Many netizens ask, whats the difference between Github and GitLab? GitHub and GitLab are only two of the git hosting services available on the market today. You probably noticed that they share quite similar names and both have an exotic logo. How do these two truly differ from one another? They are alike of course, we are talking about git providers, but they were developed with different needs and users in mind. And today I will help you choose which one will work best for you and your team. Ready for a brief introduction? Let’s move then into the fact – Whats the difference between GitHub and GitLab. 

A few words about GitHub

GitHub – sometimes also called the Original – is one of the most popular git hostings nowadays. In the old times – before ad 2008 – the software development looked very different than it is done today. Agile didn’t exist yet and the coding work based on SVN and git – this one still shines –  was seen as a progressive. But then GitHub happened and all changed [for the better]. To this day GitHub gathered about 56M members, has the largest community, and at least 29M of public repositories. Yes, GitHub seems to be the open-source project’s first choice.

Short intro to GitLab

IT companies first heard about GitLab in 2014. From the very beginning, it has been focused on software development AND information technology operations. As the first one on the market, GitLab presented a DevOps-ready ecosystem combining together software development with management and security. Nowadays, GitLab is more or less your go-to tool for automated building, testing, and software deployment.

GitHub or GitLab – pros and cons


Let’s start with drawing a comparison between GitHub pricing and licensing offering and that of GitLab.

Both providers have available three plans: one free and two paid bills per user. What distinguishes them is the number of available features and add-ons.

How much will GitHub cost you? If you are interested only in basic team/user functionalities then it’s 4 USD paid monthly (x users x 4 USD /per mth). The higher plan – the Enterprise –  will cost you 21 USD per month (x users x 21 USD /per mth). How do GitLab prices compare to GitHub’s? Premium account costs 19 USD per user per month. However, if you want to use all the benefits of the DevOps toolset, the cost is 99 USD per user per month.


Both services have a lot to offer. However, they slightly differ in the way in which they provide functionalities to users. GitHub in addition to native functionalities also has an official marketplace, full of third-party solutions – apps and actions. Just type into a search bar “backup” or “code review” and choose from available results like or CodeFactor. I will talk about backup later – now keep in mind that it also should be on your git checklist. GitLab delivers a feature-rich environment for all your operation. There is a possibility to use third-party apps, but they are not listed in a marketplace – in this regard, you have to search the Internet or contact one of GitLab’s partners.

Better UX

When it comes to user experience both services have done their job pretty well. Ultimately, it all comes down to your expectations and preference. 

GitHub is favored within open-source teams. And it’s quite clear why. It offers a friendly environment for such large teams spread all over the world. Projects like TensorFlow, Ruby, Visual Studio Code, or Node.js are hosted here. On the other hand, GitLab is very good in all sorts of DevOps-related operations, especially collaboration between users – within your team or many teams.

Let’s finish this part with a few words about the customer experience and related to it services. It is a fact that GitHub and GitLab have very good support teams, especially when it comes to their premium offering. But when support can help you with all technical issues, a community provides a lot of useful information, proven and tested solutions for some of your problems and tools. And as I mentioned in the introductory section, the GitHub community is one of the largest in the IT world.

Let’s summarize

GitHub and GitLab both have a lot to offer but the final decision lies on your shoulders. I just hope that now you have a clearer view of their’s pros and cons. But no matter which one you choose doesn’t mix up a git hosting solution with… a backup. This is a common misconception – and a dangerous one. Why? It gives a false sense of security that your repos and code are backed up by the service provider. Let’s say it this once – GitHub and GitLab (or Bitbucket, and many other services too) host your data and allow you comprehensive code management, but backup is not one of them. As you choose professionals in this regard, do the same with backup. Instead of backup scripts (testing scripts, restore scripts, etc.) better look for a PRO GitHub backup or GitLab backup solution. Or one that overs both with the possibility of cross-over recovery. Hope now you have the answer to the question – Whats the difference between GitHub and GitLab.

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