HelloARI logo: vinyl signs and identity design home«    web design«    sign design«    blog«    contact« 

web design and wordpress development 94114
san frnacisco web design

Choose a personal Google Account vs a Google Workspace account

If you get a message like this when you log in, it’s referring to how you had an account already registered with Google using that email. Now you have a new kind of Google account with that same email address. Part of the confusion is that you can register any email as a “Personal Google account” – it doesn’t have to be a Gmail or a Google Workspace email account.

In other words, if you see this message it means you have a “personal Google Account” and a “Google Apps account” (now called a “Google Workspace account”) linked to the same email address.

Choose an account: There are two existing Google Accounts… Which account do you want to use?
1 – Google Workspace account An account owned by helloari.com
2 – Personal Google Account An account you created with Google

Learn more about “conflicting accounts“:

A conflicting account is a personal Google Account that was created using the email address of a Google Workspace account. A Google Workspace user could have two accounts with the same email address.

If you had old google account and now your email hosting is part of Google Workspace it asks when you login about a personal (or it might be considered a private account as opposed to a corporate Google Workspace account). Some might refer to this as a Google login in Workspace vs a Private account.

There is a way to combine to two accounts: see: support.google.com/a/answer/7062710
But it’s not required. You can just click on that first option “google workspace” and proceed.

This video explains in more detail:

Posted in Web Design | Leave a comment

Free Public Domain Stock Photos – leave your mark

2022 updated list:

Great photos (public domain) can be found from U.S. government agency websites:

  • USA.gov is a government-operated website that was founded to give access to government agencies and resources.

And a bigger list:

And some searchengines to help find free photos:

Many photo editors want to boycott Getty Images because of their “extortion” letters. List of Getty Images owned sites:

  • iStockphoto
  • MediaVast
  • WireImage
  • FilmMagic
  • Contour Photos
  • Master Delegates
  • Redferns Music Picture Library
  • Jupiterimages – stock.xchng and StockXpert
  • Corbis announced that it had sold its image licensing business, including the Corbis Images, Corbis Motion and Veer libraries and their associated assets, to an affiliate of Visual China Group—Getty’s exclusive distributor in China. Concurrently, it was announced that VCG would, after a transition period, license distribution and marketing of the Corbis library outside of China to Getty. The firm will also manage Corbis’s physical archives

Some of these links are via: Matthew Chan

 This YouTube video covers best practices for using other people’s images

Posted in Design | Leave a comment

1099k and independent web designers

You may have heard that you do not need to send a 1099-NEC (formerly called 1099-MISC) to a contractor if you paid them through PayPal, even if they made more than $600.

It’s pretty confusing and you should confirm with your CPA first (this blog doesn’t offer legal or tax advice) but I hope my recent research will give you a few new perspectives on how to manage small business tax reporting.


As of 2022 the trigger for PayPal (or any 3rd party payer) to send a 1099k is reduced to $600. It used to be $20,000 (or 200 transactions).


If you pay with PayPal’s “friends and family” option (no fees) you are required to send the contractor a 1099-NEC. In other words, PayPal will not send them a 1099k if you use the “friends and family” option. PayPal will only include in their 1099k payments that are marked as “business” payments and those payments are always charged a fee (usually 3.49% + fixed fee of around 0.49 USD).

Venmo is also a 3rd party payment processor – they also ask for each payment if it’s to “friends” (like a repayment of borrowed money or splitting a bill) or for a business. I think this is only an option if you have business payments enabled for your account. The fee is lower: 1.9%+$0.10.

I think Square and all credit card payments (and payment services like Wise.com) don’t have free options so all those payments will be reported on a 1099k.

Zelle is always free of fees so banks are not going to ever send a 1099k.

Posted in Web Design | Leave a comment

How to remove a Google account from “Choose an account” page list


Here’s a quick tip on something very simple that I could not figure out for the longest time. One of those bugs that was somehow thought to be a feature at some point in the development process over at Google. Too busy not doing evil, I guess…

The graphic above is very straightforward and familiar to anyone who uses more than one Google account.  Easy to add or remove accounts, right? The tricky part is that if you are logged into any of these accounts then you will not see the “remove” button. Instead, it will look like this (with just “add an account”):

add account - no remove

Add and Login to Remove?

In other words, to remove an account you have to log out of a different account but it doesn’t tell you which account you are logged into. And to find this page in the first place you have to “Add account” from the top right menu – so you have to add an account and then log out of an account in order to remove an account.

There are many ways to end up on this page I suspect – jumping between Google services such as Adwords or Google Analytics, for example. These are some of the URLs that will bring up the “Choose an account” list:

How to log out? visit accounts.google.com/logout and Google will log you out — then the remove button will be visible.

Some of the keywords I tried to find an answer online:

  • How to remove a Google account from your list of accounts on the “Choose an account” page?
  • How to remove sessions from Google accounts?
  • Google account +remove button missing

More links:

If you have never seen this interface it might be helpful at this point to know that once you can see the “remove” button then it’s very simple: click the “remove” button and ‘x’ any accounts that you want to remove from the list. This will not delete accounts of course, just remove them from the saved list. See the “Choose an account” picture at top.


Update 10/2014: Thanks for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on this post — seems like it’s been helpful to many people.

Update 11/2015:  It’s super simple to set the default Google account. You just have to log out of all the accounts and then first one you log in, is the one which will be the default, and then the next account you log in to will be the secondary account(s).
Details: osxdaily.com

Update 1/2022: you may get a ‘syncing is paused’ notice when you sign out. if you use the Chrome Browser then you can log into yoru main google account (if you have a main account) in the browser itself and that will default the user that appears in the list. You can actually sign into mulitple accounts in the browser and use that to control what account appears in the list of accounts. 

This list is also called the “Account Chooser” and it can break the AutoFill or AutoComplete of some web browsers.


Posted in Product Reviews, Web Design | 128 Responses

WordPress: adding extra line breaks, vertical space and more

There are issues with all the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors out there. It’s hard to make a browser-based tool that just works right. Over the years these tools have gotten better and require fewer “hacks” to get them to display what you want them to display.

The intutiive solution is to just add more blank lines (carriage returns, to use a typewriter term). But it doesn’t work — WordPress is trying to “clean” the code and this is useful in many situations but not always. Read More »

Posted in Web Design, WordPress | 21 Responses

DNS toolbox for WordPress web developers


What’sMyDNS is a useful tool that helps you check how DNS changes are propagating across the world with a neat map view.

intoDNS provides a report on the state of DNS and mail servers of your domain. It also offers information on errors and suggestions about fixing them.

DNSstuff has a large number of free domain, IP, networking and email tools.

MXtoolbox – you can use this tool to check your MX records and solve email delivery problems.


BuiltWith – provides information about which platform a site was built with, as well as about web hosting, name server, SSL certificates, shopping carts, analytics, and many more.

WhoIsHostingThis is a webmaster tool that lets you discover the web host, IP address and name servers of any website.

HostingAdvice – In addition to revealing who is hosting a specific site, this tool will also provide user reviews and hosting plans information.


App Synthetic Monitor is a robust service for constant monitoring of website performance. It will require a login.

Down for Everyone or Just Me – this site checks if a website is down for everyone or just you.


GeooPeeker shows how your website look from different geographic location. It provides 6 locations for free and 6 additional locations if you buy premium.

ShotSherpa – you can choose up to 8 different destinations (from a list of 200+) to check your website from.

LocalBrowser promise to give you some real browsing (not only screenshots) from multiple locations. Unfortunately it did not work for me and some of the locations were not loaded either.

New Net Time Proxy offers you a list of anonymous proxies to access your websites. You should be careful when choosing one. There are also premium paid proxies.

Posted in Web Design | Leave a comment

International transfer fees, PayPal/Xoom vs Transferwise

Starting October 19 TransferWise is offering a new, lower-cost option to transfer money. They call it the “send money from balance” option and it requires setting up a bank account internal to your TransferWise account. In other words, you’ll be storing money in TransferWise and not having money just pass through TransferWise. TransferWise lets you hold money, without fees, in 53 currencies. Until now, transferring money from another bank — or one of the many other possible funding sources for a TransferWise transaction was the only option.

TransferWise continues to be a great value and now you can save even more money—if you take the time to set up a bank account with them. You can transfer money from your current bank account or PayPal account and have it ready in your TransferWise account for when you need to transfer your money to any of the many international destinations they support. PayPal accepts TransferWise via “COMMUNITY FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK”.

Here is an example of the pricing difference for sending money from a TransferWise bank account versus sending money via ACH bank account. And the 2nd part of this side-by-side comparison screenshot shows the new lower fees.

In this example, $305 US is worth 501.51 Bulgarian lev if you opt for the new “send money from balance” option … that’s just a little bit more than the 498.96 that you get if you do an ACH transfer.

And as a comparison from the competition — this screenshot shows an international transfer in PayPal. In the app PayPal is using Xoom — they bought Xoom in 2015. Xoom used to market itself as an alternative to Western Union— enables sending money to people around the world.

In this example Xoom is adding $4.99 to the $300 transfer – so $304.99 is only going to yield 479 BGN.

If the recipient has a PayPal account then you could transfer directly within PayPal but the fee is very high: 5% transaction fee plus a fixed fee based on currency received

I don’t see Bulgaria listed in the table of fixed fees but fees seem to be about $2 US.

Posted in Online Payment Processing, Product Reviews | Leave a comment

YouTube vs Vimeo for embedding videos on your WordPress website


YouTube is the biggest place to promote your videos – so they get discovered when people are surfing around on Youtube watching related content. So it’s good to have a presence there and it’s easy to embed any Youtube video onto your website or other social media. There are some useful options when embedding a YouTube video but there will always be a link back to Youtube when so that’s not the cleanest experience.

The player will never be really clean and distraction-free. If your goal is to keep viewers on your site it’s not the best option.

  • YouTube embeds suffer from 2 main opportunities for viewers to be distracted or sent off-site 1) when pausing the video and 2) after the video has finished playing
    • The title of the video and the YouTube logo will also link over to the YouTube website
    • These user interface elements of the video player can not be turned off (there is no option to remove the title)
    • there used to be an option to remove “related videos” (URL parameter is set to “rel=0”) but Google stopped supporting it in 2020
    • This “rel=0” option will now show related videos from YOUR channel, instead of showing competitors.
    • So it’s still good to use this option but the related videos from your channel will open over on youtube.com when they are clicked.
    • there is no guarantee that YouTube will support this feature long term since it goes against their advertising-based business model

other notes:

  • YouTube videos can’t be used as a background video on a website
  • No limits on the number of uploads
  • Great for SEO and SEM
  • Great analytics
  • Auto-Embeds on WordPress – and works with any website CMS
  • There is no “pro” version of YouTube for creators. Don’t get confused by the YouTube “Premium” – that is only for users to avoid seeing ads and allows saving videos in the mobile player and other ways to use the app that make it feel more like NetFlix and similar streaming services.
    • So you might get ads showing sometimes on an embedded YouTube video.


A free Vimeo account let’s you embed a clean player and you can be sure there will never be any ads. But it still links back to Vimeo via their logo at bottom right. A big limitation of a free account is how much you can upload: the maximum is 500MB per week (5GB total account storage) and 10 files per day.

A paid account gives you more customization options: you can display your logo and colors on the video player  – or opt for no logo and much more minimalist player: starting at $7/mo

  • Vimeo offers more privacy options than YouTube
  • Paid users can restrict video embeds to their own websites—and even disallow videos to be viewed on Vimeo.com
  • Vimeo allows replacing a video with a newer version without having to change the video URL or stats—something that you cannot do on YouTube
  • YouTube offers more in-depth analytics — Vimeohas basic analytics — this is important to businesses who want to dive into what videos are working, how long people are viewing videos, and where traffic is coming from.

A Sampling of Embedding: YouTube vs Vimeo



This sample includes the new “Enable privacy-enhanced mode.” option.

Other options


  • https://videopress.com/ 
  • $9 / month or $99 / year
  • VideoPress via Jetpack Premium is a WordPress-native video hosting solution with a clean interface
  • https://jetpack.com/support/video-hosting/


  • https://wistia.com/
  • Free account adds their logo
  • Paid account starts at $100/mo – Add your own branding to the video player
  • extensive analytics – visually see when audience members are leaving your video
  • A/B testing
  • integrate calls to action
  • Better security – harder to download videos
Posted in Web Design | 1 Response

Photography Tips for Creating Stock Photos

Did you know that a photo, like the one above, could be an additional revenue stream for budding independent creatives? Even today, stock photos are an integral part of the internet. So much so that The Startup highlights how stock photography is a great way to earn passive income— the photos can be sold to millions of people on the internet who need images for their websites.

Given this, you might be interested in starting your own stock photography business. While it may seem simple, there are quite a few things you have to keep in mind outside having a good camera. I have some tips here to help you create your own stock photos.

Keep Up with Trends

The first thing you have to take into consideration when creating a stock photo is the subject. While you can take photos of random objects, this just isn’t an efficient way to go about doing things. To optimize this, you’ll need to keep up with what people care about. By keeping up with trends, you give your photos a better chance of being used.

One way you can do this is by using data that is readily available on the internet. TechCrunch’s article on Google Trends highlights how the website lets its users track the most popular searches on the internet. You can use these searches to make informed decisions on the subjects of your stock photos. Do note that these trends are constantly changing, so be sure to keep yourself updated.

Lighting is Key

If you’ve seen my article on the Free Public Domain Stock Photos, you’ve probably noticed that the wide range of photos all have one thing in common — they’re all lit properly. This is because aside from the camera itself, lighting may just be the most important element of a photograph. Nothing ruins a photo more than poor lighting.

While you could just use natural lighting, this option is very unpredictable. It is best to set up a shot yourself, lighting and all. Luckily, you’ve got quite a few options when it comes to lighting. The photography and lighting equipment featured on Adorama is a testament to the many choices you have as a beginner, with monolights being a good option. Monolights can work for both studio and outdoor settings. They’re the perfect combination of convenience and function, a handy tool that can solve your photography needs.

Choose the Right Platform

Lastly, what are stock photos if no one ever uses them? This is why choosing the right platform to distribute your stock photos is of the utmost importance. PC Mag’s varied list of sites that you can use to sell your stock photos, is an indication of how open-ended this choice can be.

So what is the most important thing to consider when choosing a platform? Well, the site’s commission plays heavily into the decision. Some sites take a bigger cut than others. Another thing to keep in mind is that the criteria for photos also vary so you may find your photos getting rejected more on one platform than others.

Posted in Design, Fine Art Photography | Leave a comment

Tips for Business Owners to Design a Logo

Have you ever come across an organization that has no logo? No? This is because there aren’t many companies that operate without a logo. A logo has a massive impact on customer’s perceptions of your brand. So, naturally, you would want your logo to stand out from the crowd. But the question here arises, how to get there in the first place?

Guidelines for Designing a Stunning Logo

Before you opt to have a logo made for yourself, you first need to understand the important basics of designing a logo. Logo designs are critical for forming customers’ perceptions of your brand and its products or services.

Understand why you need a Logo

Businesses are just like dating. You want to attract customers and make them fall in love with your brand. Therefore, you should think of your logo as your dating profile’s picture. This picture will make people take an interest in you and want to learn more about what you have to offer.

A logo is an essential part of the business, and one wants to ensure it is done right. All your branding material, documents, website, and everything will have a logo on them. It will stare back at your customers, so make it count. A professional logo can communicate what your brand stands for and help you create a first great impression.

The Competition

Checking out the competition does not mean stealing their inventions. Instead, it means borrowing their ideas and reinventing in a way that speaks out your own vision. Check out what is already out in the market, what works well with customers, what mistakes you should avoid that others have already made.

While stalking those businesses, think about ways you can develop better ideas and how you can be different from them. Their color theme, design, and size all have to be studied.

Choose your design style

Choosing your design and style comes next. There are a lot of different elements attached to this area, like colors, shapes, graphics, and many more. When thinking about your company’s logo, you should pick a design that sets well with your brand. There is no one style that applies to everyone; it varies from company to company.

You can either go for a classic design on your logo that has a better-staying power. Or you may opt for trending looking logos that may work well in a given situation but quickly gets outdated. Modern and minimalist designs are a clean style that uses more whitespace and few details.

Find The Right Logo Maker

If you are not going to hire a professional logo designer like me, consider other options:

  • Inexpensive online forums for mostly-overseas designers like Fiverr
  • Pre-made logos (and other brand elements – some include the domain name also) brandbucket.com
  • Free online web-based tools like Small SEO Tools. This logo designer has organized its template collection into different categories.
  • Logo Maker Pro has advanced coloring tools that cannot be found in other programs. You just need to enter your business name, industry, logo style, color palette, and the tool will take care of the rest.    
  • Canva is a free logo maker tool, but some designs can only be accessed after you pay. The tool comes with a drag and drops design function, which works really well with online business owners. They can even create their social media posts using Canva.

Posted in Design | Tagged | Leave a comment
© 1996 - 2022
contact  |  links  |  rss