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Worried about a Fantastico Install

It has someone else's adsense in the code!



5:57 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Really worried about the "future" ramifications of this!

I have a hosting account with Cpanel, which has Fantastico. I know this setup is VERY common, so many of you also have these tools in your hosting accounts.

In the past, my technical capabilities have been limited to HTML and a bit of CSS, so I wanted to learn some more. Over the past few months on my "learning
curve" trying to understand a bit of php and editing templates and themes, I have been installing various of the OpenSource software programs that are within
Fantastico, diddling with code, etc. I have learned a lot about forum and blog software, cms, etc. This has just been my way of jumping in feet first and trying to understand the spaghetti.

I always install in a subdirectory that I have password protected, because I don't want anybody coming into my Test area, especially bad bots.

Okay, so that's the background. About 2/3 of the way down the list of interesting programs to play with, I did an install into a password protected test directory, then I launched it in my browser. I looked around at its functionality for a while to figure out what it was, then I went to the home page of the "developer" to see if they have drop in templates, etc.

I suppose that I had skimmed through maybe 20 or so "pages" of what was on my site's subdirectory, when I realized that there was a 468x60 adsense banner near
the bottom of each page (below the fold).

I stared at it for a while, then said "OMG!" This other guy's adsense is getting impressions on MY domain. I went back to the "developer's" site, and read around a bit, and it sounds as if this was an
OpenSource Project that sort of got the back burner and sorta died, so this person has "picked up" the project and doing the upgrades.

Apparently Fantastico is still bundling it.

Here is my BIG worry. Say some day his site or account gets banned from AdSense? If you think about all of the hundreds of people that are installing that software because it is available in Fantastico, well, some of those sites are bound to have accounts that get banned, then maybe this developer gets banned, and geez, is MY site "associated" with his account now!?!?!

Does anyone here know how I might make a complaint to the folks at Fantastico? I really doubt that a complaint to my hosting company would have any effect -
Fantastico is just a product that is part of Cpanel, right?

Sorry this is such a long post


6:40 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm sure somebody who's been around longer than me will have something really insightful to say. But until then, here's my advice.

I think you should write to G and tell them exactly what you just told us. Give them a few more specifics (like how many adsense units you've found, whether or not you can remove them, etc). Make sure you keep whatever emails you get back from them.


6:47 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Fantastico is developed by a third party developer (not the cpanel guys). Do a google search for fantastico and their site is the first result.

You could try reporting it to the fantastico forums and suggest that they remove the app from the bundled list of programs.


9:22 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why not just take out the adsense code? I'd report it to G as well though.


10:07 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Don't keep us in suspense... which app was it?


12:08 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just remove the code. Why is that a problem?


1:11 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I did find the adsense code, buried deep in an include banner file, and it is removable.

However, I don't intend to use that particular application, now that I know what it is (included Adsense code aside).

Rodney - I did search for Fantastico, but all I found were hosting companies that offer it. It would be great if they have a forum! Maybe I need to find them on a BigDaddy DC :-0

remove - you are right, it is probably a good idea for me to send a cover-my-a$$ e-mail to AdSense :-)

RonS - I deliberately did not name the app because I am pretty sure it would be a WW TOS violation to get that specific? I will send it to you in sticky mail.


2:15 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i know what application you are talking about. I had installed it a few weeks ago and then saw the code.

On contacting the developers, they told that it was a part of the free version and that they do this to keep the deevelopment free. I disagreed and put a stop to it there.

I prefered not using that application any more.

Also, I used to use fantastico applications a lot before september 2005, and in the jgger updte, i noticed that most sites that used open source software went down in serps largly. custom developed sections of the same sites remained high in serps.

I have removed almost all open source applications life forums, blogs, even oscommerce etc, and now reverting to custom development. Thsi keeps me safe too, and in control


3:04 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi CW,

just sent ya a sticky.




5:06 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I prefered not using that application any more.

That is exactly the way I felt about it!

Sobriquet - you have made an excellent point here.

1. The Fantastico tool and the OpenSource software packages are very convenient for us newbies that cannot program a complicated application from scratch: therefore, they are widely used.

2. It is not the responsibility of the development teams at the various OpenSource apps to ensure that these apps are search-engine friendly

3. Perhaps this entire discussion should be a lesson to everyone that they should always proceed with caution when using the software - dig into it and understand what it is and what it does BEFORE you actually use it on your website. Don't just use it "out of the box" - be sure to customize for your own needs.

On the other hand, it is exactly the newbies who might just install and leave the code untouched, with this AdSense code on their website.

Someone inexperienced has some level of trust in the OpenSource apps, especially since they are provided for easy install by their own hosting.

This particular application is one that should be used with extreme caution in this day and age of being careful about link partners, and then on top of it they slide in their own AdSense code.

I just felt that this whole issue smelled really rotten


6:56 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Rodney - I did search for Fantastico, but all I found were hosting companies that offer it. It would be great if they have a forum! Maybe I need to find them on a BigDaddy DC :-0

The first result for fantastico in Google is the fantastico developers site which DOES offer a forum. I'll stick you the URL :)


7:22 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wow, you're right Rodney. I had seen that site in my first lookey-loo, but it gave me the impression that it was a hosting provider! Maybe I was sleepy, or I was distracted by the cute photo of the baby.

Anyway, I'm off to explorre their forums for a while.


8:01 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

From Google program Policies:

No Google ad, search box, or referral code may be pasted into any software application.......

I was under the impression that it is against the TOS to put adsense in any software that is open for general use such as this one.

I feel that if this is true Google should ban Fantastico immediately.


8:23 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

No, this isn't fantastico's breech (who knows if they are even in the adsense program?) this is the 'fault' of the developers of the particular app.
A little more care on fantastico''s part may be nice, but I don't see Joe Webmaster paying for their product for them to care, me.


10:21 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sorry, ann, maybe my first post was unclear! As I understand it (someone please correct me if I am wrong), Fantastico provides a product that has auto-installers that are easy to use. Their auto-install scripts are set up for many OpenSource applications, which are also available at many other places on the web for download.

My concern in this thread is not Fantastico, but that one of those commonly used applications is being installed on domains with the developer's AdSense, and without the knowledge or consent of the end-user.

Initially, I prefer to give Fantastico the benefit of the doubt here, in that the product that I am discussing is (was?) OpenSource, and Fantastico is still providing an auto-intaller for it.

It is entirely up to Fantastico what products they choose to provide for their clients, and the standards of judgement they use to decide whether a software
package will benefit their users. That is why I want to find the Fantastico forum and make a comment. I have no specific beef about Fantastico itself


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