Bitbucket vs GitHub

Aditi Dosi
8 min readMay 1, 2024

Choosing a repository hosting service is a big decision. How you host your code is an important part of your work and affects your productivity. So you’ll want to make sure you choose the platform that’s most conducive to your (and your team’s) specific needs and goals.

There are a handful of important considerations to take into account when comparing them, including:

  • VCS support
  • Collaborator access
  • Interface and usability
  • Extensions and third-party integrations
  • Pricing plans

Another major factor to think about is whether you’re looking for a public or a private repository. Certain platforms are better suited for one use case or the other, so it’s important to know upfront what you’re going to need.

  1. GitHub is a powerful open source platform that is well-equipped to handle personal or small team projects that you’re comfortable sharing with the public.
  2. Bitbucket is a cost-effective solution if you’re an enterprise or business looking for a safe hosting service for your private, proprietary code


Mar 01, 2024


12min Read

Bitbucket vs GitHub: Which Code Repository Is the Best Choice

If you’re a developer, choosing a code repository for your project can be challenging. You’ll want to find a platform that suits your team’s workflow and needs, enabling you to work as efficiently as possible. The two most popular choices are Bitbucket and GitHub.

In this article, we’ll go over the concept and differences between Bitbucket and GitHub, and you’ll be able to decide which one suits you best.

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What’s the Difference Between Bitbucket and GitHub?

Bitbucket and GitHub are popular web-based hosting services for version control repositories. The main difference is that Bitbucket offers free plans for small teams and has a stronger focus on Mercurial repositories, while GitHub offers unlimited public repositories for free and has a wider range of third-party tool integrations.

What Is a Code Repository?

A code repository is a file archive and repository hosting facility that stores source code and technical documentation of development projects. It’s available for public and private access.

This tool is typically used by developers, software engineers, or programmers to work on software or website development projects. However, remote-working teams can also find this tool helpful since it enables everyone to check the project’s progress.

In addition to that, code repositories can act as a:

  • Version control system. It provides the history of revisions and versions, helping to keep track of all the changes made in the project. If you alter the code and the project starts malfunctioning, simply revert to previous versions to fix mistakes.
  • Coherent documentation for easy debugging. Review previous and current versions of a code simultaneously on the same page. This makes it easier to pinpoint any bugs before publishing the project.
  • Collaborative development tool. It allows for collaboration on projects and modules, as well as coding from anywhere without relying on specific local storage. It’s a handy tool for those wanting to have several people contributing to the code’s improvement or start an open-source project.
  • Digital portfolios for developers. Like a blog for a writer, a code repository can work as a portfolio for a developer. It displays their coding skills to potential clients and employers.

When we talk about version control systems (VCS), there are two types available — Centralized VCS (CVCS) and Distributed VCS (DVCS).

CVCS has a single central repository that developers share and can contribute to. To commit any changes, you need to have internet access, and the code should be on an internal server. Examples of CVCS include Subversion (SVN) and the Concurrent Version System (CSV).

Meanwhile, DVCS supports multiple repositories, allowing developers to have their own local repositories and work autonomously. It’s also possible to work on DVCS without an internet connection.

Examples of DVCS are Git and Mercurial, managed through code hosting platforms such as Bitbucket and GitHub.

What Is Bitbucket?

Bitbucket is one of the largest source code management services to host and manage your repositories, owned by Atlassian.

Currently, Bitbucket only supports Git. It used to support Mercurial, but it stopped in 2020 due to the steady decline of Mercurial usage among Bitbucket users.

All Bitbucket plans offer unlimited public and private repositories, but the free plan only allows a maximum of five users. The paid plans have no user limit.

What Is GitHub?

GitHub is a repository hosting service that lets you host, review, and manage development projects collaboratively from anywhere.

GitHub supports Git and SVN. It’s currently the largest code repository, with more than 100 million repositories within it.

It offers unlimited public and private repositories in all plans. GitHub also provides discounts for nonprofit organizations and charities, special plans for academic institutions, and the GitHub Sponsors program for supporting the open-source community.

What Should You Look For in a Code Repository?

When it comes to selecting a code repository hosting service, you need to consider the following factors:

  • VCS compatibility. If your project uses Git, you’ll need to choose a repository service that supports Git.
  • Built-in features. See if the repository service you chose has built-in features such as wikis and IP whitelisting. If not, it should provide a convenient way to add new tools or upgrade existing ones.
  • Private or public repositories. Identify whether you need a private or public repository, and choose the platform accordingly.
  • Ease of use. See if it’s easy to navigate, even for beginners.
  • Team size limit and access distribution. Consider your teams’ size and your working dynamic — remote teams in different time zones may have different needs than on-site teams. Also, consider the level of access that your teams need within the repository service.
  • Project size and data storage. If your projects require dealing with large data files such as animation or videos, you need to opt for a platform that works well with larger data.
  • Speed. Check the service’s upload and download speed.
  • SLA standards. Check the Service Level Agreements for uptime, downtime, and bandwidth.
  • Customer support. The platform should provide extensive documentation, and the customer support team should be easy to reach.
  • Security compliance. Make sure that the platform applies security best practices. It should also comply with relevant programs regarding information security management systems, such as ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27018.
  • Third-party tool integrations. It should offer integrations with external tools that can improve your workflow. For example, task management and quality assurance tools to ensure a smooth workflow and high-quality code.

Bitbucket vs GitHub: Core Features

Bitbucket and GitHub provide several similar features, but each through their distinct services.


  • Unlimited private repositories. Bitbucket offers free unlimited private repositories for individuals or small teams with a maximum of five members. To scale up, choose the Standard plan at $3/user/month or the Premium plan at $6/user/month.
  • Jira and Trello integration. Bitbucket integrates seamlessly with other Atlassian products, such as the issue tracking software Jira and project organization tool Trello to help your teams work more effectively.
  • Code reviews. Bitbucket’s pull request feature helps to approve code reviews more efficiently. Assign approvers to a merge checklist and discuss the source code using the inline comment section.
  • Bitbucket Pipelines. Build, test, and deploy your projects with built-in continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). This can reduce human error and allow your teams to focus on more critical tasks.
  • Deployment history and visibility. The deployment summary allows you to check which version of your project you are running, all on the same page.
  • Configuration as code. Bitbucket allows you to store and manage your build configuration in one .yml file, simplifying the configuration process.
  • Git Large File Storage support. Bitbucket offers the Git Large File Storage (LFS) extension to replace large files with pointers and help you get shorter clone times.
  • Extensive security features. Store your code with IP whitelisting and require users to enable 2-step verification. Bitbucket also encrypts data in transit, protecting it from unauthorized modification or disclosure.

There are also options to restrict access or grant branch permissions for specific users, allowing you to control their actions.

Bitbucket also complies with several important compliance programs, such as SOC II and SOC III, which means it has passed the security and privacy control audit.


  • Unlimited private and public repository. GitHub offers unlimited repositories and collaborators for all of its plans. The premium plans start from $4/user/month, with additional tiered benefits such as advanced security and auditing.
  • Codespaces. Available in beta, it’s an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to develop entirely in the cloud. It features all you may need to develop a repository, including a text editor, bug tracking tools, and Git commands. It also facilitates the onboarding process when starting a new project, allowing new developers to start coding as soon as possible.
  • Pull requests and code review. GitHub lets you assign up to 10 people to work on a given issue or pull request, enabling you to track who’s working on what. Use a pull request to discuss and review any changes before finally merging the modification into a repo.
  • Automation with GitHub Actions. Automate everything — for example, CI/CD, approvals, and onboarding — with GitHub. It helps you standardize and scale the best practices for your entire organization.
  • GraphQL API. Use it to create queries for your data within GitHub, precisely fetching the data you need.
  • Encrypted secrets. Store sensitive information in your repository or repository environments.
  • Workflow visualization. Check your project’s progress through a real-time graph. It helps you understand complex workflows and easily communicate with your team members about the project status.
  • GitHub pages. Host and publish static websites through GitHub, making them open source. Use them to showcase your skills as a developer or invite other website or software development enthusiasts to contribute to your project.
  • Extensive security. Its various security features include a security audit log for reviewing actions performed by your team members and code scanning to find vulnerabilities and prevent future issues. Also, GitHub complies with SOC I and SOC II.
  • Client apps. Access GitHub on mobile devices, allowing you to work on your ideas anytime and anywhere.