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New Poll: Version Control Usage

Published by Chris Coyier

New poll up in the sidebar. The question is about version control and asking you to pick the situation that best describes you. I just think it would be interesting to get a sense of what CSS-Tricks readers usage levels are like when it comes to version control.

This will be agnostic in which specific version control technology you use.


  1. Jeremy T
    Permalink to comment#

    The ordering of the options seems strange. Every -> few -> half -> most -> none? Shouldn’t few and most be switched? Or none and every could also be switched and it’d be consistent.

    • I think the text is clear enough.

    • I actually agree with Jeremy. It’s counter-intuitive to order it like that. Isn’t that the point of CSS-Tricks; achieving the ideal user-friendly/efficiency juxtaposition? Otherwise it’s just self-contradictory to not practice what one preaches.

    • I agree as well, it would be slightly better that way. But there is no way to re-arrange without deleting 500+ entries. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal since the text choices are clear.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Vote intuitively? Read, think & vote.
      The whole purpose of CSS tricks, are learing CSS tricks.. and after that, create total chaos and mayhem in order to achieve world domination. Git real :)

    • Nathaniel
      Permalink to comment#

      I think your missing the forest for the trees Jeremy T..

  2. Covarr
    Permalink to comment#

    In terms of code, I use version control for exactly one project, and even that’s very limited… current live version and current WIP version.

    For art assets, I have far better version control. A single PSD with layers for old and new versions of everything, and only what’s in use is active. This comes in handy, for example, for advertisers who like to cycle through photos in an otherwise identical ad.

    • Nelson Hereveri
      Permalink to comment#

      Much of version control systems have the ability to support binary files.

  3. I use version control at work, but not on my personal projects. When it works, it’s great to have when working on a team, but version control systems are enormously complex and user un-friendly, even with a GUI manager. 85% of the time I use version control, I end up banging my head against the wall in frustration.

  4. Scott
    Permalink to comment#

    Every project. Without fail. Even a small personal project gets Github’d or Beanstalk’d or whatever. Hell, I use even Github for my NaNoWriMo novels.

  5. Permalink to comment#

    I use version control at my day job where I work with a team of designers and developers, but I don’t use it for personal or freelance projects where I’m the sole developer.

    • Nelson Hereveri
      Permalink to comment#

      I guess due to the characteristics of the files handled, whether you’re a designer to create vector-oriented and pixel images or on the other hand, a developer of new technologies focused on programming, that last is a priority use version control.
      On the other hand the advantage is obtained by working in teams of several authors.

  6. Michelle
    Permalink to comment#

    Cool poll, thanks! I’d also love to see this poll for WordPress devs in particular. Do they version-control everything? Just the theme / plugin they’re working on? Database?

  7. Matt White
    Permalink to comment#

    Every time… I used to only use SVN on Rails gigs where I needed it for automated deployment, but thanks to git’s ease of use I use it on everything now even if the repo never leaves my local machine. It’s like having a seatbelt on all the time, when things go sideways you know exactly how you got to where you are. Now that I’m using it for everything I can’t imagine how I got along without it.

  8. Permalink to comment#

    I version control as much as I possibly can. Even my 1password and billings data files are checked out repositories. Basically if I can viably version control it, it gets version controlled.

    All subversion, and all through beanstalk.

    The only time I don’t use version control is A) If it involves super heavy media files that will suck up all my HD space (such as say video or image editing) or B) if I am working with others who are unable to use version control for whichever reason.

  9. I use it for most of my projects, probably 95%, there are some projects that are super small which I don’t commit to Github or event need to track on my local machine, though more often I am starting off with setting up Git from the get-go.

  10. Every project at work without fail. We mostly work in small teams so it’s essentially but even the solo jobs I like to commit as often as possible so when the time comes I need to rollback it’s as painfree as possible. Every freelance project too but I only really bother on the larger personal projects.

  11. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve come to the point where I almost feel dirty not using any kind of version control, which is amusing since a year ago I hadn’t heard of it. Nowadays it’s one of the first things I set up, alongside Sass and Grunt.

  12. Permalink to comment#

    I use CS-RCS on all my projects, large and small.
    It has saved me a couple of times when I needed to roll back to a stable issue.

  13. I use version control like I listen to music: I forget to use it when I quickly start a project, or I neglect it once I’ve done something different for some time.

    Luckily I work carefully and alone, so I don’t really need it. I still practise though.

  14. Because of you Chris, I do now use version control. Thanks!

    My barrier to entry was a reluctancy to depend on a SAS like Beanstalk. After some digging and trial and error I figured it out. When I commit to my git repo, a post-receive hook copies the files from my repo to public_html. Now I just need to take the time and document this process in a blog post. :(

  15. Permalink to comment#

    I use SVN in an Eclipse environment at work since we are a team of 10 developers, and with that many people working on the same files it’s absolutely necessary to use version control. Never used it for my personal projects though but I’m starting to think about it as it’s so useful to rollback when something goes wrong !

  16. BJ
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris,

    If you have some time in the future could you write a story about Version Control for beginners?

    I’ve seen some people use it in the past and i really liked the Red and Green screens to get a clear vision of what changes inside documents, …But, from the other side, i’ve also seen lots of people use Terminals and stuff like that.. Whats that all about ?

    I don’t like the idea of using the Terminal :S

  17. Paul
    Permalink to comment#

    If Time Machine counts as version control, I use it all the time. If not, I never use it.

  18. Permalink to comment#

    I use version control, every time, every project. There is just no reason not to. It’s a safeguard against any and all mistakes. And believe me, sh*t happens!

  19. Permalink to comment#

    I use TFS which is really good for version control.

    I then use a private Git Repo that my hosting is linked to to deploy my changes.

    My project directory on my computer is also in my Dropbox folder so I can work wherever.

    So really I use 3 sorts of version control!! Excessive?!

  20. Hey Chris,

    You could flex reorder the options and no need to change the prior responses – i’m betting most voters would be using browsers that can deal with that….

    seems apt!

  21. Carl
    Permalink to comment#

    I use version control for all projects but as a team of one, I generally don’t get into any complex merge scenarios so it’s all pretty much edit, commit, edit, commit with the occasional “what have I changed since I last committed?” diff request.

    I actively have projects in SubVersion, Mercurial and Git (no SaaS, all locally hosted) and use the corresponding TortoiseSVN, TortoiseHg and TortoiseGit GUIs to save typing laborious shell commands.

    I’ve briefly toyed with GitHub and Beanstalk but prefer the familiarity of my locally hosted version control systems.

  22. I Version Control when I am working with a team, but on personal projects, no. I believe it’s just another layer of work that is added to the fray. I can definitely say though, on team projects… It’s definitely a good thing to have version control.

    But coming back to it’s use, when creating a program/script, version control is a must, but when just designing, not so much.

  23. Well I’ve got a rudimentary way of doing version control:
    When I’m coding sometimes i select all the files>right click>do a zip file
    Then I rename the zip to the version or maybe a little description

    Sure if you got a team a proper version control is maybe a must, but I find my way good enough for projects alone.

  24. Version control is an absolute must for me. Nothing is more important (not to mention useful) than having snapshots in time of your codebase.

    We’ve relied pretty heavily on SVN in the past, however we now have a dozen people working on the same code base and branching > merging is more and more frequently resulting in random code loss and general oddities in file property changes – which is not cool. We’re currently sizing up what would be involved in a move to git, but either way we’ll forever be using some kind of version control, it really is essential.

  25. Permalink to comment#

    Every. Single. One.

    My upload speed is terrible and I hate working directly via FTP (I’ve had far too many issues when I swapped computers and accidentally upload an earlier revision, just because it wasn’t in sync with the project on the other computer). I code, then push to Bitbucket. When it’s time to go live, I SSH to my host and pull the project. Mercurial or Git do the thinking and I never need to worry about the speed at which the files are uploaded. Deploying a 50MB application this way is a breeze. If I were to upload it from my machine via FTP, even when zipped to a single archive, it would still take me nearly an hour instead of a few seconds.

    Oh, and I alternate between three computers, so juggling USB sticks just doesn’t cut it.

  26. Permalink to comment#

    In the office, with 15 people accessing various bits of code, source control is essential. We do everything via Visual Studio (though I code HTML, CSS and js in Sublime Text and drop it in to VS after, because it is horrific for front-end work and I like Zen/emmet).

    At home working on freelance projects it’s just me so there is no need. I can remember what I am doing and no one else is touching anything ever.

  27. Permalink to comment#

    I think on every project I start, ‘well, it’s just a small project, why should I use a version control?’
    But after spending a week on that project I think ‘well, it can be handy…’ and I start converting the project into a version control project….

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