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Django: How to use Python in Web Application Development- Part 2

In this post I am going to demonstrate how to develop basic and very first website using Django - A Python Web Framework. First of all, You need to have Python and Django installed on your machine. In my previous post I have already explained how to install Django on both Linux and Windows. After installation is completed, you can start your first project.

For better understanding create new directory for Django(just for convenience). To start project run startproject firstproject command in your working directory. ("firstproject" is just a name of Project, you can replace it with any name).

It will create project directory named firstproject. There will be two directory, Outer firstproject and Inner firstproject. If you are using Linux you have to change permission of every single file and directory. To do this, Goto firstproject directory and run chmod 777 * command.Again goto inner firstproject directory and run the same command.

Outer firstproject directory contains and inner firstproject directory.

  • is a command line utility. you can run python help commnad for help.

  • Inner firstproject directory contains another four files.

Now we will create our first module. Create file named in the Inner firstproject diretory. You can give any name to this file but, it is good convention to call it

Write the following code in this file.(line starting with '#' is comment line) #bellow statement will import HttpResponse class from
#django.http module

from django.http import HttpResponse

#Following lines of code define function named "first_project".
#function accepts one argument request. And return HttpResponse
# object which contains string.

def first_project(request):
    return HttpResponse("<h3>Welcome to my First Project</h3>")

Now we have written simple module, But our Django project do not about module we've just created. To explicitly join this module with our project we have to assign particular URL to this module.

To configure URL open file, which resides in inner firstproject directory.

If we remove comments line it only contains following: #Line below import patterns, url and include function from
#django.conf.urls.defaults module

from django.conf.urls.defaults import patterns, include, url

#line written below will import function first_project from
#module views, which we just created above.

from firstproject.views import first_project
urlpatterns = patterns('',

Now to configure our module, we will add url(r'^first_project$',first_project) line as argument to patterns function. Code will look something like this. from django.conf.urls.defaults import patterns, include, url
from firstproject.views import first_project
urlpatterns = patterns('',

First argument to URL is Regular Expression and Second argument is name of function we want to call when URL is opened.

For basic understanding of Regular Expression,

  • '^' sign will match staring with first_project/(e.g. first_project/first, first_project/help etc.)
  • '$' sign will match ending with first_project/(e.g. .../first/first_project/, .../help/first_project/ etc.)
In our case it will match string "first_project".

After this our basic project is done. To run it, we have to start Django server.

  • Change to outer firstproject directory
  • run python runserver command. By default it runs our server on 8000 port.
  • Now open Web Browser and type in addressbar.

If every thing works fine, You should see output "Welcome to my First Project". That's it !! this is your first Web application/Web Site using Django Framework.

Here we have simply returned plain text as response. But for real web site you have HTML code to be rendered on your page.

In the Next part of this tutorial we are going to discuss how you can use template to display/render HTML code on your website. Visit next part at: Using Templates in Django | Python in Web development - Part 3

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  1. Nice article. For the beginners I would suggest adding web2py to the list of python frameworks. I am new to web development and like how easy web2py makes many things. To the list of hosts, you can add PythonAnywhere. There servers are a little slow at the moment of writing this, but make it easy to deploy the application on the web.

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