When it comes to web development, the framework you decide to use is vital. Django is a free, open source, high-end framework written in the famously simple, flexible, and relatively easy-to-learnPython programming language. Initially released in 2005, it’sused by thousands of programmers every year, owing to its friendliness to beginners and advanced users alike.
Don’t let its simple syntax mislead you, though – Django is a very robust, effective framework, and is used (and therefore battle-tested) by some ofthe largest websites in the world. Mozilla uses it for a number of its websites, and it’s also used by Spotify, Pinterest, Instagram, and the Onion, to name just a few. It’s very popular and, crucially, under active development. It doesn’t matter what operating system you’re using, either – Windows, Mac, Linux – it’s all the same to Django. It’s a very good choice for the vast majority of web development, and is more than capable of building any type of app. As with all frameworks, however, it’s best suited to some situations, and less so to others.
When should you use Django?
Django is built to encourage rapid development and clean, practical design. Like any web application framework, it’s a toolkit of components needed when developing a site. Its purpose is to provide a concrete foundation of the basics, allowing developers to focus on parts of their site that are unique to their project and not waste time with the fundamental boilerplate stuff.
This makes it a good choice when you’re building a highly customisable app, such as a social media website. You don’t have to worry about reinventing the wheel. Just let Django cover the basics, and focus on the unique parts you need to tweak and experiment with, such as the interaction between users, or the ability to share different types of media. In addition to this Django, much the same as Python as a whole, has a strong community-based approach. You canutilise libraries of third-party extensions and plugins to customise your app however you wish.
A‘batteries included’ approach to programming is a hallmark of both Python and Django, and it makes the framework an excellent choice for any developer who wants to build modern and robust web applications with a minimal amount of code. It’s a highly structured framework – it forces you to do things the Django way, rather than your own way. When building a site that requires a strong and secure foundation that protects transactions and sensitive data, such as an ecommerce site, Django is a great framework to use. It hides your source code by default, and it’s often one of the first frameworks to respond to a new vulnerability. It has a solid user authentication model with the ability to configure different users, and its core team also usually alerts other frameworks of patches they should make to maintain security. This all makes Django a very suitable choice when security is a top priority.
Another area in which Django stands out as being ideal for many developers is scalability. When you need an app that can grow in depth and complexity to any scale and is capable of handling as many visitors and/or transactions as demanded, Django shines. At its core, Django is just a series of components of Python, wired up and ready to go. Since these components are separate entities, they’re not dependent on each other. You can pick and choose, unplug and replace them as and when your site requires. This means you can build it up to whatever level of performance you need your site to be capable of, at any time, without compromising the functionality of the website. Django alsobears backwards compatibility in mind as a central part of its ethos. If you need a versatile framework capable of building a site that can respond to variable demands, such as an online marketplace website like Gumtree, Django is an excellent choice.
In addition to being able to build any type of frontend web app you can think of, Django can be used to build apps that are entirely backends. It is capable of being used to build brilliant inventory management and cost analysis programmes, something that is invaluable to any business operating in the highly competitive modern age. If you need a tool that helps you to get an edge on the competition, to compare prices or to automatically change them, you won’t go wrong with Django.
When not to use Django
Django is not necessarily the best framework to use in every instance. While it’s a brilliant foundation for constructing large projects, it’s often overkill for smaller ones. Its heavy, monolithic structure can be a hindrance for developers looking for highly customisable, quicker apps, such as a short script. The strengths of Django lay in its reliable, efficient, architecturally sound, secure nature when building apps on the larger side.
Play to Django’s strengths
In summary, then, Django is best used when playing to its strengths. Take advantage of its structured nature and use it to build long-term projects where efficiency of code, data management and security, and an organised system that can scale well over time are your main priorities. If you need a lighter framework better suited to the short-term, it might be best to look elsewhere.