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WiP: Seven reasons why you shouldn't use any one-click installer

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So, you're totally new to SMF and you would like to install SMF. You don't know anything about ftp, mysql and php. You found out that there are several tools available to install SMF within one click. This might sound pretty good, but.. it's not. Why not?

* You won't have access to your forum files. There is no way to make backups, fix a theme or modification error or even trying to get your database password and name. Sometimes you do have access, but in many cases you don't.
* You cannot access the database. Why not? Because it's a one-click installer. You cannot remove yourself from the banlist or make yourself admin again. Sometimes you do have access, but in many cases you don't.
* They want copyright for something they didn't made. Ok, they made the tool. But is there any reason to put their copyright in the footer? Nope, there isn't. If you want to keep your footer as small as possible, don't use a one-click installer.
* One-click installers are mostly not supported. You will not get support for one-click installers in many sections of the SMF forum. At least not in many of the localized support boards
* They install softwares the wrong way. SMF is not meant to be installed like that. There is a quick tool available that WORKS. But it's called webinstall and can be trusted.
* It's outdated. Let's say the team found a very nasty bug and they release a patch. You still have to wait a few weeks (or even months!) before the one-click installer finally updates the tool.
* Your host needs to update the tool before you can upgrade. If most host wait with upgrading things like cpanel, why would they quickly update a one-click installer?
But.. but.. how can I install SMF without using a one-click installer?
It's actually very simple. Check out the wiki page below and you're ready to go.
Installing Simple Machines Forum

Thanks to Yoshi2889 for helping me with finding new reasons not to use software like Fantastico.

Jakob von Feldern:
In most situations, I'd promote this document, but (no advertising intended :P ) SMFNew (the host I work with) does allow all of these things, though some of them you'd need to pay a minimal monthly fee to access. But we're like the only one-click installation host that has a control panel where you can rename your forum, make new admin accounts, add a private domain very easily, upgrade your forum, as well as an easy way to upload rank bars and other things.

And for our Pro Hosting (which has a low monthly fee compared to other paid hosts) gives the user literal unlimited access to their forum, as well as being moved to our pro servers, the receive priority support, and they could even add their own webpages to create a full-blown website.

3. And even for our free hosting, we don't have a copyright notice on our forum - we have small NSFW links for helping out with the costs of our free hosting, but other than that, there's nothing. (Pro Hosting users don't have to worry about any kinds of advertisements)

4. With our hosting, we have our own support forum that has at least one staff member on it, almost 24/7 and it seems our users are about 99% satisfied with the way we do things.

5. Why couldn't our hosting be trusted? SMF isn't to be installed one specific way - it can be installed in any way that works.

6. We host the latest in the 1.1.x line, and we're going to be upgrading all 2.x users to 2.0.2 very soon.

7. Our installer is advanced compared to most one-click hosts, so there's really no need to keep updating it constantly.

Our hosting isn't the generic one-click host like SMFForFree. Unlike most one-click installation hosts, we actually allow our users to suggest mods and themes to be installed, and we already have a broad selection of mods and themes, including even premium DzinerStudio themes. Plus a 99.6% uptime, a dedicated wiki, and a good support team really helps the cause.

And to be honest, I still, to this day, cannot manually install an SMF forum. It never works right, and I've followed the instructions step-by-step on different hosts, and it gives me the same issue. So I finally tried Softaculous on my one host, because I just wanted to see what it was like - Softaculous and SMFNew are the only two tools I'll use to make SMF forums. :P

Actually I meant softwares like Fantastico :P

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen:
Not a bad idea for an informational article, but sadly I think this is a bit too general - and can't really be made any more specific either, because the actual circumstances of each host will be different.
Fantastico installs may very well allow you access to your files and database for example.

Yup, Fantastico doesn't stop access to anything. That depends on how your host does their own restrictions. Personally I wouldn't use Fantastico or any other installer myself, since installing a forum manually is so easy if you have a reasonable host, but the forum I admin was installed via Fantastico and it works just fine. We have access to everything, because we're on a good host.

PS: If anyone is curious, it's someone's private dedi that a few sites share under his main account, and the box is one of LiquidWeb's.


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