DeeCee - 9:37 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)
Tricky question, because the answer is "it depends". :)
It depends such factors as
You can continue that list on your own.
That said, for us small people/companies I am a VERY strong believer in bootstrapping. Using existing resources and money, make a little, and bootstrap new features, services, and equipment up that way. Unless your plan is a known good to begin with, investing in a high-level of service might be lost money and not worth it.
Now.. Loop back to the beginning and continue that list of what/ifs based on your actual situation.. In other words, bootstrapping is good, but if the basic environment is not there to support what you expect to happen, then bootstrapping will not work out well. So an initial investment appropriate to what both you and your potential customers expect of your site or business is necessary. Sort of like starting a brick-and-mortar store selling widgets, but wanting to do it without actually renting a store-front customers can find. Rarely works. :)
At the very least have a strong backup plan for how to handle it, if your current setup suddenly gets killed by longer term traffic. For a single web-site setup it is fairly quick to switch from one setup to a better one, IF the plan is already available, the configurations already planned out, and you know how to quickly move a web-site from one server setup to another. Not because of a one-day surge, but because of an expected longer term uptrend.
That covers the basic setup. You obviously do not invest $1 Mill in fancy multi-server setups until your customer base and revenue is appropriate for that investment. But the basic speed should be available from the beginning. Users expect short load times and reliable connections. Otherwise they drop out.
Sorry. Not a clear yes or no answer, but as close as I can go based on no information. :)
Other people's mileage, experiences, and opinions will obviously be different.
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