What is Django?

Django is a web application framework written in Python that has been around since 2003 and is open source, so it is available to all. As a framework, Django provides a collection of modules that allows developers to compile a website by customising existing sources rather than starting from scratch. The Django Python framework stands out from others owing to its ability for rapid development and provision of simple, pragmatic designs. These qualities mean that developers favour Django as it is easy to use and saves time.

Why use Django?

Django has steadily become a favourite amongst the Python development community. Djangosites.org lists 5,533 sites built with this framework, the most famous being Instagram and Disqus. The Django Software Foundation (DSF) summarises the reasons for this well:

“Django makes it easier to build better Web apps more quickly and with less code … so you can focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel.”

Developers use the Django framework because it has the power to take care of a lot of the “heavy lifting”, so you can focus on the bigger picture. Specific benefits of Django are:

Security

One of the major challenges of web development is ensuring your site is secure, and user data is safe. When building sites from scratch, making sure everything you need is in place is challenging, particularly on higher-risk elements such as login pages. The Django framework provides customisable sources for these elements to limit security risks and free up more time.

Versatility

Django can be used to create a wide range of web applications, not just websites. Organisations use the Django framework for anything from social networking sites, scientific and laboratory computing platforms, content management systems and more. The ability to use the same source for multiple types of applications is one of the reasons developers love Django.

Speed

One of the huge advantages of any web application framework is the speed it brings to projects. So much time can be saved on development by using existing sources from Django. Django’s clean and efficient nature means that it is one of the best to use if you’re feeling the need for speed.

Availability

Django is an open-source framework. This means that its sources and components are freely available to anyone who wants to use them. This saves a lot of cost versus paying for the same or hiring someone to build them bespoke for your website. Anyone, from someone starting a small blog to a major international corporation, can use what the Django framework has to offer.

The Django Community

Because the Django framework is so well loved by the developer community, you can be sure that you will always find support if you run into issues. You can find people chatting about Django on major communities on the web, including Github and Stack Overflow. 

What can you use Django for?

Because of its extensive benefits, Django is commonly used for a range of purposes across the web. Some of the most common of these are listed below:

Content Management:

Django is particularly apt at aiding content management development work. Django was originally developed by programmers working to build applications at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper, who had to get new content and pages live quickly. This means a lot of Django was originally built with efficient content management in mind.

Admin Interface

Most data-driven web applications require some administration screens to add and modify data, whether that data includes registered users on the site or products being sold. Django allows you to administer your data through a web page, courtesy of a built-in administration module – thus saving you from having to build your own from scratch. And, to enable the existence of authorised and authenticated users, Django also comes with pre-built authentication functionality. 

Databases

Django works brilliantly with databases. The framework can take developer-defined Python classes known as models and automatically create database tables and their relationships for us. Also, any changes to models can be automatically reflected in database schemas. To quickly get up and running, Django comes with the SQLite database for development and testing.

Like other full-stack frameworks, Django adheres to the philosophy of “convention over configuration.” This means that the developer only needs to specify the unconventional aspects of the application. For example, if there is a class called Blog in our model, the framework will create a corresponding table in the database that is called “Blog” by default. It is only if you stray from this convention, such as calling the table “the blog table”, that you need to explicitly write the code to do that. 

Start coding today

Because it’s a free full-stack framework, Django serves as a perfect starting point if you are new to web frameworks. In addition, its documentation is rich and mature, which is a major plus for anyone trying to tackle the intricacies of a data-driven project for the first time. 

If you’re new to programming and want to learn the basics of code before immersing yourself in Python and Django, try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. After one hour a day, over five days, you’ll build your very first web page using the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Register now through the form below.

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