GitHub vs GitLab: What Should You Use

GitHub vs GitLab: What Should You Use

Both are popular web-based code management platforms or Git repository hosting services used by developers. As an all-in-one DevOps platform, GitLab hosts Git repositories, manages projects, runs CI/CD pipelines, tracks issues, and more. GitHub, on the other hand, has traditionally focused more on hosting code and collaborating but has recently added features like continuous integration and continuous delivery workflows.

There are many similarities between these products, but they take different approaches to hosting and managing code repositories, so a comparison is inevitable. It will help you understand more about them, their similarities, differences, and others, thereby making it easier for you to choose between them. Learn more.


It can be difficult to choose the best one for you and your company because they are both well-liked for good reasons. We’ll go over both platforms to see what they have to offer and which one is best for you. Before deciding which service to use, developers should be aware of some similarities between the two. You can learn more about each one of them by exploring it in more detail.

  • Both platforms come with many third party integrations.
  • Both of them make it easy to set up milestones, assignees, and problem statuses.
  • Both make use of a clean labelling strategy to facilitate more efficient software development monitoring techniques.
  • Both include issue-tracking tools that enable members to track issues and provide status updates as needed.
  • Both have self-hosted options; however, only GitHub has enterprise plans.
  • Previewing of code changes is possible in both platforms.
  • Both offer comprehensive wiki-based documentation.
  • GitLab charges for a public repository, whereas the other offers one for free.
  • There is potential for both in team discussions.
  • Both provide project management dashboard support.
  • In contrast to GitLab, which only has paid plans, GitHub’s app includes load performance testing features.


The distinctions between both tools are a topic of intense discussion. By now, it should be clear that they are somewhat similar to one another and actually have more in common than not. They still have their differences, though, so this does not negate that.

  • It is a repository hosting service that supports access control and collaboration, whereas GitLab is a repository hosting manager tool.
  • It allows users to navigate usability, while the other offers a navigation feature into the repository.
  • While CI/CD tools and DevOps workflows are already integrated in GitLab, GitHub allows you to choose your CI/CD tools after integration.
  • As opposed to GitHub, which only allows you to read or write to a repository, the platform lets you set and modify the permission roles of users.
  • The platform places an emphasis on dependability while the other places an emphasis on speed.
  • Due to the security distinctions, the platform is more secure, whereas GitHub is less secure due to the lack of Licence Compliance.
  • The fact that it is a cloud-native application and GitHub is used to share work with the public is another difference between the two.

Which is better?

The decision between them, which are effective tools for managing code and working on software projects, completely depends on your individual requirements and preferences. So read more to know when to choose GitHub over GitLab and vice versa.

Reasons to Choose GitHub

Some companies and developers tend to choose the tool for various reasons. Check out the following explanations for why you should prefer it to GitLab.

  • It is more preferable when it comes to open source development since it has a larger community of open source developers.
  • It is cost effective as it offers unlimited free private repositories.
  • If you are looking for advanced features like continuous integration and continuous deployment, project management, and issue tracking, then go for GitHub.
  • It offers advanced security features such as mandatory code reviews and finer-grained access controls. 

Reasons to choose GitLab

Now, you know some of the reasons why GitHub is the preferred option for developers. See the reasons why choosing GitLab is a good idea in the list of reasons below.

  • It is better suited for private projects because it offers more robust tools for private repositories as well as greater control over user access.
  • As was already mentioned, it can self-host on your servers, giving you greater control over your data and repository management, making the platform more advantageous to users.
  • It is a better choice as it offers a free community edition as also paid enterprise editions. 
  • It is an all-in-one solution that is more appropriate because it includes a variety of features like integrated CI/CD, code review, issue tracking, and more.
  • It is incredibly flexible and can be tailored to meet your unique needs for your version control platform. 

Now that you are aware of the similarities and differences, along with the other reasons to choose one over the other, you can decide what will suit you as a developer. As a developer, in the present scenario, you cannot afford to miss tools like GitHub and GitLab. The difference between them may seem minimal, but there are some differences you should be aware of. 

There is no clear-cut “best choice” here, as there is with most things in life. There are many factors to consider, such as your team, the larger organisation, your goals, and your individual use cases. Choose wisely, therefore, as each platform has strengths in a different area. Before deciding what is best for you, take into account a number of variables, like cost-effectiveness and ease of use. Additionally, how it will help you depends on the requirements of your business. 

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