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Top 3 Free Resources to Learn Django in 2023


This blog post serves as an introduction to the Django framework which is a very popular Python framework for Web development.

You’ll also get a handpicked list of courses from expert instructors that will teach you how to use this framework from the ground up to advanced usage.

Why do developers use Web Frameworks

In simple terms, a Web Framework is a collection of tools and libraries that supports the development of Web Applications with the objective of making the development of common features easier.

In general, using a framework is not an absolute necessity, although doing so has several benefits, some of which are described below:

  • Instead of reinventing the wheel, Web Frameworks help in handling a variety of typical Web concerns, such as security issues, allowing the developer to only concentrate on the essential features of what he or she is building.
  • Most modern Web Frameworks are open-source and have large communities of people that support the development of the tool and that developers can use for any help or support.
  • Most Web Frameworks are highly flexible and can be easily extended with external libraries.

Despite all those benefits, using Web Frameworks does have some challenges. One of them is the learning curve which might be challenging sometimes. In addition to that, frameworks impose a set of rules that developers have to adjust their code to which might be a limitation for certain use cases.

In general, Frameworks are widely regarded as essential in the development of Web applications. They facilitate developers' ability to work efficiently and to quickly ship applications. In my opinion, there aren't many developers who will be completely against using frameworks without a very good reason.

How did Django start

Django was created in the fall of 2003 by the two Web developers Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison who were working on the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper. Adrian and Simon were both PHP developers when starting the project and this had an impact on Django which is hugely inspired by this programming language.

The project was made open source in July 2005 and went popular very quickly. In June 2008, a foundation named Django Software Foundation (DSF) was created to maintain the project in the long term. The repository of the project now has more than sixty-four thousand stars on GitHub.

Advantages of using Django

  • Django is a batteries-included Python Web framework which means it already includes a set of built-in features that handles common features in Web applications such as user authentication, admin interface, and handling URL routes, … therefore the developer doesn't have to import separate libraries to use those features. The developer can then focus on the core features rather than reinventing the wheel every time.
  • It is highly secure and protects the application against many common security issues, such as SQL injection, and cross-site scripting, among others.
  • It is scalable and used by many big names in the software industry such as Instagram
  • The framework has a very strong community that developers can get support or assistance from, and who are constantly working to improve the tool as well as its documentation.

How the Official Documentation is Organized

When getting started with a new framework, the most advisable thing to check first is the official documentation. Here is a quick overview of how Django’s official documentation is organized:

  • The Getting Started section is designed for people new to the framework. Without going into great detail, it provides a high-level overview of developing with Django. The goal is to help the developer to get to a result as early as possible.

  • The Using Django section, on the other hand, aims at explaining each component of Django in greater detail. It contains complete guides to Django’s model system, template engine, forms framework, and much more.

  • The How-to guides section includes comprehensive instructions for dealing with specific advanced use cases and questions. Before reading this part, one must have an understanding of how Django works.

  • Finally, the API reference section contains the technical aspects of Django’s different APIs.

How Does Django Work

A project in Django is a collection of many applications. Each application is responsible for some specific task inside the project. If the project we want to build is an e-commerce website, we might have an app for managing customers, an app for managing sellers, an app for managing the shipping service, etc.

The project contains the global configuration and settings for all applications. A project can contain multiple apps. An app can be in multiple projects.


Top Three Free resources to Learn Django in 2023

Below is a handpicked list of resources where you can learn Django for free. For your learning journey to be effective, you must have a basic understanding of web development and Python programming in general.

  • Firstly, the official documentation and especially the getting started section is an excellent guide beginners can check to quickly start and make their first Django project.

  • The Django for Everybody course by the author of the very popular course Python for Everybody is also a great resource to check which goes through all the concepts from the beginning until the advanced concepts. The author is a Professor at the University of Michigan and a famous online instructor.

  • Finally, this list of tutorials from MDN web docs is very well written and explains all the concepts a beginner needs to know from the ground up.

Final Thoughts

According to this survey done at the end of 2021 in collaboration between JetBrains and the Python Software Foundation, Django is in the top 2 most used Python Web Frameworks and is in the ninth place among all Web Frameworks according to Stack Overflow's latest survey. It is therefore still a very relevant framework to learn and use in Web Applications.

However, getting started with Django can be challenging at the beginning, and therefore it is important to stay focused in the first weeks of your learning journey. In addition to that, if you are building a simple app with only a few features and requirements, other frameworks like Flask might be more useful and therefore it is important to keep an eye on the global ecosystem of Python Web Frameworks to be able to choose the most appropriate tool for your needs.