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USF Launches Mapping Jewish San Francisco

HelloAri is proud to announce the launch of a new education website. USF approached us in September of 2021 with their project to publish these detailed historical studies of San Francisco Jewish communities. We worked closely with the researchers to refine the content and find simple ways to present the data in a clear and compelling format — on a very tight budget. As always, we leveraged the power of WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system. We assembled many pre-built pieces of code to streamline the process. These include plugins and themes as well as security and performance enhancements.

The University of San Francisco’s Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice’s new Jewish history resource is called Mapping Jewish San Francisco.

Mapping Jewish San Francisco is a new digital humanities project that takes a collaborative approach to examine the complex history and unique religious, cultural, and political identity of Jewish San Francisco. Top scholars and experts are contributing exhibitions to tell stories of the Jewish individuals and institutions that have shaped and are shaping the San Francisco Bay Area.

Along with other academic institutions, libraries, archives, and leading Jewish organizations, Mapping Jewish San Francisco aims to bring the past to life, making it possible to travel back in time to visually explore the rich Jewish history of the Bay Area.

The project presents two current exhibitions – Out of Egypt by Aaron J. Hahn Tapper and The House of Love and Prayer by Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, with a third one called Honoring Our Elders: Queer Jewish Lives in the Bay Area by Rabbi Camille Shira Angel soon to come.

Learn More:

Posted in San Francisco Art, Web Design | Leave a comment

Google Workspace reversal on legacy free G Suite account shutdown

After 16 years of free email at your domain, Google announced users would have to start paying. Now they reversed that stance and say you can keep your free account if it is for personal use.

It was 2012 when they no longer offered a free version of what was also called “G Suite”. it is like a free Gmail account but at your own domain instead of at gmail.com. The paid version gets you get more storage, support — and many other features.

Good news: 501c3 nonprofits can still get Google Workspace and all the pro features free by request.

I host most of the sites I build but I have not hosted email on my server for a long time in order to keep it safe and speedy for my WordPress managed hosting clients.

now when you log into the Google Admin it will ask you to choose paid vs free and this is what the 3 screens look like:

read more at: arstechnica.com

Posted in Web Design | Leave a comment

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:

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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

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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.

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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.

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Web designers toolkit: QA browser and email client testing

updated 10/2022

Screenshots + virtual environment live testingMy current primary QA tool. This is for VNC and also for screenshots and includes a separate responsive test tool. They’ll give you an hour of free testing for signing up so try it. I found it to be very very fast. You need a separate account for screenshots and for virtual environments but each account is unlimited use.

BitBar (was crossbrowsertesting.com)
Screenshots + virtual environment live testing. Their service allows for full control of a remote computer. They have a full range of platforms and browser versions. You can get 5 min free for a quick test. (update: no more free, now you pay by the minute based on a monthly minimum subscription with roll over minutes).  The interface is not as slick as litmusapp (which only tests emails now) but has many more features and now supports mobile browsers. Free trial. Free limited account (at least if you already had a paid account – not sure about this) I wish they offered per-minute usage instead of only monthly subscriptions.

Great simple tool. Does a proxy  through WonderNetwork servers, capture screenshots with the Chrome browser

Similar as above but free. I found it to be slow but it’s still really useful.

Screenshots + virtual environment live testing. More like litmus – a fully featured offering.

2012 UPDATE:

Each of their browsers include dev tools like firebug. Lots of other advanced features like screen capture. Automated code testing and other pro features. Small free account available and pricing starts at $12/mo.

I have not tried this but looks great. free option for now…. this tool will fill out fields and generate screenshots throughout the process. 2022 update: no longer available….

2013 UPDATE:

Here’s a great list from Envato of web QA tools including Ghostlab

If you just want a screenshot of what you can see on your own screen check out this great (but older) list. Or this list of browser testing services.

adobe browserlab
UPDATE: BrowserLab shut down on March 13, 2013. Screenshots only.  (introduced mid 2009; still free – until april 2012 although they keep extending the free period). This is really impressive – my new main tool and it’s free. I wish it had a better interface – some simple buttons to allow browsing through one shot after another would save a lot of clicking. This is only for screenshots but it’s got a useful onionskin feature for comparing different browsers one on top of another for that pixel-perfect situation.


A PC app that has all the major browsers in it. (defunct)

A free app for PC that has all the IE versions within it. Even IE9 preview.


The other email client testing I’ve used is the Inbox Inspector from MailChimp. But you have to pay for each test — $13. Overall, MailChimp offers a great service and lots of really useful (free) articles on email marketing.

Email testing only.  I have not used them since early 2010. They offer unlimited tests — starts at $79/month. One advanced feature they have is being able to share a set of tests by publishing it live. That sets up a convenient way to dialog with clients. Their old browser service only covered 11 web browsers. They changed their focus to just be on email testing – they have spam testing and other email-specific features. Free account allows for ie7 testing only – but not sure if that’s only for existing accounts that have expired their monthly subscriptions (like me…). I don’t see a way to sign up for a free account. There is a Free trial.

Why fight with display inconsistencies when you can just take it from me? These were mostly learned form testing at Litmusapp.

  • Lotus does not like <br> tags to be lower case. keep it <BR>
  • Gmail wants every bit of CSS to be inline – it will ignore your body tag and your declared CSS styles

2015 update: and now there’s some great shortcut solutions—run the html through the “inliner” tool here: https://putsmail.com/inliner – just paste all the code into that box, client the ‘inline css’ button, and wait a moment for the code to process.

I also tried http://premailer.dialect.ca but that tool was not as good – some design elements didn’t show up correctly in Gmail.

Posted in Web Design | 8 Responses

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
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