In this blog post, we’ll have a look at some of the best bug tracking tools on the market—complete with features, pricing, rating, and best use cases.
Even the best pieces of work have flaws.
Bugs are unfortunately inevitable whether or not you have the most expert coders working on a piece of software.
And left unchecked, those bugs can grow into bigger problems for you and your customers.
After all, less polish means a less pleasant customer experience.
The only way around that is a process to keep any software bugs in check—with a defect tracking tool.
Let’s dive into it!
14 Best Bug Tracking Tools
Report bugs and defects straight into your favorite bug tracker, without leaving your website.
Marker.io is a visual bug reporting tool made for agencies and software development teams.
Simply install the website widget and report bugs with screenshots, annotations & technical metadata, directly into your favorite project management tool like Jira, Trello, Asana, GitHub, ClickUp, and others.
Say goodbye to messy emails, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. There is a better way!
Bug tracking for all stakeholders
Marker.io doubles as a bug reporting tool, allowing you to file reports straight from your website.
This means that even for less technically-savvy people, it’s easy to report a bug:
- Find a bug, and click the button.
- Fill out a report and input details.
- Click on “Create issue”—done!
Then, all reports are accessible within Marker.io’s very own bug tracker and synced with your favorite project management tool:
This means you can keep your clients out of your PM tool, and update them via this dashboard or automatically via email.
Advanced bug reporting
Efficient bug tracking starts with powerful bug reports.
With Marker.io, every report automatically contains screenshot, source URL, browser environment, and console logs.
It’s then easy for developers to reproduce—and fix—issues from their bug tracker!
2-way integrations and project management
Marker.io’s main feature is its 2-way sync with popular defect tracking tools.
As a project manager, you constantly transfer client bug reports from your inbox into Jira, Trello, Asana… you name it.
This takes up an incredible amount of time, it’s prone to mistakes, and it’s just… boring.
In an ideal world:
- Client reports should automatically appear in your issue tracking tool
- Project managers should triage and prioritize said reports
- Developers should remain in the PM tool, doing what they do best—fixing bugs.
A defect management process like this is only possible with Marker.io.
Thanks to 2-way sync, as soon as an issue is marked “Done” in, say, Jira—that same issue will also be “Resolved” in Marker.io.
Check it out:
Software development with continuous deployment.
Jira is a classic bug tracking tool in the industry.
The Jira suite is built from the ground up to fit any space it needs. It has tons of options, customization, and versatility in the software development market.
With that being said, it may be a bit too feature-dense for organizations with simpler needs than you’d need.
Overall, it’s an excellent pick for software development teams who want to invest in defect tracking with lots of support and community behind it.
Drag-and-drop editing and project management.
Next on our list of bug tracking tools is Trello.
The tool tracks bugs much like it manages other tasks.
You can use a template to organize issues according to who reported them, whether they are resolved or in progress, and display bug reports in various formats.
But the process often gets complicated when there are multiple issues with many screenshots and feedback from different members.
Information can get lost in transition because you have to manually input the data into Trello from the website or app you’re working on.
Project management with a plethora of customizations.
Much like Asana and Trello, ClickUp helps you assign tasks to team members and streamlines communications between partners.
You can sync ClickUp with Google calendar to further make things easier to manage. It’s also excellent for defect tracking.
Clients can take a screenshot of the issue and leave feedback either by email or by creating a new task on ClickUp and adding the details there.
Easy-to-use issue tracking tool.
Asana is excellent for organizing tasks and sticking to project deadlines.
Although it isn’t primarily a bug tracking tool, developers often use it for that.
This software lets you make subtasks and assign them to specific developers to resolve different issues–which is great.
But a major problem with Asana is that you have to keep switching between the website you’re working on and Asana to see the problems and fix them visually.
Issue tracker with version control.
At this point, GitHub is practically a household name in the software space.
For those uninitiated, Github is an open-source software development tool with a massive community.
It’s made a name for itself in the space as an excellent tool for project collaboration between multiple developers.
As for bug tracking, it’s a great pick for teams who need a tool that facilitates streamlined teamwork and collaboration between members.
With that being said, be prepared for a learning curve if you choose GitHub, as it’ll take some time for your team to get the hang of it.
All-in-one suite and issue tracker.
GitLab, as you might’ve guessed from the name—is an issue tracking tool similar to GitHub.
It’s great for facilitating project collaboration and tracking bugs; where they differ is that GitLab operates as an all-in-one solution.
This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage: if you’re looking for a more tailored, feature-heavy experience, then GitLab should be your go-to, but that doesn’t discount GitHub by any means either.
And just like GitHub, expect a learning curve if you decide to go this route.
Defect tracking tool with unlimited client users.
Teamwork is great for managing projects because it offers you different viewing formats such as Gantt charts and panoramic views of projects.
You can add your bug report and feedback on issues as tasks on Teamwork.
Your clients can add these directly, or you can assign a middle-man to fetch the information from emails and then organize it in Teamwork.
Bug tracking tool with epics and milestones.
Shortcut is great for larger teams because you can easily manage multiple software development projects at a time.
It also gives you features such as a quick overview of projects, filtering issues according to teams, and integrations with GitHub.
Shortcut has specific bug reporting software. With that, you can highlight specific projects, send reminders to developers, or look deeper into certain issues.
But it doesn’t have a feature to directly input feedback from websites to Shortcut.
Easy-to-use and accessible issue tracker.
While other bug tracking tools might get their strengths from the extensive feature lists, Linear takes a different approach.
The main draw for Linear is the ease of use and highly-targeted approach they take.
There’s no extra flak that comes with the tool; it’s rather lightweight and extremely easy to use. The only downside to this is that it isn’t as customizable as other tools are.
Customizable and adaptable project management tool.
Out of all the tools on this list, Notion might stand out the most as it’s not even designed for software development. At least, not exclusively.
Notion is more of a project management tool than a pure bug tracking tool.
With that being said, it’s a strength and a weakness of sorts. Notion can work well for teams with more lightweight needs.
It’s also a great tool that can be used for more than just software dev. For those who need a bit heftier of a solution—it might not be the one for you.
Issue tracking in a simple, visual display.
Monday.com has a smart dashboard that organizes different bug tracking tasks on the screen. Its visual display is excellent as it helps you overview the progress of each task within seconds.
You can prioritize the bugs according to developers, progress status, and clients, or add more filters.
It supports various media formats such as videos, images, doc, and Excel files. That helps your teams get all the required information about issues quickly.
Easy-to-use project management tool with request forms.
Wrike works well as bug tracking software, although it is primarily designed to be a project management tool.
Here, you can get bug reports from websites by using a request form. These forms have fields for all the information your developers might need to fix the bugs.
You can also prioritize tasks and assign developers with just a click and then automate reminders.
Bug tracking with Jira & Trello integration.
Bitbucket is quite a bit like GitLab in many ways—it’s a great bug tracking tool with a distinct draw over a few of the previous choices: its unmatched integration with Jira and Trello.
Pair that with the great price it comes with and ease of use, and it’s not too hard to see why a team might use Bitbucket as their defect tracking tool of choice.
Bug Tracking Tools: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bug tracking tool?
A bug tracking tool is a type of project management tool for software development.
Bug tracking tools help keep track of various bugs and issues that come up during a software development project’s lifecycle, from internal QA to user acceptance testing and production.
In short: they help you maintain quality and save time from the get-go.
What are the key features of a strong bug tracking tool?
What features even come with a good bug tracking tool?
Any tool worth using comes with (at least) these features:
- Overhead project management
- Analytics tools
- Reporting & issue submission tools
A good tool will help a team collaborate over fixes, report issues, analyze and keep track of the bugs in their system and push out updates to solve those bugs in a streamlined manner.
Which bug tracking tool should I choose?
Most bug tracking tools come with a whole suite of features tailored to a certain organization type.
That’s why there’s no one best choice; there are plenty.
You just have to pick the one that’s best suited for your business.
If you love customization, have to deal with complex workflows, and prefer to keep your clients out of your tools, Jira is best suited for your needs.
On the other hand, Teamwork has unlimited client seats and offers issue tracking templates specifically.
Finally, if you prefer lightweight and uncomplicated, we recommend Linear (that’s our personal favorite!).
Whichever bug tracker you end up using—remember that Marker.io integrates with all of the tools on this list. It is the best solution for your clients to give website feedback without flooding your inbox.
Can I use Excel as a defect tracking tool?
Of course! Excel is a great way to track bugs and issues when you’re just getting started.
With that said, you’ll soon run into a couple of project management issues:
- No easy way to provide visual feedback: images and Excel don’t work well together
- A little too simplistic, and limited by fields being text-only
- It’s overwhelming: never-ending rows can feel like an insurmountable amount of work for developers and managers alike
When you have multiple clients, we highly recommend switching to an actual project management tool.
How do you perform proper bug tracking?
- Set up a bug tracking project.
- Prepare workflows for reports with the following labels: To do, Assigned, Scheduled, In progress, and Done.
- Create dedicated issue types: Bug, Design Feedback, and Ideas are great starting points.
- Create a system to prioritize bugs: High, Medium, and Low priority.
- Prepare efficient communication channels: Slack, email, or a dedicated client portal like Marker.io.
- Resolve bugs and notify reporters.
If you end up using Jira, you’ll love our Jira bug tracking guide.
What’s the difference between defect tracking, issue tracking, and bug tracking?
These terms are often used interchangeably, but they basically mean the same thing. They differ in scope:
- Bug tracking refers to coding and technical issue management. For example, “this function does not fire properly on a Safari browser”.
- Defect tracking refers to the software not conforming to business requirements. For example, “charts in the analytics page load too slow”.
- Issue tracking refers to general issues that come up during software development, and encompasses both defects and bugs.
In other words, bug tracking and defect tracking are a subset of issue tracking.
And that about wraps up our list of bug and defect tracking tools, from the feature-dense packages to the lightweight ones and everything in between.
Here's a recap table:
Hopefully, it helped you find a tool that fits your needs.
Think we missed a tool?
Let us know which tool you prefer on Twitter or via e-mail, and we’ll see about adding it to our list of top picks!