I asked this on StackOverflow, but I think it's more appropriate here (plus I got no answer there).
I host my websites with FatCow, and generally this isn't a problem since they're small-business websites and the like (i.e. not too much traffic).
I have a few ideas that I'd like to make that would involve user accounts and, ideally, a good deal of user-generated content being uploaded and downloaded constantly. However, I have a fear that I can't really justify; namely that if the site gets large, it would either run very slowly for people, or not run at all. FatCow promises "Unlimited Bandwidth", which I fear just means they slow the site down as it approaches an arbitrary 'cap'.
The question is, are there any risks to running a high-traffic website hosted with FatCow or similar inexpensive hosting services (e.g. GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.)? For the sake of example, would a site like StackOverflow be functional if hosted on such a server? If not, then what are alternatives to look into as far as either optimization or hosting go?
Thank you for your help.