GitHub And GitLab – Explore The Major Differences

GitHub and GitLab, two of the most frequently chosen git hosting provider – but what makes their services so popular? If you are just like us and like to dig into technological topics this text will provide you with the answer you are looking for. And if you are facing the dilemma of which one of them would work for your team best – you are in right place too. Let’s start with a short introduction to both platforms.

What is GitHub

How popular is GitHub? Let’s see… There are about 56M members, over 190M currently stored repositories, of which 28M are public repos. It is no surprise that it has also the largest community from the top git hosting providers. And what about GitLab?

What is GitLab

As GitHub could be named a programmer’s heaven, GitLab is a space where DevOps specialists feel at home. It is simple because GitLab concentrates on tracking, testing, and code distributing. Of course, the service is a git hosting at its heart but with a few extra benefits.

GitHub and GitLab – the battle begins

First, we will analyze the pricing and available plans. Both services offer three options for customers, differing in the scope of functionalities. 

  • GitHub: there is a free plan, the Team plan for $4 per user, and the Enterprise plan for $21. 
  • GitLab: there is also a free plan, plus the Premium for $19 per user, and one which offers a full DevOps toolbox for $99 per user. 

As git hosting providers, GitHub and GitLab both are market leaders. They achieved such a position thanks to the availability of top-notch development tools as well as integration to many popular IT products – e.g. Jira, Trello, and more. Where GitHub provides users with a marketplace full of third-party apps and actions, GitLab shines thanks to build-in tools. 

Does UX count while choosing a new solution? Definitely. In this regard, both providers have done a really good job. There is no clear winner here – you should choose one that works better for you and meets all necessary requirements. 

GitHub with its variety of development tools makes team collaboration much easier – this also has a positive impact on its effectiveness. And as we are discussing teamwork, GitHub is very popular among open-source projects which have usually quite complicated team structures. And if it does work for them, you probably won’t be disappointed too. 

GitLab also improves teamwork. There is worth mentioning built-in communication and code review tools. In practice, a DevOps team is able to discuss pull requests, if the need arises make necessary changes to the code, and easily catch-all code differences. Both services also are known for keeping tight security and providing very good protection of their infrastructures.

Let’s finish this part with a quick look into customer support. GitHub and GitLab both provide great assistance to their customer – it differs a little depending on chosen plan. But for most parts, the service is outstanding and you won’t be left with your issues on your own. GitHub has a really active community too, which could play an important part in solving any of your technical problems. 

…and the winner is?

What is your opinion? Who is a winner here? I just hope it’s you as now you have a much clearer view of GitHub and GitLab offers. But before you make a final decision verify first what kind of extra protection you can count on. I’m speaking about a professional GitHub backup or GitLab backup by  that will provide constant protection for your repos and the code. There are only a few solutions on the market, but allows to back up both, GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket organizations. So it’s worth checking this one first. 

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