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.
Until seven or eight years ago, the extent of my support of the cooperative economy was occasional grocery shopping at the nearby food co-op and replenishing my sock supply at the local REI store. Or so I thought. Turns out that cooperatives command large parts of our economy — from dairies and credit unions to home healthcare, hardware and electric utilities.