Biodiversity informatics workbenches and aggregators that make their data externally accessible via application programming interfaces (APIs) facilitate the development of customized applications that fit the needs of a diverse range of communities. In the past, the technical skills required to host web-facing applications placed constraints on many researchers: they either needed to find technical help, or expand their own skills. These limits are now significantly reduced when free or low-cost web-site hosting is combined with small, well-documented applications that require minimal configuration to setup. We illustrate two applications that take advantage of this approach: an interactive key engine (presently named "distinguish") and TaxonPages, a taxon page service application. Both applications make use of TaxonWorks' API. We discuss the limits, e.g., the user must be online to access the data behind the application, and advantages of this approach, e.g., the application server can be served locally, on the users' own computer, and the underlying data are all accessible in more technical formats.