Understand Django

Want to learn Django from top to bottom?

In this book, I will walk you through the Django web framework.

We start from the top at an exploration of the browser and the layers that make the internet work, then dig deep down through the framework to reveal how you can make web applications using Django.

By the time you finish reading Understand Django, you'll have a much deeper knowledge of how web applications work and, specifically, how Python-based web applications are built.

Buy Understand Django for $29.99

Buy this book to learn

  • The major pieces needed to build a Django-based website
  • How the major “batteries included” work and why they make Django awesome
  • The most important parts outside of Django that you’ll need to be successful
  • The methodology for testing your software to make sure it works
  • Techniques for deploying your application live to the internet
  • Philosophies on improving the speed and security of your site
  • Strategies to apply when things go wrong

Why this book?

The internet is still very quick to sell you complex solutions for building websites. Django is an amazing tool that gives you so much power and lets developers build quickly. I wrote this book to explain how Django provides this power and how to connect that knowledge with building for the web.

What makes this book different?

With Understand Django, I used a top-down approach to explaining website building. We start from the common elements that you encounter when using websites, like user interfaces and URLs. Then we dig deeper and deeper into the other layers that Django provides that hide beneath the surface.

This style lets you progressively discover how Django works without forcing you to understand abstract pieces that don’t fit into your mental model yet.

This book is for you if you…

  • Have basic Python experience
  • Know other languages and want to see how Python on the web is done
  • Want to understand how a web framework really works
  • Desire to build the tools in your web toolbox
  • Like to roll up your sleeves and get into code
  • Need a wide overview of developing on the web
  • Want to be a better developer

Readers are saying…

Greatest intro to Django one could ask for

This is a very concise yet helpful intro to Django. Far better than any online tutorial.

-Valentina Antonova

Whether you are new to Django or a seasoned developer, this book is a must-have for your library. For newer web developers, this book starts by covering basic web concepts including HTTP, DNS and the request/response cycle, and clearly explains how Django fits into the picture, then quickly gets you up to speed on many essential concepts such as views, templates, forms, and models. You can read this book from cover-to-cover in less than a day and have a very solid foundation to start building web apps in Django. Seasoned developers can dive right into the more advanced topics including user authentication and authorization, middleware, testing, and deployment. While the length of this book is relatively short, I find the depth of content to be remarkable!

Much of my career over the past 25+ years has been focused on developing and supporting desktop applications. As I continue my journey into the world of web application development, this book has become my most valued resource to help bridge the gap.

-Chad Lemmer

Although this could be a first book, it is far more useful to someone who has already worked with Django - then this book can be better appreciated for the tightly packed bits of extremely useful information. I found the “direct to the point” writing style refreshing. Each chapter gets down to the practical advice and techniques as quickly as possible.


Buy Understand Django for $29.99

About the author

Matt Layman is a software engineer who has worked professionally in the software development industry since 2006. In his career, Matt’s code has gone into space on a SpaceX launch, has helped kids learn to be better writers, and has been vital to delivering healthcare for hundreds of thousands of telemedicine visits.

Outside of work, Matt likes to teach others how to be good software developers. He is the organizer for the local Python meetup. Matt also regularly streams on YouTube about how to build a Software as a Service and writes articles about Python and Django on this website.

Matt lives in Frederick, Maryland with his wife and two children. He is active with his local community and church.

Read online

I know that there are many people in the world who would have difficulty buying my book for economic reasons. To support those people, I’m committed to keeping the content of my book available on the web for anyone to access. For those who can support me and would like a copy for themselves, I’m very grateful. If you can’t, I hope that you find the online version valuable to you on your journey to becoming a better web developer.

The content builds on itself to increase your understanding of how to use Django and explains how Django works. If you’re new to Django, you can start from the beginning. The book assumes you have little or no prior knowledge of doing web development.

Let’s get started!

  1. From Browser To Django
  2. URLs Lead The Way
  3. Views On Views
  4. Templates For User Interfaces
  5. User Interaction With Forms
  6. Store Data With Models
  7. Administer All The Things
  8. Anatomy Of An Application
  9. User Authentication
  10. Middleware Do You Go?
  11. Serving Static Files
  12. Test Your Apps
  13. Deploy A Site Live
  14. Per-visitor Data With Sessions
  15. Making Sense Of Settings
  16. User File Use
  17. Command Your App
  18. Go Fast With Django
  19. Security And Django
  20. Debugging Tips And Techniques