Learning more about each repository host can help you choose the best one for your source code. As each platform appeals to different types of users, knowing more about them can help you make an informed decision.
In this article, we’ll explain what a source code repository is and the benefits of using one. We’ll then break down five of the best repository hosts for WordPress developers. Let’s get to it!
An introduction to source code repositories
As a developer, you’ve probably heard about source code repositories. Many web professionals use them to store copies of their code for various projects. However, repositories are more than file managers.
Many source code repositories also provide version control so you can track changes you or other developers have made to your code. This enables you to reverse any modifications or additions that don’t work out.
They also assist with creating simplified and unified processes for development collaboration that are easy to navigate. You can enable your team members to access and edit code in your repositories, or even make projects public so that others can fork them and create new variations or otherwise extend them.
Additionally, source code repositories can help you prepare your code properly for release. Some can help you manage your release schedule for new versions or features, too.
In some cases, a source code repository can even act as a portfolio of your work. You can point to your own source code as well as open-source projects to which you’ve contributed to demonstrate your skills and involvement in the wider development community.
5 of the best source code repository hosts for WordPress developers
Choosing the right source code repository host can be daunting. The most popular platform may seem like the best option, but a lesser-known solution may better suit your particular needs. To help you choose, we’ve explored five of the best source code repository hosts for WordPress developers.
When it comes to source code repository hosts, GitHub is the default choice. Its popularity stems from its use of Git version control. It enables you to host both open-source and private repositories, making it a viable option for a wide range of developers, including its approximately 34 million users.
When using GitHub, there are certain key features that stand out. Its built-in tools make code reviews seamless, streamlining the development process. Project management tools such as notes and cards help your team stay coordinated and aligned. You can also access your repositories from a cloud-based web interface or a desktop app.
Since it’s based on Git, version control is simple. GitHub also incorporates lightweight and easy-to-use markdown. Extensive documentation is available to help any developers who run into trouble.
In addition to its features, the popularity of GitHub provides significant benefits. Its user-friendly collaboration tools make for vast opportunities to contribute to open-source projects.
GitHub offers a free account but limits private repositories to three collaborators each. If your team is larger, there are four paid plans to choose from, starting at $7 per month.
Bitbucket is the source code repository created by Atlassian, the company behind Trello and Jira. It does not offer repository hosting for open-source projects but is very popular with businesses and teams.
The primary benefit of Bitbucket is its ability to seamlessly integrate with other Atlassian products. Using its full suite of tools can make collaboration easier.
For many developers, Jira integration is a key feature of Bitbucket. The CI/CD tool enables automatic building and testing. Bitbucket also provides merge checks when merging branches, and you can set conditions for merging branch patterns or individual branches.
Plus, all users can have unlimited private repositories. Bitbucket uses Git version control but is compatible with Mercurial VCS as well.
Bitbucket offers cloud and self-managed plans. The cloud plan is free for up to five users and increases to $6 per user per month for the top premium plan. Self-managed plans are available for single servers or data centers.
If you’re looking for a fully open-source core alternative to GitHub, look no further than GitLab. While it doesn’t have the user base of GitHub, it is growing in popularity. This is, in part, due to the fact that it doesn’t limit the number of collaborators each repository can have.
A major benefit of GitLab is the open-source core of the Community edition. It’s ideal for developers looking for collaboration opportunities. You can set authentication levels for your repositories to limit permissions for other contributors. LDAP integration provides easier position management.
A key feature of GitLab is its built-in CI/CD workflow, which can help organize and streamline your development process. The platform also uses Git for version control.
GitLab offers free cloud-based and self-managed plans for unlimited repositories and collaborators. Paid plans range in price from $4 to $99 per user per month and provide advanced project management, professional support, and more.
Launchpad is one of many lesser-known source code repository hosts. Fewer developers use it because it runs on Bazaar, but it’s compatible with Git as well. It’s particularly useful if you are working with Ubuntu, as it provides package building and hosting features for this Operating System (OS).
While Launchpad is not as widely used, there are benefits that work for all developers. It’s completely open source and offers extensive documentation covering every feature. It also has an active community of translators who can help you translate your projects into other languages.
Launchpad is entirely free to use for open-source projects. If you’re working on a commercial project, it must be approved before you can use Launchpad to store, manage, and collaborate on its code. For this reason, it may not be the best option for development agencies.
BeanStalk is another less common source code repository host because it is completely private. While the paid plans are not packed with features, this platform is a solid choice for businesses who want to keep their projects under wraps.
BeanStalk is a lean and reliable platform with Git and SVN hosting. Although repositories are private, teams can request code reviews and developers can edit code directly in their browsers. The blame tool tracks any changes to your code, enabling you to see who implemented them.
One of the key features for teams using BeanStalk is the branch permission tool. With this feature, you can set permissions for team members for each branch in a repository. Repository management is also easy with the platform’s one-click merge feature and Jira integration for easy tracking.
BeanStalk does have a limited free plan offering one repository for one user. The Bronze and Silver plans are ideal for freelancers and start at $15 and $25 per month, respectively. The Gold and Diamond plans are better for businesses at $50 to $200 per month.
Source code repository hosts provide developers with secure hubs to store your source code. More importantly, they offer opportunities for collaboration as well as handy project management and version control tools.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for a source code repository host, consider the five platforms we covered in this post:
- Github: A great all-around tool with many collaboration opportunities for WordPress developers.
- Bitbucket: Ideal for users of the Atlassian product suite.
- GitLab: A fully open-source and fast-evolving platform.
- Launchpad: Bazaar version control with Ubuntu package building.
- BeanStalk: A lean and reliable choice for businesses.
Do you have any questions about source code repository hosts? Let us know in the comments section below!
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