Git is a version control system, which is software that allows developers to maintain a complete history of every file in a project. However, you don't need to be a developer to use Git with your website. For example, you can use Git to maintain a history of all of your website files: every time a file is changed, a version of the change is recorded in the Git software. If necessary, you can always go back to any version and restore it.
You may be tempted to think of Git as simply a backup tool, but Git does much more than that. Not only does Git store a full history of your files, but it also stores the 'version' of those files throughout a project's history. This allows you to use Git to retrieve information on when a file was edited as well as the ability to view the exact changes made to the file itself. A simple backup does not include these additional details.
See the following Wikipedia article for more information on Git:
Do I need to use Git?
With a simple backup, you would have the old files you could restore. But with Git, you can see a full history of not only when a file was edited, but also the exact details on how the file changed. This can help you to troubleshoot coding issues with your site.
How do I use Git with my website at DreamHost?
See the following articles for more information on how to use Git with your website at DreamHost:
- How do I set up a Git repository?
- Pushing your DreamHost Git repository to GitHub
- Pushing your local Git repository to a DreamHost server — Linux & Mac OS X
- Pushing your local Git repository to a DreamHost server — Windows
- Using Git for web development