Skip to main content

Best practices for repositories

Learn how to use repositories most effectively.

Create a README file

To make it easier for people to understand and navigate your work, we recommend that you create a README file for every repository.

You can add a README file to a repository to communicate important information about your project. A README, along with a repository license, citation file, contribution guidelines, and a code of conduct, communicates expectations for your project and helps you manage contributions. For more information, see "About READMEs."

Favor branching over forking

To streamline collaboration, we recommend that regular collaborators work from a single repository, creating pull requests between branches instead of between repositories. Forking is best suited for accepting contributions from people that are unaffiliated with a project, such as open-source contributors.

To maintain quality of important branches, such as main, while using a branching workflow, you can use protected branches with required status checks and pull request reviews. For more information, see "About protected branches."

Use Git Large File Storage

To optimize performance, limits the sizes of files allowed in repositories. For more information, see "About large files on GitHub."

To track large files in a Git repository, we recommend using Git Large File Storage (Git LFS). For more information, see "About Git Large File Storage."