GitHub is great for open source projects, but the lack of free private repositories can be limiting for projects that you would rather not be shared with the entire world.
While it does make sense to pay for a tool if you use it extensively for commercial purposes, you may not be ready to if you’re an indie developer just beginning a project that won’t hit the shelves for awhile. Also, if you’re using it for versioning and deploying websites, you may not want to have all of your source be public.
GitHub’s business model is primarily the sale of premium accounts with varying numbers of allowed private repositories, starting at $7/month for five private repositories and up to one collaborator. It’s not a bad deal at all, as GitHub is by and large open source projects, but you may still want to find a better offer. Fortunately, there are a couple of solid competitors.
BitBucket is very much like GitHub, functionally. It has the same sort of social collaboration tools, and most of the same features. But that’s where the differences end. Their pricing scheme is to give you all of the repositories you could possibly want, both public and private, while charging to add extra collaborators to your private repositories. You get five for free, and can upgrade to ten for $10/month, twenty-five for $20/month, etc.. Oh, and they support both Git and Mercurial.
I’ve been using BitBucket lately for some of my projects, and it’s been great so far.
Beanstalk only does private repositories, offering plans limited by disk space and the number of repositories, as well as the number of authorized users. Aside from their 100MB single-repository trial plan, their offerings start at $15/month for 3GB of space, 10 repositories and 5 users. One of their unique selling points is their integration with tools like Basecamp and Lighthouse. They also have quite a few corporate customers.