• django
  • python

Learning Django Part 1 🎸

My notes from the Python Django Tutorial (parts 1-3) by Corey Schafer


Part 1: Initializing a Django Application

  • Django is a python framework - it makes it easy to build web applications using Python.
  • Django has a nice Django Administrator GUI, which makes creating/managing faster!

Things to be mindful of when building webapps:

  • how to interact with the database
  • how to authenticate users
  • how to accept user input

It's a good idea to separate projects into their own virtual environments.

  • python3 -m venv djangopod

Start a new virtual environment.

source djangopod/bin/activate

To activate the virtual environment. And to turn it off, just type deactivate.

  • pip install django

Installs django.

  • python -m django --version

Check if django is installed.

  • django-admin

See what django commands are available.

  • django-admin startproject djangoTime

Start a new django project.

Project structure:

├── djangoTime
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──

Allows us to run command-line commands.


Tells us that this is a python package.


For mapping urls.

We'll only be changing two files: and

  • python runserver

To start the server. === http://localhost:8000/

Part 2: Adding the Blog Application and Some Routes

  • python startapp blog

To create a new application inside our main django app.

├── blog
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├── migrations
│   │   └──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──
├── db.sqlite3
├── djangoTime
│   ├──
│   ├── __pycache__
│   │   ├── __init__.cpython-37.pyc
│   │   ├── settings.cpython-37.pyc
│   │   ├── urls.cpython-37.pyc
│   │   └── wsgi.cpython-37.pyc
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──
  • blog/

Create some changes that we can actually view!

from django.shortcuts import render
from django.http import HttpResponse

def home(request):
    return HttpResponse('<h1>Blog Home</h1>')

def about(request):
    return HttpResponse('<h1>Blog About</h1>')

Create in the blog directory to map that view to a route.

from django.urls import path
from . import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('', views.home, name='blog-home'),
    path('about/', views.about, name='blog-about'),

You need to include the blog urls into the main project urls.

from django.urls import path, include

urlpatterns = [
    path('', include('blog.urls')),

Note that once you have added some of your own routes it will stop displaying the default django welcome page.

Part 3: Templates

In blog create templates/blog

We need to add our BlogConfig to the list of installed apps (in

  • It's good practice to add your new application to the immediately once it was created (lest you forget!)

Once the template is ready, we need to tell the blog views to go and use it.

def home(request):
    # specifying the subdirectory in our templates directory
    return render(request, 'blog/home.html')
  • The render function also accepts an optional third argument where we can add options to our templates.

Remove: from django.http import HttpResponse since we're not using it anymore.

You can also pass in some content to the template:

posts = [
      'author': 'CoreyMS',
      'title': 'Blog Post 1',
      'content': 'First post content',
      'date_posted': 'August 27, 2018'
      'author': 'Jane Doe',
      'title': 'Blog Post 2',
      'content': 'Second post content',
      'date_posted': 'August 28, 2018'

def home(request):
    context = {
        'posts': posts
    # now posts will be available from our template
    return render(request, 'blog/home.html', context)

🤔 Objects are called dictionaries in python.

We can loop over the posts in our template!

{% for post in posts %}
    <article class="media content-section">
      <div class="media-body">
        <div class="article-metadata">
          <a class="mr-2" href="#">{{ }}</a>
          <small class="text-muted">{{ post.date_posted }}</small>
        <h2><a class="article-title" href="#">{{ post.title }}</a></h2>
        <p class="article-content">{{ post.content }}</p>
{% endfor %}

If/else statement:

{% if title %}
      <title>Django Blog - {{ title }}</title>
  {% else %}
      <title>Django Blog</title>
  {% endif %}

Template inheritance: create a base.html for the common content (header, footer, scripts etc)

🤔 A block is a section that child templates can override.

  {% block content %}{% endblock %}

To use the base template:

{% extends "blog/base.html" %}
{% block content %}
    <h1>About Page</h1>
{% endblock content %}
  • Static files (like css files) need to be located in a static directory. Let's create blog/static/blog and put our main.css file in there.

To load static elements (in our base.html)

# on top of the page
{% load static %}

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="{% static 'blog/main.css' %}">

Use dynamic urls (the ones from blog/

<div class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
  <a class="nav-item nav-link" href="{% url 'blog-home' %}">Home</a>
  <a class="nav-item nav-link" href="{% url 'blog-about' %}">About</a>