I will try to explain this in the simplest ways possible.
A website (assuming you know what it is?) needs to stay online as much as possible. The reason why some Web Hosting company advertise their uptime (seen something like 99.9% Uptime?). Uptime basically indicates the time websites hosted by the company are online. So a 99% uptime means the websites experience as little as 1% downtime.
Now because websites need to be online all the time, its not a 9 to 5 thing, they are on demand 24hrs. This is so because people access the Internet at different times, a website serves the global community which has different timezones. Even in the same timezone, some people just like to browse at night, others take advantage of work or school WiFi. So there is no time to turn off your website, unless you want to lose business and risk being unreliable.
Because of this reason, you need someone who is reliable and has resources to help your website stay online. One of the questions I get asked on this matter is, “Cant I just host it on my own?” It is very possible to host your own website, but it requires a lot of technicalities which is beyond the scope of this post. Even after overcoming the technicalities giant, you have other Goliaths to conquer, the speed of your website will depend on the server/computer you install on, your computer needs to be online and functioning well all the time, a virus on your computer can affect your website. There are a lot of things that just make this option look more silly, thats why a lot of companies have been popping up to take this burden from you. It can be even as cheap as $1.50 a month to host your site, would you go through all the trouble just to evade something that costs less that Chicken Inn?
What these companies simply do is keep your website on their reliable computers, which are always connected to the Internet, so that anyone can access it anywhere, anytime. That my friend is what Web Hosting is.
There are a lot of web hosting companies that we rely on here at the Web House Co. Below is a list of some you can check out.