What is Version Control?

You can think of a version control system (short: "VCS") as a kind of "database". It lets you save a snapshot of your complete project at any time you want. When you later take a look at an older snapshot (let's start calling it "version"), your VCS shows you exactly how it differed from the previous one.

Version control is independent of the kind of project / technology / framework you're working with:

  • It works just as well for an HTML website as it does for a design project or an iPhone app
  • It lets you work with any tool you like; it doesn't care what kind of text editor, graphics program, file manager or other tool you use

Also, don't confuse a VCS with a backup or a deployment system. You don't have to change or replace any other part of your tool chain when you start using version control.

A version control system records the changes you make to your project's files. This is what version control is about. It's really as simple as it sounds.

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