GitHub vs. Bitbucket

In this post we look at the differences between GitHub and Bitbucket, two very popular web-based version control hosting services.

Regardless of whether you choose BitBucket, GitHub or a self-hosted repository, connecting a repository to DeployBot is very simple. If you prefer, this Bitbucket Deployment Guide will help.

GitHub vs Bitbucket

GitHub vs. Bitbucket Features

Bitbucket and GitHub offer a slew of features that will appeal to everyone from the individual developer, to small teams and right through to enterprise customers.

Both Git and Mercurial repository hosting are available with Bitbucket. Pull Requests make it easier to review code while inline discussions simplify sharing knowledge among your team. Branch permissions give you control over who can write or merge to specific branches. So only the right people can make the right changes. And when something in your repository changes, diff views helps you better understand what is happening.

Bitbucket supports Git Large File Storage (LFS) which means shorter clone and fetch times for those working with large files.

Repositories can be organized into projects, helping the team focus on a specific outcome. Additionally, 3rd party integrations allow you to integrate Bitbucket into several facets of your existing workflow, making the complete development process much more efficient. Cloud versions of Bitbucket offer built-in continuous delivery, issue tracking and wikis. The software easily integrates with Bamboo and Confluence in addition to Atlassian's own Jira Software Cloud for additional setup customization and hosting. And for those of you using Trello to manage project tasks across a team, Bitbucket offers Boards through a sleek Trello integration. 

Like Bitbucket, GitHub offers a wide variety of features. Pull Requests allow you to conduct reviews, assign tasks, and discuss ideas. As with Bitbucket, GitHub diffs allow you to compare versions of source code so you can see the changes in your repository. Comments and conversation take place within your code, helping to provide clear feedback. 

Branch permissions restrict who can push to a specific branch and repositories can be set to require pull request reviews and status checks, helping to reducing errors.

GitHub also offers a suite of integrated project management items including cards, notes, tasks, milestones and assignees. This helps coordinating the team and keeping everyone on track. If you need something special, you can always use one of the numerous 3rd-party add-ons.

With a community of over 20 million users, GitHub users will find that there’s a massive amount of community support available. Especially popular for open source projects, the platform boasts trending repos and showcases popular topics.

GitHub vs. Bitbucket Pricing

Direct comparison of pricing between Bitbucket and GitHub is difficult due to the complexity in offerings between the two organizations. So let’s start off with the free version that’s offered by each company.

Free Individual Plan

The free plan offered by Bitbucket and GitHub is aimed at solo developers and small teams.  When comparing the free plan offered by both companies, it’s apparent that there’s a trade-off to be made between the number of users vs. the number of private repositories.

Bitbucket offers unlimited private and public repositories, but caps the number of users in its free plan at five. GitHub offers unlimited users and public repositories, but provides no private repositories in its free plan.

Although GitHub offers unlimited collaborators in its free plan, team and user permissions are not available. That poses some challenges when working with a team where you want to finer control over access.

Developer Plan

GitHub offers a developer plan at $7/month which includes a personal account, unlimited private and public repositories and unlimited collaborators. For solo developers interested in GitHub, who need private depositories, this is a viable option.

Team Plan

Both GitHub and Bitbucket offer team plans.

As with the free plan, Bitbucket paid plans offer unlimited private repositories. But they have two types of team plans (Standard and Premium) which differ in the features offered.

Bitbucket Standard (for growing teams) starts at $10/month for 5 users, plus $2/month for each additional user. Bitbucket Premium (for large teams) starts at $25/month for 5 users, plus $5/month for each additional user.

Bitbucket Premium includes more build minutes for Bitbucket Pipelines, greater Git Large File Storage, plus additional features like required merge checks, IP whitelisting, required two-step verification and smart mirroring.

GitHub has one team plan which starts at $25/month for 5 users, plus $9/month for each additional user. This paid plan provides an organization account with unlimited public and private repositories with team and user permissions.

Business/Enterprise Plan

Bitbucket Server and Data Center are the two enterprise plans offered by this company. As the name of the plan implies, the Server plan is hosted on a company’s own server and requires a one-time payment ($2,000 for 25 users). This plan includes a perpetual license and one year of free maintenance.

The Data Center plan is available at $1,800 per year for 25 users and is hosted by their data center. It offers advance-active clustering for high availability, smart mirroring for performance across geographies, and Atlassian-supported disaster recovery.

GitHub offers two business plans, Business on and GitHub Enterprise, starting at $21/month per user. One is hosted on while the other is hosted on your servers, AWS, Azure or GCP. In the case of GitHub Enterprise, licensing is available in blocks of 10 users charged annually. Both plans offer increase levels of support versus other GitHub plans.

Remember, whatever your choice, DeployBot makes it easy to connect to any repository. Try it and see for yourself!