18. Creating a branch


  • Learn how to create a local branch in the repository.

Developing a new feature is always risky: it may take a while, you might want to cancel it in the end, etc. For this reason, it is best to isolate feature development in a separate branch. When the feature is ready, you can merge that branch into the main branch. Until then, your main is kept safe from risky and untested code. Moreover, you can work on multiple features in parallel, each in its own branch. You can also commit to main at any time, for example, to fix a bug.

01 Create a branch

It is time to make our page more stylish with a touch of CSS. We'll develop this feature in a new branch called style.


git switch -c style
git status

Old timers may object because they were taught to create branches with the git checkout -b style command. Remember I mentioned that the checkout command is overloaded with features and flags? The old way still works, but it's discouraged. The new git switch command is more expressive and less error-prone. It also has fewer flags and options, so it's easier to remember.


$ git switch -c style
Switched to a new branch 'style'
$ git status
On branch style
nothing to commit, working tree clean

Note that the git status command reports that we are in the style branch.

02 Add the style.css file


touch style.css

File: style.css

h1 {
  color: red;


git add style.css
git commit -m "Added css stylesheet"

03 Change hello.html to use style.css

File: hello.html

<!-- Author: Alexander Shvets (alex@githowto.com) -->
    <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="style.css" />
    <h1>Hello, World!</h1>


git add hello.html
git commit -m "Included stylesheet into hello.html"

04 Next

We now have a new branch named style with two new commits. In the next lesson, we will see how to switch between branches.