Inland Applications


Web & Mobile App Development



How to build a website for free or low cost

How to build a website for free or low cost

Web and app development is similar to home or commercial construction. When we create an app or website, we are building a set of materials into a finished product with our expertise. When we write code from basic libraries, that’s as close to scratch as it gets, but there are also tools to automatically build websites within a hard-coded structure.

Website and app development is an investment into the digital infrastructure of your company. How much you decide to invest can be dictated by a greater vision or just bare necessity.

If you hire web and app development services, all of this is taken care of for you. Website building materials, design, and underlying systems are chosen based on the requirements and available technology. To build your own website, deciding what is required of the website will help you decide which materials to use.

So, what is your desired outcome? Let’s explore two basic types of website architecture: the business card website and the e-commerce website.

Many options exist, these are my recommendations.

Business Card Website

Create a Gmail account, register your business on Google Maps, and accept their offer to create a website for you. Since they’ve already got your business location and contact info, they create a website using that information and allow you to add things like images and written details.

The most basic option is free, but you can pay extra for the website to be hosted with a domain name that you purchase. These costs end up being only a few dozen dollars per year at the time of writing.

E-Commerce Website

Business card websites are very basic documents on The Web. Once you get into functionality like displaying up-to-date items, with a shopping that can be filled and then checked out with a payment processor – you’re in more advanced territory. E-commerce is a huge industry, so many tools and platforms have been built to make it easy to access this technology without requiring someone to write custom code. Here are a few options.


Square is a digital Point of Sale platform who makes processing payments easy in exchange for a ~3% fee off the top. If you are already using Square’s POS platform, you might know they allow you to create ‘items’ to quickly select inventory to make a sale. They’ve already got your inventory in a database, so it’s easy for them to simply port all that product data into an e-commerce website visible on the open web. Everything from displaying item arrays, item details, shopping cart functionality, and payment processing is all handled by Square.


If you are not using a Point of Sale system that allows you to port all your product data over, you’ll have to choose a system that allows you to input and manage inventory independently. To keep things simple and minimize confusion, you should choose one system to be your central inventory management system.

WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, which is a technology, not a platform. You’ll have to decide which platform will host your WordPress instance, many of them have button-press installation processes. You’ll pay for hosting, you might pay extra for traffic, and you’ll also pay to host your domain name to make the website addressable.

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