Python and Django are excellent choices for anyone looking to gain a new perspective on software development or advance their programming skills. Django is a popular Python framework that is used to build and maintain web applications. Django provides a range of libraries and solutions that simplify and speed up the development of complex web applications.
If you are into Python programming as well as web development, Django should be on your radar. Django officials provide well-written, easy-to-understand documentation, so that you can learn how to use this popular Python framework. The good news is, there are also excellent Django books written by experienced Django developers that can help you grasp this Python framework.
To help you learn Django, we provide a list of the top 10 Django books for beginners, intermediates and advanced users. But first, let’s take a look at what Django is and what it’s used for.
What is Django?
Django is a Python-based web development framework that facilitates the rapid development of secure and maintainable websites through the use of default functions and tools that Django provides. By using Django, you can create web applications without having to worry about installation or dependency problems. It makes the development process more efficient and easier by eliminating repetitive tasks.
There are always a few components that you need when building a website: a way to handle authentication (signing up, logging in, logging out), a management panel for your website, forms, and a way to upload files. By using Django, you have ready-made components at your disposal. There are many well-known sites that use Django, including Instagram, Mozilla, Disqus, Pinterest, Bitbucket, and Washington Times.
Some of the essential features of Django are as described below:
- Python Web Framework: Python is the code language that powers the Django framework, which can be run on a wide range of platforms. In this way, Django can also run on platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Moreover, Python is also easy to learn, making Django the most powerful yet most approachable framework available today.
- Good Documentation: In comparison with other open source technologies, Django offers the best documentation on the market. Effective and good documentation for any technology is like a library for developers.
- High Security: The Django framework, for example, uses the hashed password instead of storing the password in cookies, so hackers cannot retrieve it easily. As part of Django, it helps developers avoid many common vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting, etc.
- Highly Scalable: Django is scalable in nature and it can easily be adapted from developing small scale applications to developing large scale ones.
- Fast Web Development: With Django, developers can build web applications more quickly. With Django, you can manage common Web development tasks using various modules and libraries. User authentication, site maps, content administration, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and more are handled by Django.
- Versatile in nature: Since Django is versatile, it can be used for a wide range of applications. Also, it can handle any client-side framework and output content in any format like HTML, XML, JSON, etc. Many companies nowadays use Django to build a wide range of applications, including content management systems, social networking websites, or scientific computing platforms.
- Cost-effective: Django is a free, open-source framework for building web applications. Its source code can be found and downloaded from the public repository.
It may take some time to learn Django, but you’ll be amazed by the enhancements it can make to your applications. Now let’s look at some of the best Django books.
Best Django Books
Here is a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the best Django books for different expertise levels. Any of these books, which are all designed specifically to help you get started in Python programming, will set you up for success.
Django Books for Beginners
Here are some Django books for beginners:
1. Django for Beginners
Author Name: William S. Vincent
About the Book: If you’re new to Django, this is a great place to start. Django for Beginners is a best-practices guide to helping you build your own websites faster using Python-based web development.
Django for Beginners is an introduction to the popular Python-based web framework Django. As you work your way through this book, you will build five different web applications, starting with a simple Hello World application and progressing to more complex ones like Pages, Message Boards, Blogs, and Newspapers applications. The book has a captivating structure that leaves you wanting more. Written in an easy-to-follow style, even a complete novice can follow along and experience the magic of writing their own web applications. In this book, the authors strive to provide readers with a fundamental understanding of how Django works, the ability to build applications independently, and the background necessary to utilize further resources for learning intermediate and advanced Django techniques.
2. Django Unleashed
Author Name: Andrew Pinkham
About the Book: Creating modern, dynamic websites with Django can be incredibly powerful, but programming Django hasn’t always been easy. Django Unleashed provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to leverage Django’s core capabilities, including its powerful contributed library.
Throughout the book, you’ll master new features, understand how Django’s architecture shapes its behavior, and gain essential skills for working with any web framework, not just Django. Additionally, you will learn advanced techniques for enhancing site performance and functionality, strengthening security, and enabling code reuse. The Advanced section teaches how to create custom users utilizing custom managers and query sets, how to add RSS and sitemaps, how to deploy applications on Heroku, how to build REST APIs, and how to optimize web application performance. The author does a nice job explaining topics like generic views, security, and performance.
3. Beginning Django E-Commerce
Author Name: Jim McGaw
About the Book: In just one book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about building an e-Commerce website with Django. This book guides you through creating an e-commerce website using Django, the most popular Python web development framework.
The author does not go into great detail about the in-built libraries, but rather shows how to use them in different cases. In the book, you’ll learn how to create a shopping cart, checkout process, and payment processor, as well as how to use Ajax successfully and SEO techniques. As you proceed through the book, you’ll apply each topic to build an example site while learning the theory behind it. This book offers insight into topics like deployment, testing, and performance tuning that aren’t adequately addressed in other books. Upon completing this book, you will be able to build a fully functioning e-commerce site, become familiar with the Django framework, and learn how to use it to reduce the amount of work you need to do to get a site up and running quickly.
Best Django Books for Intermediate
You may already be familiar with Python and are interested in strengthening your skills further as a Django developer. Check out these Django books:
4. Django for APIs
Author Name: William S. Vincent
5. Django Design Pattern and Best Practices
Author Name: Arun Ravindran
About the Book: In order to build secure and maintainable web applications, comprehensive knowledge is required. This book not only explains Django, but it also provides best practices and design patterns based on years of experience.
The book will take you on a journey that covers various aspects of Django (including Models, Views, Testing, Deployment, etc.), learning the finer points of web development (like data design and browser attack) along with exploring different asynchronous tools (such as Celery, Asyncio, and Channels). This author describes in detail how simple design changes can solve complex problems that are very common, especially when we want faster development. When you know about different design patterns, you can significantly reduce the time spent on coding and boost the performance of your application. You will also be introduced to practical Python coding techniques in Django that will enable you to handle complex issues, such as legacy coding, data modeling, and code reuse. Moreover, the book examines in detail testing and security, which are crucial elements of web application development.
6. Test Driven Development with Django
Author Name: Kevin Harvey
About the Book: The book is a good read for anyone who needs to learn more about test-driven development as a Django developer. The book “Test-Driven Development with Django” is a comprehensive guide to learning test-driven development tools and techniques with Django.
The book covers an extensive range of tools and topics, starting with basics before going into more detail about test-driven development. The author’s tone is very engaging, and you will be just as excited as if you were reading a fiction book. The chapters covering test-driven development are extremely detailed, and there isn’t a single boring page to be found. In this book, various topics are covered, such as the difference between functional and unit testing, learning how to use RequestFactory and TestClient, integrating with external APIs, and using other tools such as Django Rest Framework and VCR. As a prerequisite, you will need good command-line typing skills, familiarity with setting up a Python virtual environment, and some knowledge of Django.
7. Lightweight Django
Author Name: Julia Elman and Mark Lavin
About the Book: Django offers many opportunities to integrate client-side interactions and real-time features into web applications. How can you take advantage of these opportunities?
The title accurately describes its approach, i.e. “lightweight”. The book shows you how to create lightweight Django applications with free resources. By demonstrating application development with a series of case studies, this interactive book teaches experienced Django developers how to integrate WebSockets, REST APIs, and client-side MVC frameworks (like Backbone.JS) into existing or newly developed projects. The book is primarily geared toward intermediate Python/Django developers. Underscore, Backbone, and jQuery are used in the code, so if you’re familiar with them, you’ll have an advantage and you’ll read the code faster. Several topics related to Django scalability, security, and reliability have been explained in a good way. After reading this book, you’ll know how to build single-page applications that respond quickly to user interactions.
Best Django Books for Advanced
Finally, we’ve listed Django Books for experienced Django developers:
8. Two Scoops of Django
Author Name: Daniel Roy Greenfeld
About the Book: In this book, you’ll find tips, tricks, code snippets, and other helpful information to improve your Python programming skills. Django developers gain insight into the best practices to follow when coding in Django to improve code quality and project structure.
Rather than following a typical tutorial structure, it focuses on specific aspects of Django, such as models, views, templates, queries, admin, forms, project structure, etc. The author uses a combination of humorous and informative diagrams to keep you interested and make the reading enjoyable. The writing style is beginner-friendly as well, so even a newbie can understand the concepts without any difficulty. Additionally, you will learn how to deploy your application to the cloud (PaaS). This is the go-to book for most Django developers because it provides a comprehensive reference on building and deploying Django applications. In this book, you will learn new coding styles as well as how to set up optimal Django environments, how to layout Django projects, how to design Django applications, how to build APIs with the Django REST framework, and how to use template tags and filters properly, etc.
9. Django for Professionals
Author Name: William S. Vincent
About the Book: Simple “toy apps” developed as part of the Learning Django course are vastly different from the work that goes into developing a website that can handle millions of visitors for thousands of years. In this book, you will learn how to build highly advanced websites.
In essence, Django for Professionals is an extension of Vincent’s other two books – Django for Beginners and Django for APIs. If you work your way through these three books, you will become a hero of Django from the ground up. Django for Professionals takes you up another notch by introducing you to a wide array of skills you’ll need to master (such as static assets, environment variables, relating to databases, etc.) so that you can make production-ready projects. Furthermore, this book will guide you through advanced features of Django, like writing comprehensive tests, performing advanced searches, creating advanced registrations, and uploading images and files. It would be helpful if you had a basic understanding of Python before starting this book. This comprehensive book outlines best practices for building and deploying modern websites using Django.
10. Mastering Django
Author Name: Nigel George
About the Book: Rather than merely updating the original book (Mastering Django: Core), the book has been completely rewritten to cater to the needs of modern programmers. This book is intended to make you a Django expert.
This book will teach you how to develop a clean, maintainable, and powerful website in a short period of time. It is an indispensable resource for developers developing commercial/business critical applications, since it provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on the latest versions of Django. In the first half, a wide range of topics are covered, including models, views, templates, urls, forms, etc., and the second half takes each of those topics in greater depth while illustrating them with concrete examples. Upon reading this book, you will learn how to set up Django and Python, how to learn skills from a beginner level to mastery, the basics of a template system, how to prepare your Django codebase for production, and more.
The Django web framework is a popular Python web framework, and learning it is a neverending task. Those who know Python will have no problem learning Django. While Django is quite popular and solves many problems, it is difficult at times to follow the official documentation. In lieu of just studying documents and online tutorials, it may be a good idea to supplement your learning of Django with a few books. A good way to become more familiar with Django is by reading Django books.
We have gathered a few effective, and useful Django books for readers of all levels and skill sets. In this article, we covered the best Django books for beginners, intermediates, and experienced Django developers. The description of the book will assist you in determining what book you should read based on your level of expertise.
Hope this has ended your search for Django books. Enjoy your reading!
Is Django hard for beginners?
Yes, you will have difficulty grasping Django if you don’t have a strong foundation in Python. It is not necessary to master everything in Python before you can start working on the Django application, but at least clear up your fundamental concepts in Python. Make sure you get a good grasp of object-oriented programming and classes in Python.
Yes, a web development framework like Django will require you to have knowledge of HTML and CSS. Django handles the backend (such as user log-ins, database connections, page routing) where HTML and CSS render the information to the user. Although there are frameworks that eliminate HTML and CSS requirements, they are still necessary to troubleshoot browser problems.
Is Python Django still relevant in 2022?
The Django web framework is unquestionably one of the most popular Python web frameworks, and using it is the best way to build modern web applications. In terms of the future of web applications, Django has a lot to offer and can be used to serve any modern application structure. Therefore, Django is widely used in large organizations, and Django engineers are in demand.