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Your Sales Process Can Stop a Sale Dead in its Tracks

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

The other morning one of our staff decided to kick off the beginning of football season by spiking her laptop computer on the ground.  (Not really, but the end result was just about the same.)

I was tasked with ordering a new LCD to repair the damage caused by her infraction. A quick search on Google to find a replacement screen provided with me a few sites, including some YouTube videos on how to replace the screen on the exact laptop. Knowing that I would be taking on the repair myself, I took the time to watch one of the videos to see what I had to look forward to. A video by a company called Screen Surgeons was well done, and they also had a site which sold replacement LCD screens.

After spending another 10 minutes price shopping, I decided that while Screen Surgeons was not the cheapest seller out there, I would reward them since they put the effort into producing the video that I would ultimately be using during the repair.

I had been authorized to order it with Next Day Shipping so we could have this machine up and running ASAP, but I wasn’t going to spend the $50 on Next Day if the item wasn’t in stock. 

I called and they weren’t in the office yet because they were 2 timezones behind me.  I got their voice mail explaining to leave a message with an email address and they would email me back. Choosing not to attempt to recite my email address letter by letter to an answering machine,  I decided I would just email them instead. 

I emailed them just asking if the item was in stock, and this is where the momentum of my purchase came to a halt.

My email to them:

Can you please tell me if the Toshiba Satellite S855 Laptop LCD Screen SKU:156LED-TOS855 is in stock, I would like to order it with next day shipping, but would be pointless to pay for the next day if it’s not in stock. Thank you,
James Moore
Internet Marketing Director

The response I received stopped all momentum of the buying process.

Thank you for your damaged screen inquiry.
We have looked up your laptop model and determined the right screen. Our screens come with YouTube instructional videos, email tech support for most laptops and a 2 year warranty.
Please reply to this email if you have any questions. We look forward to serving you.
Customer Service Professional

This didn’t answer my question at all!  I was in disbelief, and a little pissy.

I’m sitting with a browser tab open with the item in my cart, order information filled out and just waiting to click “Submit Order” and I get this generic probably automated message that didn’t answer my question, or address my concerns about ordering from them.

I needed to have this item arrive the following day so I would have it before the weekend. I couldn’t wait any longer for a response;  I ended up ordering from someone on eBay who showed the item was in stock and shipped same day. 

The point of this story is: there many many steps involved in the buying decision process.  Helping move a person along that process as seamlessly as possible will build the momentum needed to result in a conversion. If at any time you stop that momentum you will lose everything you worked at building.

Install Multiple PHP Versions on Plesk 11.5 CentOS 6.4 x64

Monday, September 16th, 2013

An automated Plesk  update upgraded PHP to 5.4.x breaking older sites hosted on the server. Our Admins noticed that Plesk Linux 11.5 finally supported multiple versions of PHP, much like the Plesk Windows version. After upgrading to Plesk 11.5 we discovered that the installation instructions to install multiple versions of PHP were slightly incomplete.

After banging our heads against the wall we finally found someone who posted: Compiling multiple PHP versions for Plesk 11.5 ( CentOS 6.4 x64 ) that was able to resolve the problem, but unfortunately there we still a few things missing.

Here are the steps we took to get PHP 5.2.17 & PHP 5.3.27 installed on CentOS 6.4 x64.

Update the system and packages

yum -y update && yum -y install wget screen && reboot

Store the timezone, we’ll need to add this to the php.ini later.

timezone=$(grep -oP '(?<=")\w+/\w+' /etc/sysconfig/clock)

Add the EPEL repository for mcrypt.

rpm -ivh

Update/Install all the packages PHP will need.

yum -y install gcc make gcc-c++ cpp kernel-headers.x86_64 libxml2-devel openssl-devel bzip2-devel libjpeg-devel libpng-devel freetype-devel openldap-devel postgresql-devel aspell-devel net-snmp-devel libxslt-devel libc-client-devel libicu-devel gmp-devel curl-devel libmcrypt-devel unixODBC-devel pcre-devel sqlite-devel db4-devel enchant-devel libXpm-devel mysql-devel readline-devel libedit-devel recode-devel libtidy-devel

The one thing that was unique to our environments was mcrypt had to be downgraded in order for libmcrypt-devel to be installed.
Run this if you get a libmcrypt version errors:

yum downgrade libmcrypt

Download PHP 5.2.17

wget -O /usr/local/src/php-5.2.17.tar.gz

Extract PHP 5.2.17, and change to the new directory.

tar xzvf /usr/local/src/php-5.2.17.tar.gz -C /usr/local/src/
cd /usr/local/src/php-5.2.17/

Configure PHP
If you receive any configure errors you’ll need to diagnose specifically for your system, but most common error is because you’re missing required packages.

./configure --with-libdir=lib64 --cache-file=./config.cache --prefix=/usr/local/php-5.2.17 --with-config-file-path=/usr/local/php-5.2.17/etc --disable-debug --with-pic --disable-rpath --with-bz2 --with-curl --with-freetype-dir=/usr/local/php-5.2.17 --with-png-dir=/usr/local/php-5.2.17 --enable-gd-native-ttf --without-gdbm --with-gettext --with-gmp --with-iconv --with-jpeg-dir=/usr/local/php-5.2.17 --with-openssl --with-pspell --with-pcre-regex --with-zlib --enable-exif --enable-ftp --enable-sockets --enable-sysvsem --enable-sysvshm --enable-sysvmsg --enable-wddx --with-kerberos --with-unixODBC=/usr --enable-shmop --enable-calendar --with-libxml-dir=/usr/local/php-5.2.17 --enable-pcntl --with-imap --with-imap-ssl --enable-mbstring --enable-mbregex --with-gd --enable-bcmath --with-xmlrpc --with-ldap --with-ldap-sasl --with-mysql=/usr --with-mysqli --with-snmp --enable-soap --with-xsl --enable-xmlreader --enable-xmlwriter --enable-pdo --with-pdo-mysql --with-pdo-pgsql --with-pear=/usr/local/php-5.2.17/pear --with-mcrypt --without-pdo-sqlite --with-config-file-scan-dir=/usr/local/php-5.2.17/php.d --enable-fastcgi

Make && Make Install

make -j $(grep processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l)
[ ! -d "/usr/local/php-5.2.17/" ] && make install

Copy the php.ini to the new location.

cp /usr/local/src/php-5.2.17/php.ini-recommended /usr/local/php-5.2.17/etc/php.ini

Include the timezone in the php.ini

sed -i "s#;date.timezone =#date.timezone = $timezone#" /usr/local/php-5.2.17/etc/php.ini

Finally use the following command to add the new PHP install to the Plesk Panel, PHP version selection.

/usr/local/psa/bin/php_handler --add -displayname "5.2.17" -path /usr/local/php-5.2.17/bin/php-cgi -phpini /usr/local/php-5.2.17/etc/php.ini -type fastcgi -id "fastcgi-5.2.17"

Download PHP 5.3.27

wget -O /usr/local/src/php-5.3.27.tar.gz

Extract and change to the directory

tar xzvf /usr/local/src/php-5.3.27.tar.gz -C /usr/local/src/
cd /usr/local/src/php-5.3.27/

Configure PHP 5.3.27

./configure --with-libdir=lib64 --cache-file=./config.cache --prefix=/usr/local/php-5.3.27 --with-config-file-path=/usr/local/php-5.3.27/etc --disable-debug --with-pic --disable-rpath --with-bz2 --with-curl --with-freetype-dir=/usr/local/php-5.3.27 --with-png-dir=/usr/local/php-5.3.27 --enable-gd-native-ttf --without-gdbm --with-gettext --with-gmp --with-iconv --with-jpeg-dir=/usr/local/php-5.3.27 --with-openssl --with-pspell --with-pcre-regex --with-zlib --enable-exif --enable-ftp --enable-sockets --enable-sysvsem --enable-sysvshm --enable-sysvmsg --enable-wddx --with-kerberos --with-unixODBC=/usr --enable-shmop --enable-calendar --with-libxml-dir=/usr/local/php-5.3.27 --enable-pcntl --with-imap --with-imap-ssl --enable-mbstring --enable-mbregex --with-gd --enable-bcmath --with-xmlrpc --with-ldap --with-ldap-sasl --with-mysql=/usr --with-mysqli --with-snmp --enable-soap --with-xsl --enable-xmlreader --enable-xmlwriter --enable-pdo --with-pdo-mysql --with-pdo-pgsql --with-pear=/usr/local/php-5.3.27/pear --with-mcrypt --without-pdo-sqlite --with-config-file-scan-dir=/usr/local/php-5.3.27/php.d --without-sqlite3 --enable-intl

Make and Make Install

make -j $(grep processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l)
[ ! -d "/usr/local/php-5.3.27/" ] && make install

Copy php.ini to install directory

cp -a /etc/php.ini /usr/local/php-5.3.27/etc/php.ini

Set the timezone in the php.ini file.

sed -i "s#;date.timezone =#date.timezone = $timezone#" /usr/local/php-5.3.27/etc/php.ini

Finally use the following command to add the new PHP install to the Plesk Panel, PHP version selection.

/usr/local/psa/bin/php_handler --add -displayname "5.3.27" -path /usr/local/php-5.3.27/bin/php-cgi -phpini /usr/local/php-5.3.27/etc/php.ini -type fastcgi -id "fastcgi-5.3.27"


Hopefully that helps some of you out there who are having trouble getting PHP installed on Plesk 11.5