Why Is Django So Popular And When Should You Use It?

Written by Santiago Mino
Technology
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So you’re eager to get started on a new web application, but how do you know which web development framework to use? There are so many out there these days that it can be difficult to make a decision.

Here we’re going to look at Django, an open-source and high level Python web framework that has become a favorite among Python developers. In fact, Django is used today by the world’s biggest global applications like Instagram, Spotify and Pinterest.

What is Django?

Django - named after famous jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt - was first launched in 2005. It was built by experienced developers who above all wanted to make web development fast and hassle-free. As such, much like Python itself, Django is made for clean and pragmatic design - minimal code, maximum output. It offers ready-made configurations for most basic functions so that developers can dedicate more time to the new and unique features they wish to build into their web applications. It’s free and open-source, so anyone can get started with it and learn the basics quickly.

What makes Django popular?

  • It enables fast development: Speed runs through the DNA of Django. It was born out of a need to serve fast-paced newsrooms, and describes itself today as the “web framework for perfectionists with deadlines”. One of Django’s core design principles is “Don’t Repeat Yourself” (DRY), which states that “every distinct concept and/or piece of data should live in one, and only one, place”. In other words, avoid duplication and repetition of code and design patterns whenever possible.
  • Its admin panel: Of the most popular features of Django is its automatic admin interface. Rather than build something manually, with Django you get a powerful and customizable admin panel generated automatically with Python code. Trusted users can log in to the panel and use it to manage content on the website or application. This makes it easy even for ‘non-tech’ people to maintain an application.

Why Is Django So Popular And When Should You Use It?

  • It comes with “batteries included”: Django comes prepared with a wide range of tools, libraries and features ready to handle common tasks on any web application (authentication, site maps, RSS feeds etc.). In fact, it is often considered to be unrivaled in terms of the add-ons it offers ‘out of the box’.
  • Its Object-Relational Mapper (ORM): This is another powerful Django feature that enables developers to interact with the database in a ‘Python-like’ style. This, again, helps developers accelerate the web development process, especially if they don’t have a strong understanding of database languages like SQL.

Why Is Django So Popular And When Should You Use It?

  • Robust security: As with most things, Django has comprehensive ‘out of the box’ security features to avoid common issues such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery and clickjacking. Django regularly releases new security patches and updates to fix any vulnerabilities to new threats.
  • Community support: Django has built up a strong community around its broad user base, with many developers willing to provide support, fix bugs, and advance the framework’s features. As a result, when you build with Django you have access to thousands of tried and tested packages covering most of the features and functionality you need for a web application.
  • It’s easy to scale: You don’t get chosen to power some of the world’s biggest and biggest applications without making scaling easy. Django uses a “shared-nothing” architecture, which means that each part of the architecture is independent of the others. This makes it simple to replace or add hardware at any level, such as more database servers or web application servers, to cope with an increase in users.

When to Use - Or Not Use - Django

There is no universal rule for when one framework is better than another, as it will always depend on the circumstance of each project. However, there are some guidelines that can help you decide whether Django might be an appropriate option (or not).

When Django might be right for you:

  • When you have tight deadlines and need to deploy fast, making changes as you go.
  • When you are building a highly customized application, and don’t want to spend lots of time coding basic functionality from scratch.
  • When your app needs to be able to scale up or down quickly.
  • When you don’t want to deal directly with database queries (here’s where the ORM helps).
  • When you want the support of a strong community to find solutions to common problems.

When Django might not be an optimal choice:

  • If you’re working on a simple, small-scale project there may be other lightweight Python solutions that are more suitable.
  • Conversely, it may be easier to manage a really large application on a microservices architecture pattern rather than Django’s monolithic structure (though you could still use Django for certain features or use-cases).
  • You want to use your own custom code for everything.

Ultimately, whichever language and framework you choose for your organization’s website, you will need to rely on a development team to build your ideas to the required standards and as fast as possible. If you have a skills gap in your in-house team, or need to scale up your capacity quickly, then staff augmentation may be the solution. Get in touch with us as Jobsity to find out more.

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Written by Santiago Mino
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Santiago Mino, VP of Strategy at Jobsity, has been working in Business Development for several years now helping companies and institutions achieve their goals. He holds a degree in Industrial Design, with an extensive and diverse background. Now he spearheads the sales department for Jobsity in the Greater Denver Area.