There is no denying the importance of having a website if you are a photographer. If you are a professional photographer routinely working on paid assignments you must have one to showcase your portfolio.
A photography website need not be hosted on a high tech server nor does it need to be supported by a lot of bandwidth. You can host a simple photography website powered by an open source Content Management System (CMS) like Wordpress on a shared Linux server for a very low monthly commitment.
You will need a domain name though, as that will identify your business among thousands of other competing businesses.
Some photographers put in a lot of features and functionalities on their website, with options for separate admin and client logins. The client logins allow clients to securely access their photos, download/review images for final approval as well as the request for prints.