I've built very involved products (including APIs) without booting any servers or paying for any fixed cost infrastructure at all. I don't think I'll be going back to servers any time soon.
If you can build your project without servers at all there are clear advantages:
There are three basic ways to build a product without servers:
Right now I'm building a no-code platform that I think will be a great choice for new projects but since it's not up yet (follow me to know when it is), here's how I use serverless to run my projects:
I follow the Jamstack pattern where I have a static webpage (no code running on the server when you view the page) backed by microservices. This scales really well, is fast, and very inexpensive to run.
This entire setup costs me < $1.00 a month to host a non-trivial SaaS app.
And if the app takes off, it scales automatically! Of course this is a double edge sword because my bill will also go up at that point but I think it is a fair tradeoff because it is cheaper to get started and when the site is getting no traffic (like in the middle of the night) I pay nothing!
And as a benefit, the costs grow linearly proportional to how many customers I have, so it makes predicting the cost associate with each customer, much easier. No giant leaps in server cost as you hit scaling milestones. I can confidently say, "at X users my IT costs will be Y".
A year ago I would often run into use cases that I couldn't handle with this pattern but as time goes on, I run into less and less of those.
I'm an AWS guy myself, but of course there are other options for serverless. Google, for instance, I hear is very good and CloudFlare has some products.
This setup, of course, requires code and technical knowledge. It's not for everyone. But if you want to do it without code, give me a follow so you'll know when I launch the no-code platform I'm working on.
Who else is building without servers?
Also if you have any serverless questions, leave them in the comments. I'm happy to share what I've learned!