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The catch 22 here is that i wont have the money to support a massive amount of traffic untill my site gets a massive amount of traffic. Is there a way to plan for success, so that success doesnt ruin my plans?
Third be sure to organize your facts and ideas in a way that can build into a business plan in case you might really get successful and need one.
Your problem really isn't how to deal with convertible traffic, no website has that problem.
Every website has the problem of how to achieve convertible traffic.
You can get a dedicated server that will handle 500 simultaneous users for less than $200 per month ($350 for the best in business). That is tens of millions of unique per month!
So cost is not the issue, attracting the user is always the hurdle to jump!
Hosting is very competitive and very cheap! Marketing is not at all competitive and very expensive!
If you can host the server to third world countries where servers are bit slow but very cheaper its well and fine but you save almost 80% of cost.
Else you host on the backbone and maintain the quality.
i simply have a webhost like anyone else, which obviously wont support a massive amount of traffic
If/when the traffic rises, shift to a dedicated server then keep getting the hardware upgraded as the traffic increases.
A managed hosting provider will sort out this kind of thing for you - the downside is:
1) possible downtime
2) extra cost (but then, you'll have all the extra traffic to pay for it)