Everything you need to know about Django

As Django specialists, Eliga Services work on a wide range of projects, helping build exciting digital solutions.

This week, we’re focusing on our ‘Everything you need to know about Django’ series, starting with this short and sweet introduction to the framework. Eliga’s Senior Developer, Andrew Aikman answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

What exactly is Django?

It is an open-source, Python web framework. It allows users to develop components needed for their application. This means that developers get to focus on components of the application, instead of working on components that are already developed.

Translation? Less hassle and cleaner, more secure websites, offering greater flexibility to developers.

Why is it called Django?

It gets its name from the jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt. Released over 15 years ago, much like jazz, we’d argue it’s a classic and still going strong because it’s one of the most popular free, open-source frameworks out there.

Why is it worth choosing?

When researching all the Python web frameworks available, it’s easy to wonder why Django is worth choosing especially as it’s not the newest (or easiest) framework to use. However, when you’re working with a complex set of features like API connectivity or user authentication, it’s top of the list as it can handle a large number of users and complex features.

In a nutshell, it allows for faster development with components as developers do not have to code from scratch.

Is it front end or back end?

This is a question we see asked a lot on the web, but it’s important to make the distinction that while Django is not a language, its framework is written in Python, which is considered to be a more robust language, suitable for both front-end and back-end development. In essence, it is a collection of Python libraries. When it comes to front-end development, it helps users with data selection, formatting and display. From URL management to cache hooks and authentication mechanisms, Django can do a lot.

Note: If you need to create complex SQL queries or algorithms, using the ORM is not ideal. In this case, it would be better to query the database with SQL directly.

How well does it scale?

Django is a monolithic framework, which has its own limitations. Nonetheless, the easiness of this framework to learn and readily available documentation mean that when bottlenecks are identified they can be addressed with flexible to custom solutions. The many existing applications (Instagram, Bitbucket, Quora. Pinterest, YouTube, Disqus and Spotify) prove that it scales exceptionally well.

What’s a Django app?

Django apps are Python packages with additional code. You can learn more about writing apps and reusing these apps in new projects to share with other people here.

Can I learn Django without Python?

Yes, while it’s possible to learn Django without Python, it will be challenging and a steep learning curve. Most developers would recommend learning the basics of Python, before moving on to Django. Learning new coding languages will not only boost your experience and CV, but it will also help you build something more useful as opposed to just writing ‘Hello World’ programs.

Is it easy to learn?

Assuming you’ve already learned Python, it is fairly easy to learn, so that you can create components in no time. It’s worth checking out this easy-to-follow tutorial to get started.

To really become good at Django, you would need to build out a couple of projects. It’s worth completing an end-to-end certification course, which will help you build a project. We recommend Udemy or CodeAcademy.

Is Django a Web server framework?

Yes, Django is a fully featured server-side web framework. It is used by developers to create web applications. It’s also worth mentioning that it is a full-stack framework. By default, it includes many optional features that projects tend to require, for example, a login system, instead of offering them as separate libraries. This is one of the many reasons it remains so popular.

What companies use Django?

While developers might wonder if Django is still relevant in 2021, 2306 companies currently use it in their tech stacks, including Pinterest, Instagram, and Udemy. Google also uses this framework in Google Person Finder.

Want to learn more?

Eliga Services has been working for many years with Django CMS. In fact, we’re a leading contributor to the open-source Django CMS project. Check us out on GitHub, where you’ll find Andrew Aikman (Aiky30) listed under Community Heroes.

If you’re a developer thinking of working with this framework, it’s worth checking out the CMS community job board or these projects on GitHub.

Book a time to chat with us about Django CMS and what it can do for your business here.