Over the Christmas holidays, a friend asked me "Why do I need hosting for my website?". They had paid to have a website developed and didn't understand why they had to pay for hosting on top of the cost of the website development.
I thought this was a great question and there are three parts that make up a functioning website. The most obvious is the website which is the site content with images and other media. The other two parts are the domain name and the hosting platform.
The best metaphor to describe the purpose of the website, web hosting and domain name is a RV at an RV park. The website would be the RV itself. For some businesses, this can be a simple tent trailer that gets the job done with minimal features. For other businesses, this RV can be the top of the line Class A motor home that is like a palace on wheels and has many bells and whistles.
However, without an address and a place to stay, no one will be able to visit you at your RV. The second part is the hosting provider. The hosting is the RV park itself. In order to stay at the RV park, you need to lease a spot for a month, three months, six months or a year. This is the same with hosting, you can have a great website, but if you do not host it, no one will be able to see it.
The final part is the domain name. This domain name is like a unique mailing address at the RV park. The extra benefit is that each person can use a unique domain that best describes their business unlike the one assigned to you from the post office. However, this domain name is only available to you so long as you paid for it.
So to answer "Why do I need hosting for my website", you need all three parts to make your website visible on the internet. You need a website, hosting provider and a domain name.
If you have a completed website and need a hosting provider, why not look at the features offered by Webnames.ca hosting. They include a free domain name with hosting for any hosting plan six months or longer.