Django Tutorial: Getting Started with Django

Django is a high-level Python web framework that allows rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. If you're looking to build dynamic websites efficiently, Django is a powerful tool to have in your belt. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up Django and creating your first application.


Before diving in, make sure you have the following installed on your system:

Setting Up the Environment

  1. Verify Python Installation: Open your terminal and type python --version. This should display the installed Python version.
  2. Install Django: Use pip to install Django by running the command pip install django.

Creating a Django Project

  1. Start a new project:  Navigate to your desired directory in the terminal and run django-admin startproject mysite. This creates a project directory named mysite with the essential Django project structure.
  2. Navigate to the project directory: Use cd mysite to enter the newly created project directory.
  3. Run the development server: Execute python runserver to start the Django development server. By default, it runs on You can access this address in your web browser to see the Django welcome page (if everything is set up correctly).

Building Your First App: A Simple Poll

Now that you have a Django project running, let's create a basic poll application.

  1. Create a new app: Use python startapp polls to generate a new app directory named polls within your project. This app will house the logic for your poll functionality.
  2. Define the Poll Model: Create a file named inside the polls directory. Here, you'll define the data structure for your polls using Python classes.
  3. Python

from django.db import models

class Question(models.Model):

    question_text = models.CharField(max_length=200)

    pub_date = models.DateTimeField('date published')

class Choice(models.Model):

    question = models.ForeignKey(Question, on_delete=models.CASCADE)

    choice_text = models.CharField(max_length=200)

    votes = models.IntegerField(default=0)

  1. This code defines two models: Question and Choice. A Question has a question_text (the question itself) and a pub_date (when the poll was published). Each Choice is associated with a specific Question and has its own choice_text and the number of votes it has received.
  2. Create Views:  Views handle user requests and generate responses. In polls/, create functions to display the list of polls, details of a specific poll, and a form to vote.
  3. Python

from django.shortcuts import render, get_object_or_404

from .models import Question, Choice

def index(request):

    latest_question_list = Question.objects.order_by('-pub_date')[:5]

    context = {'latest_question_list': latest_question_list}

    return render(request, 'polls/index.html', context)

def detail(request, question_id):

    question = get_object_or_404(Question, pk=question_id)

    return render(request, 'polls/detail.html', {'question': question})

def vote(request, question_id):

    question = get_object_or_404(Question, pk=question_id)

    selected_choice = question.choice_set.get(pk=request.POST['choice'])

    selected_choice.votes += 1

    return render(request, 'polls/results.html', {'question': question}

  1. The index view displays the latest polls. The detailed view retrieves a specific question and its choices. The vote view processes a vote submission, increments the vote count for the selected choice, and displays the updated results.
  2. Create Templates: Django uses templates to separate application logic from presentation. Create HTML files in a templates/polls directory within your project directory.
    • index.html: This template displays the list of available polls.
    • detail.html:

Django Tutorial FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the Django tutorial we just went through:

1. What if I encounter errors while setting up Django?

There can be various reasons for errors. Make sure you have the correct Python version and pip installed. Double-check any commands you're running for typos or syntax errors. Refer to Django's official documentation for troubleshooting tips or search online forums for specific errors.

2. How can I extend the poll functionality?

There are many ways to enhance your polls app. You can:

  • Add an option to add new choices and questions through a user interface.
  • Implement user authentication to allow registered users to vote.
  • Display results in a more visually appealing way with charts or graphs.

3. Where can I learn more about Django?

The official Django documentation is a comprehensive resource for learning Django. It covers various aspects like models, views, templates, and functionalities in detail. Additionally, you can find numerous online tutorials, courses, and books dedicated to Django development.

4. What are some advantages of using Django?

Django offers several benefits:

  • Rapid development: Django's high-level framework allows for quick development with pre-built features and functionalities.
  • Clean design: It promotes a clean and maintainable codebase with a clear separation of concerns.
  • Scalability: Django is built to handle complex and large-scale web applications.
  • Security: It incorporates security features to help protect your web applications from common vulnerabilities.

5. What kind of web applications can I build with Django?

Django is versatile and can be used to build various web applications, including:

  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Social networking sites
  • Data-driven web applications
  • And much more!
Share On