Source Code Hosting Services

Source Code Hosting Services

While you are trying to find the best web-based hosting service for software development projects more and  more tools are coming out. There is little or no chance you can try all of these source code management tools. It is practically impossible to find a single best one but there are some, that can be better for you.

We made an effort to find out which source code control systems are those you can use and this is a comparison:


Github source code control system

It seems to be today’s Status Quo for source code repositories.

It is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that use the Git revision control system. Also, it has SVN support.

Bootstrapped in 2007 Github made its name as an online repository for programmers which allows them to post, borrow and cooperate on code together.

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A co-founder and CEO Tom Preston-Werner in his interview at TechCrunch Disrupt SF stated: “The way that you win in software is not about locking people into using your platform. It’s by building the best platform.” Aimed at finding the best solution through collaboration Github has gained recognition of 4 million users including us.

We are quite happy about it. However, there are other important tools that should be mentioned.


Bitbucket web-based hosting service for software development projects

In the battle called “As good as Github or even better” Bitbucket takes the first place. Many developers choose Bitbucket as the main web-based hosting service for software development.

Like this one says:

“I would use Github if they had a free private repository option like Bitbucket”.

And another one:

“Github is more popular and I want to send pull requests and bug reports for the projects that are hosted on Github, that’s why I sometimes log in there”.

And this is what we say:

Github vs Bitbucket


  • free Git hosting for open source projects.
  • wiki and bug trackers
  • functions like social network (i.e. forks are easy to make, communication is put next to the files)
  • web hosting
  • HTTPS and SHH support
  • they have their own API
  • there is integration with Twitter, FriendsFeed, etc.
  • have some mobile applications developed
  • static web-page hosting

There is no localization for both services which may be a disadvantage for those who have difficulties with English language.

Github is better because:

  • it has a pastebin service Gist
  • UI allows to show “gist blame”
  • open source IRC, Jabber, Jira, MantisBT, Bugzilla integration
  • Post-Receive Hooks. These "WebHooks" can be used to update an external issue tracker, trigger CI builds, update a backup mirror, or even deploy to your production server
  • improved subversion client support
  • advanced search (by country, programming language)
  • available on many different resources
  • "GitHub Flavored Markdown" (GFM) for messages, issues, and comments, which differs from standard Markdown (SM) in a few significant ways and adds some additional functionality.
  • 3D model support

Bitbucket is better because:

  • free private repositories limited to 5 users (in Github you have to pay for them)
  • unlimited disk space
  • Akismet, Google Analytics integration
  • Git and Mercurial systems
  • well laid interface
  • import of Git/Mercurial/Subversion repositories from Github and SourceForge which makes it convenient to transfer your own projects or forking
  • you can send invitations to your project via email
  • account can be linked to your own domain
  • user forum in
  • login with OpenID
  • visualizations

What is more:

  • not now but soon Bitbucket is going to have Jira integration, since it was bought by Atlassian.
  • send invitations to join Bitbucket and get free private repositories!

Other interesting Githab alternatives to check out are Gitorious and Source Forge.

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Source Forge

sourceforge source code repository

It is a huge web-based source code repository. It works free but only for open source projects. It has over 3 million users. SourceForge provides a variety of services to projects, including a download mirror network, collaborative development tools (like CVS and Subversion), and tools to support discussion and support.

  • supports CVS, SVN, GNU, Bazaar, Git, Mercurial system
  • web hosting
  • bug tracking
  • wiki
  • metrics and analysis
  • access to MySQL database
  • unique sub-domain URL (such as
  • shell server
  • mailing list
  • forum
  • personal branch
  • OpenID
  • Relying Party
  • a bit slow

Source Forge used to be successful and prosperous. But now it is loosing its popularity among developers.


Gitorious source code management tool

It is another Git hosting service for open source projects only.

It works better for collaborative projects rather than your own ones. One project may include several git repositories. You can easily track collective work as there is a common news feed full of commits and events like forks, pull requests, comments etc. In addition to source code hosting, Gitorious provides projects with wikis, a web interface for merge requests and code reviews, activity timelines for projects and developers. You can log in with OpenID.

As a disadvantage, Gitorious does not have bug tracking and web hosting features.

We hope this article helped you to choose the best web-based hosting service for software development projects (source code repository).

By the way

Written by Kate Abrosimova

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