When explaining my website hosting/development work to non-techies, one of my favorite analogies is real estate. A web developer will help you build a website, like a contractor helps you build a house. And a web host provides a place to put it, like finding land for your house to sit on. The analogy will stretch pretty far. Websites have addresses (domain names), and can receive mail. They have ongoing costs like utilities (bandwidth instead of water/gas), and they age just like objects in the physical world too. A website, like a house, needs maintenance.