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What is Django Hosting?

Only Web developers would name their high-level Python framework after a quirky spaghetti western character. Use it to build powerful, interactive sites.

Django is a framework for Python that makes development faster, and makes an already user-friendly language even easier to grasp. The Django website boasts that it's possible to develop an idea in a matter of hours. Django includes a number of shortcuts that recreate commonly-used functions, and is of particular interest to people producing and publishing content.

A Brief History

Django was conceived in 2003 by two Python programmers, Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison. It was released to the public two years later. Django is named after Jean Django Reinhardt, a Belgian musician known for his jazz music and guitar skills.

Django is currently supported by a foundation which is registered in the US as a non-profit organisation. The project is open source.

On the modern web, Django has some high profile users. It's been adopted by Open Stack, Instagram and NASA, to name but three.

Why use Django?

Django makes website development easier by giving developers short cuts to common outcomes. That means applications can move from the drawing board to deployment much more quickly, compared to programming in Python alone. The admin interface creates its own options, depending on the way you've built your application, so you instantly have full control over the back-end. That can help to bring content to the fore more quickly.

When coding in Python, users create modules using Python in Django. Django is designed to add minimal extra learning time and should look familiar to anyone who can code basic HTML. Every site is created in a self-contained unit called a project, and each page contains a mixture of components that are rendered in the browser.

Some examples of Django's abilities out-of-the-box:

  • User authentication and permissions
  • Session cookies
  • Form handling
  • Content administration
  • Generation of site maps
  • Generation of RSS feeds
  • Blog commenting and management
  • Multi-language support

Django can also handle large amounts of traffic, so it's suitable for use on enterprise sites and busy blogs, as well as small sandbox projects and small business shopfronts.

What Django is Used For

Django can be used for a diverse range of purposes, and by a diverse range of organisations. Some of its functionality naturally lends itself to content management, but that can be applied to a range of scenarios. If you want to create a microblogging platform, connect friends on a social website or publish newsletters or recipes to a blog, Django will give you the building blocks you need.

If you're still deciding which coding language to learn, note that the Django website is unusually friendly to newbies. That might be key if you want to learn Python but you're intimidated by the technical nature of many coding websites, that might help make your mind up.

Security

One of the big bonuses of Django is its focus on security. If you're new to developing in Python, Django will protect you against security holes and common attacks.

It helps to prevent:

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) and request forgery (CSRF)
  • SQL code injection
  • Clickjacking (where a site loads another site in an iframe)
  • Storage of user login details
  • HTTPS support
  • Monitoring of content uploaded to your server by users

For novices (or coders in a hurry), this all provides peace of mind.

There's no protection for brute force attacks, but you can obtain a plugin to help with this. Additionally, it's important to store Django projects (and any other Python projects) away from the web root on your server. This is a key difference from other types of scripting languages, but you really don't want anyone to be able to view Python code over the web in plain text.

Hosting System Requirements

If your host offers Python, it could (or should) also offer Django support. Note that some versions of Python aren't compatible with Django, such as versions pre-dating Python 3.2. Cross-reference Django's website with your host's specifications to make sure you have a compatible set-up.

There's no cost involved in acquiring Django, and it ships with some operating systems by default. If there's no mention of Django support, quiz your host before you sign up, and ask them if they would add it to your chosen plan for free.

Django Frequently Asked Questions

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