The Django Framework: A Beginners Guide

Diving into a new development language can be scary to say the least, especially if you’re moving from front end to backend, or simply a newbie. Save yourself months of procrastination and decide today whether or not to take the big leap and start your Django journey!

What is Django?

  • Django is a Python based web framework

  • Django is a server side framework, also known as a backend framework

  • We use python to build websites and python itself is one of the top programming languages, Django is one of the top frameworks for python

  • Django is a heavyweight framework and has a batteries included approach meaning it is more specific and strict in how you build your application, that’s not a bad thing, with this you get more packages, libraries and modules and you follow a good design structure

  • Flask (another backend framework) is a lightweight framework so you’re installing a lot of packages yourself, if you’re a beginner you may not follow the best design structure

  • Django forces you to do things a certain way which is a great for newcomers and you can still customise it

  • You can bend Django to your own will in how you want it structured

  • Django is comparable to ruby on rails framework, with php and laravel it’s more like laravel, whereas flask is more like express for node.js

  • MVT design pattern - model view template see below

What is a web framework?

  • A web framework is a collection of modules, packages and libraries designed to speed up development

  • When using a web framework, you don’t need python code to do absolutely everything

  • It pre configures a lot for you and is designed for one specific purpose and in this case for building websites

What can you build with Django?

  • With Django you can build, for example, a social network, an e-commerce website or an API mobile app. It is worth noting that Django can’t actually build a mobile app for you, you can use part of Django to build one though

  • Some companies that use Django and can therefore validate its power include: Spotify, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Udemy and Dropbox. This should validate whether Django is the right choice for you and if it can do what you desire

  • Django is not always the best option but it can do pretty much anything

Building APIs with Django

  • A lot of coders decide to learn Django for the sole reason of building APIs, that’s totally fine if you want to build a mobile app or use some kind of front end framework you need some api data, Django makes this easy

  • Django rest framework exists and is built on top of Django, this framework helps you build rest APIs or just APIs



  • The Model View Template is a model structure/design pattern

  • Django follows the MVT structure

  • The only difference here between the mvt and mvc (you’ve probably heard of this in relation to other frameworks, Model View Controller) is that Django takes care of the controller aspect

  • For those of you that are completely new, MVT represents the following:

  • Model - data access layer - that’s your database, how we model data, this is gonna be your database tables, built out in classes

  • Templates - presentation layer - this is what the user sees, so it’s gonna be the webpage

  • View - business logic - so for example we have the Codú website, when someone goes to that website they’re gonna be going through some URLs, we’re gonna find a url that matches some kind of function in the backend and that’s gonna be our views

  • The views in the view layer are gonna go ahead and get some data probably from the models and it’s gonna render some kind of template to us, we send that back to the user so that’s the flow - we’re requesting data, the views a business logic and we just get this and send it back to the user so that’s the mvt design pattern

Django documentation

Other python frameworks for research purposes

  • Flask

  • Cherry Pie

  • Web2py

  • Pyramid

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Written by erincunningham7


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