walked through registering an Arvixe student site, and how to transfer files from your computer. Now, let’s look at the software options you have at your disposal. Your hosting space is a blank canvas for your to paint on. My own personal site Includes a custom built home page (not the best, admittedly), a blog, online chess, and a few links. The opportunities are endless. Continue reading to find out how you can begin building your site today!

Other Student Tutorials:

Registering Your Free Hosting and Domain

Uploading Personal Files


Assuming the hosting space is already set up, open your cPanel. This can be accessed via the

cPanel Login Information from Hosting Account Information email

Click on either address to open the cPanel. You will login and see a page like this:

cPanel Interface

In this image, I have minimized all the sections except “Software/Services”. You can also use the search box on the upper left, if you know what you are looking for. This tutorial only focuses on Softaculous, and no other cPanel features. Please comment below if you have questions regarding other cPanel features!

Let’s pause and talk about the concept for a moment. Your web hosting space is like an empty business park, filled with empty buildings. It’s pretty boring until you start installing software to populate the space. Web hosting has come quite a way in user friendly interfaces in the last 5 years, and it is no longer necessary to write your own web pages from scratch, or use editors offline. All the major reasons people use websites have been expanded on and prebuilt in the form of software. You can install:

  • blogs (WordPress, etc)
  • social networks
  • online stores
  • forums
  • microblogs (Twitter clones)
  • video hosting (YouTube clones, etc)
  • photo galleries
  • business portfolios
  • task managers, project management
  • games
  • calendars
  • wiki pages
  • advertising space
  • …etc

The list goes on and on! Take a moment to decide what you want to install for your first software. There is no limit to how many you can have!

For this example, I will install a forum. This can be used to talk with friends, organize online gaming clans, discuss favorite topics, or anything else you can dream of. Go ahead and click “Softaculous” to begin.

Softaculous Home Page

On the left is the categories of software. The upper right has some maintenance and management pages. For example, if I want to view the software I have already installed, press the wooden box. You’ll see below I have WordPress and online chess installed. From here, I can visit the software (click the link), log in as an administrator (click the person icon), update the version if there is a new one available (the refresh arrows), or uninstall if needed (red X).

Click to enlarge.

Let’s get that forum installed. Expand Forums on the left, and click one. There are demos, reviews, screenshots, and much more so you can make the selection right for you. And if you don’t like it afterwards, simply uninstall it and pick a new one! I have chose phpBB, and pressed Install. The setup page will look like this, for all software options, give or take a few fields.

Click to enlarge. I will describe all the fields below.

Here are the fields and what they mean:

  • Choose Protocol: Leave this alone.
  • Choose Domain: Some people might have more than one domain in their account, or subdomains (e.g. That isn’t important now, though. You can leave this.
  • In Directory: If you want this software to be available as soon as you type your domain (, leave it blank. In my case, I have many other software options already, and my own custom home page. So I chose “forum”. That means the forum will appear at “”. Choose whatever you’d like!
  • Database Name: All these software options work like a charm on the “front end”, when they are being used. But on the “back end”, there is a ton of data to organize. For forums, there are options you choose, users who register, all the posts that are made, etc. Most use a database to manage all this. You don’t need to care about it though. Leave it as it is.
  • Site Name: Give your forum or software a nice name!
  • Site Description: Again, this is whatever you’d like.
  • Board Email: whatever you’d like.
  • Table Prefix: Same as “Database Name” above. Tables are subsets within a Database. Leave it as is.
  • Admin Account Info: Enter your email address and make a password. This is so you can log into the software on the “front end” to make changes or moderate activity.

Your software is all done! Navigate to the directory you chose. Most software will have a “log in” link that is easy to find. If you can’t find it, use the “Wooden Box” I showed before and click the “Person” icon to find the admin back end. Now you can start customizing!

If you have specific questions about a software you chose, check Google. Most of these have forums and websites full of active users that can answer questions, or you can search to find answers. There is a good chance that whatever you are trying to do has already been asked and answered before.


Happy hosting, -Mike

Posted under cPanel/Linux Hosting, Softaculous, Student Website Hosting Tutorials, Using Arvixe | RSS 2.0

Author Spotlight

Mike Hoffman

Student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I currently manage Arvixe's affiliate program, social media, and university outreach program.

One Comment on Installing Software in Softaculous: The Basics

  1. Tuncay says:


    I have a news website, and I would like to create a forum page, but the topic each categeory of forum has to created automatically according to posted news.

    how can I do it?

    could you help me on this?


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