When many developers are contemplating building a new web application, the Django web framework is often one of their first options. If you are well acquainted with Django, this is likely not surprising. Over the years, the Python-based framework has established a strong reputation in the web developer community.
If you have not yet gotten on the Django train, here are some of the most important reasons why you should consider getting on board.
Documentation has been a key hallmark of the Django framework from the beginning. It stands out for its completeness and user-friendliness by including numerous tutorials, topic guides, reference guides, how-to guides, and examples. This is especially useful if you are just starting out with web development.
Compared to competing for open source frameworks, you are going to spend less time looking into the source code with Django. The documentation covers all APIs in detail – from the most basic to the most advanced. And even when you think you cannot find a solution in the documentation, there are multiple websites that have published a solution to the problem. For example, here is an article on how to find n+1 queries?
2. Open Source and Long-Term Support
Django is open source and has a permissive license covering its commercial application. First released more than 25 years ago, Django is a mature framework maintained by an enthusiastic team of volunteers at the Django Software Foundation.
The framework has a clearly documented release process with elaborate long-term support releases to cover security and data loss gaps. Many seasoned Django users assert that most of the API has been stable since 1.0. The changes are effected smoothly and are anticipated by a transparent deprecation policy.
3. It’s Python-Based, After All
Python may have first appeared on the scene over 30 years ago, but it still consistently ranks among the most popular programming languages. This alone is a testament to its readability and versatility. Python has a famously rich standard library. It is available for many operating systems and platforms.
Django is Python-based and leverages the features that Python has become so well known for. These include metaclasses that help implement the Django Object Relational Mapper (ORM), in other words: the database access layer. Django APIs are elegant, well structured, and facilitate a concise and clean programming style that minimizes the likelihood of repeating yourself.
4. Extensible and Modular
The framework has different python packages. These are effectively different frameworks or backends addressing different web development tasks in a modular fashion. The frameworks include the caching framework, the forms framework, the gis framework, sessions framework, messages framework, storage backends, and authentication backends. Others are the ORM database abstraction and access, and the template engine.
With such modularity, you can create diverse types of web applications with extensive APIs that tackle all common use cases. The backends can abstract some functionalities that could be swapped or turned off in favor of other implementations.
5. Ecosystem and Reusable Apps
The Python standard library is arguably unrivaled in its completeness. That said, Python’s success, especially in data science, comes down to a large extent to the availability of third-party packages. In a Django project, you can split the various features of your application into apps you can reuse. These apps are, in fact, just Python packages.
Such reuse is invaluable for code reuse and organization. The reusable apps can live in project code or you can distribute them like any other Python package so they are installed as the project’s external dependencies.
6. The ORM
Django excels as a framework for building web apps. However, it is when dealing with SQL databases that Django shines brightest. The ORM is one of the framework’s most powerful components. It is a layer between your application and the database.
The ORM has a powerful and elegant API for defining, maintaining, and accessing your data. It is backend agnostic, has a declarative data model and you do not even need to write any SQL.
Migrations are part of the ORM, but this is one feature that deserves to be covered on its own. Django’s powerful migrations framework was originally an app known as South that was later merged into it. It helps you detect changes in your model’s declarations and automatically generates SQL statements in line with the database schema.
ORM gives you the power to create data migrations that apply transformations to your data in a more predictable way.
8. Django Admin Package
Django has the django.contrib.admin package which is a reusable app that allows web-based administration of your data models after just a few lines of code. There are several benefits of using the Django admin package.
First, you can try it at no cost – it is available by default. Second, it shows and leverages the power of the ORM. Third, it is an excellent example of a configurable web app with a clean user interface and simple API.
The admin package was not initially meant for end-users, but it can be a viable option in the event that you are looking for a simple interface and do not have a complex model.
9. Async Available from Version 3.1
Django was initially meant for one-way synchronous interactions based on HTTP. This made it difficult to implement web sockets, chat protocols, IoT protocols, and other non-HTTP protocols that are now common in web apps.
To overcome this limitation, Django 3.1 that dropped in mid-2020 now supports the fully asynchronous path. This extends Django’s capabilities beyond the limits of HTTP. It also opens up opportunities for flexibility and performance optimization.
10. Powers Popular Websites and Applications
One of the most reliable tests of a framework’s power is its adoption. And on this score, Django does not disappoint. Websites and applications with millions of monthly users are built with Django. These include Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Dropbox, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Onion, National Geographic, Disqus, Eventbrite, and Mozilla.
If these websites and apps, including some visited billions of times each month, are comfortable with using Django, it is difficult to see any website or app that is beyond the framework’s scope.
Get On Board
If you had any reservations about considering the Django framework for your upcoming web application development project, the many reasons covered here should provide sufficient evidence. It is a mature and stable framework that allows you to build a plethora of web applications ranging from web services and REST APIs to server-side websites.
Join the Django developer community and you will be well on your way to build extensible and maintainable web services and apps.
Also Read: Pros & Cons of Django Framework