Views refer to the number of (real) human people who visit your site each month. These are tracked much like an analytics 'pageview' - and counted each time a page has fully loaded.
Why should I use Ghost(Pro) instead of just running Ghost on my own servers?
Great question! If you're a developer considering self-hosting, then perhaps the most simple answer is that Ghost(Pro) will save you both time and money.
If you self host: You'll start with a base cost of around $20/month for a VPS, then you'll need to pay extra for CDN, security and backups services. After that you'll spend a couple of hours installing and setting up everything, and also set aside a couple of hours of your time each month for maintenance + software updates. Which gets expensive pretty quick.
If you use Ghost(Pro): We do all of that for you, automatically, for a single monthly price.
Another important consideration is that when it comes to downtime and security threats, if you self-host, you're on your own. When it comes to Ghost(Pro), we lose sleep so you don't have to.
Lastly, by using Ghost(Pro) you directly fund the future development of Ghost itself. If you use another host, then Ghost doesn't benefit from that money in any way.
The wonderful thing about Open Source software is that you always have the power and the freedom to choose where you want to run it!