Is there a purpose to Grid Areas beyond an alternative to creating grids?

This is a question on usage, rather than difficulty with implementation. A theory question for those smarter than me.

I’m having difficulty understanding the purpose of grid areas beyond an alternative method of creating a grid.

W3C explains grid areas without the use of grid-template-columns or grid-template-rows suggesting it as an alternative method of creating a grid. MDN explains grid areas with the use of grid-template-columns and grid-template-rows but explicitly states grid ares as an alternative. While freecodecamp does something similar, without explicitly defining grid areas as an alternative way of creating grids. But the curious thing about freecodecamps examples is that their usage of grid-template-columns and grid-template-rows is superfluous, that is, in their examples they use both methods to define the same grid so you are unable to see the difference. in fact, you can remove the grid templates from the example and the result remains unchanged.

So my question…

Is grid area simply an alternative method of creating a grid or is there is a purpose to using both grid area and grid templates together?

I’ve included a link to the related example for reference.

Link to the challenge:

grid areas is not an alternate way to define the rows and columns. What it is is an alternate way to assign position to content.
you can essentially create a template by naming out the areas. Then rather than having to spell out the specific row and column coordinates for an element you can just say this goes in the header area and that goes in the footer area and so forth. I myself prefer to use coordinates but grid areas can come in very handy when you want to create a general template, that is just my taste.