Is my WordPress site self-hosted?

I run into many, many clients who are unsure if they have a self-hosted WordPress website or not. Since all Dinosaur Stew WordPress themes (and all others that are available to purchase outside of WordPress) only work on self-hosted WordPress websites, ensuring you have this is an absolute requirement.

Is my wordpress self-hosted?

The Basic Questions

What is my URL?

If your website’s URL is xxx.wordpress.com, you do not have a self-hosted site. However, just because you have purchased your own domain–such as xxx.com–does not necessarily mean your WordPress is self-hosted. Keep reading.

Have I purchased web hosting?

Web hosting is available through companies such as HostGator (our fave), BlueHost, and GoDaddy, among many others. Hosting costs about $7/month. If you haven’t purchased hosting, your website is not self-hosted.

What does my dashboard’s sidebar look like?

Self-hosted WordPress sites and free wordpress.com sites have different sidebars on the dashboard. If your sidebar has a “plugins” section on the sidebar, your site is self-hosted. On the contrary, if you have a “store” section, your website is not self-hosted. Click on the image below to see a larger version:

Wordpress.com vs WordPress.org sidebars

The good news is that if you’re wanting to switch from a free, wordpress.com site to a self-hosted site, the process is *relatively* simple. Please view our How to Start a Website guide for more information on the self-hosted set-up process. If you have existing posts on your free wordpress.com site, they can be transferred over. We offer this transfer as a service, or you can tackle it on your own. And stay tuned: we’re in the process of creating some more posts that outline the fundamental differences between the two WordPresses, so you can make an informed choice about the big switcheroo.