If you are currently signed up to WordPress.com and using the free plan at some point most people will have a need to upgrade. Whether it is because you want to use your own .com domain instead of a .wordpress.com domain or you purchased a theme or plugin and need to upload it. Some people want the ability to back up their website just in case something happens and they need to restore their data.
What is self-hosted?
The simplest answer is any WordPress site not hosted on WordPress.com would be considered self-hosted. When you go self-hosted you are hosting WordPress on a hosting provider you choose. Most hosts over some type of fast WordPress install or offer assistance in setting it up.
Why go self-hosted?
When you finally decided it’s time to upgrade going self-hosted is the best option. Of course, you can stay with WordPress and pay about $39 for the premium plan per site. If you host elsewhere you can pay far less than that and host multiple websites and have no restrictions on WordPress features.
This is another one of those things that come down to personal preference. Some people like the simplicity of doing everything in one spot and are ok with the high prices. Others want the freedom to choose where to go and what they can do. Whatever you choose always do research and ask questions before signing up for any plan.