As powerful and versatile as it is, the framework has its quirks and it doesn’t work on any platform. Most hosting providers do little to make things easier for Django developers.
Still, finding decent Django hosting doesn’t have to be a challenge—as long as you know where to look for it.
That’s why we, at Website Hosting Review, studied and reviewed the top Django platforms.
Keep reading to find out which provider will make the best home for your Django apps.
How We Reviewed & Ranked the Best Django Hosting Solutions – Our Methodology
Virtually every host that supports the framework claims to have the best Django hosting but not all deliver. We were extra careful and thoroughly checked all the facts and features that will help you pick the right host.
Here’s what went into the reviews:
- Check out the offer—Starting with the basics, we checked what each host brings (or at least claims to bring) to the table. Many hosts boast about their Django environment. Yet, once you scratch beneath the surface, often there’s little to speak of.
- Check the reputation—Checking out what long-term users have to say about a host is a reliable way to form a more impartial first impression of service—be it good or bad. We went to hundreds of Django hosting user reviews to get a better idea about the companies behind them.
- Read the fine print—Let’s face it, most people never read a word of any ToS document. We sifted through all the legal documentation to ensure the hosts below aren’t hiding any tricky or ambiguous clauses.
- Test the platform—We saved you the trouble of taking each host for a test run. You can read about any features that exceed or fail to meet expectations in our detailed reviews below.
- Probe the support—Support is your safety net in case things go sideways. We ensured each host’s support team had the skills and resources to handle Django-specific issues.
- Determine value—Going for the cheapest host rarely pans out as desired, but finding the best value for money is another thing altogether. Even an excellent service will do you little good if it’s completely overpriced, so we only picked the providers that justified the price tag.
You’ll find the top Django web hosting providers just below.
PythonAnywhere is a host specializing in, you guessed it, Python. The provider is incredibly popular among Python developers. The only reason it’s not as big as some other names in hosting is that it’s a hard specialist.
Let’s get to it and see what it can do for Django developers.
PythonAnywhere’s servers run on AWS EC2 instances, which is one of the most reliable and robust platforms out there. The base is already excellent.
The solution currently supports Python 3.8. PythonAnywhere usually takes about a month to roll out support for the new stable releases—which is incredibly fast—so expect Python 3.8.1 sometime by the end of January 2020.
You can quickly deploy Django from the dashboard. The platform also comes with many preloaded Python and Django packages.
This means you can easily import and use packages without downloading, which saves time setting up both Python and Django on the server. Of course, you can install any additional packages the traditional way.
PythonAnywhere provides you with a console and code editor, accessible from any device. You can write code and run programs from any web browser.
Even more importantly, you can switch devices and continue exactly where you left off. Not only do you have the benefit of the same error-checking and syntax highlighting everywhere, but you also don’t have to bother with copying files across devices.
Of course, you can upload files from a computer or a repository like GitHub just as easily.
The console lets you schedule up to 20 daily tasks and even makes it a bit simpler than using cron.
It’s an all-round excellent environment.
PythonAnywhere offers powerful Python-specific features, but there’s little in terms of traditional tools. The provider still takes care of fetching and installing Let’s Encrypt SSL for you.
You also get SSH access, which is essential for configuring a Django web server. PythonAnywhere will manage your server, though. Since the provider focuses exclusively on Python, you get very experienced professionals maintaining everything.
You do have a couple of cool features like sharing your screen with other PythonAnywhere users. This can be pretty useful if you work with other developers.
Speaking of working with others, PythonAnywhere also includes excellent features for teaching. You can set up accounts for students, assign tasks and files, monitor their progress, and have them collaborate in-app.
It’s worth pointing out PythonAnywhere has a free plan that’s decent for testing. It is pretty limited, though, and lacks a lot of crucial features—like using your own domain name.
As for paid plans, they range from $5/month to an enterprise-grade quoted plan. Since the platform runs on AWS, which is flexible, you can talk to support about customizing your plan.
The Django hosting resources are pretty generous for the price across the board. PythonAnywhere does impose a CPU limit—2,000 CPU seconds for the $5/month plan. This is just a soft limit, though, and PythonAnywhere will just assign a low priority to some of your tasks if you go over it. The provider only kills processes if you hit ten times the recommended CPU usage, at which time it’s already past time you upgraded.
All in all, you get excellent features and a few unusual ones to boot. The platform might be slightly more cost-effective for medium-sized apps, but it’s just a minor thing.
PythonAnywhere sort of expects its users to have experience with running an app. Therefore, it only provides support via an email ticket, which is a disadvantage if you need quick help.
Alternatively, you can also post to the forums. The community there is incredibly active, and PythonAnywhere’s staff replies to any unsolved queries.
The provider maintains a solid knowledge base, as well. You can find a range of PythonAnywhere Django tutorials about both using the platform and solving many development-related issues.
The agents responding to both emails and forum threads are experienced Django experts. You can get help with pretty much any issue, but you can’t really expect instant assistance.
PythonAnywhere Around the Web
PythonAnywhere is one of the most recommended Django providers. Pretty much every PythonAnywhere review praises the service for how well it works, and how helpful the features are.
One issue many users mention is the lack of WebSocket support. This means you’d have to go to a third-party WebSocket service to run real-time web apps, which can be a pain. There is a solution in the works to resolve this, but the PythonAnywhere team does not state when it will be out.
Other than that specific case, there’s little in terms of complaints.
- Excellent features for Django developers
- Great teaching platform
- Expert tech team
- Fair pricing
- No phone or live chat support
- More cost-effective for small and medium-sized projects
PythonAnywhere is in-tune with what developers need and offers some of the best hosting for Django out there. It’s a solid choice, whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced user.
RoseHosting was the first provider ever to offer Linux VPS, and, today, its VPS offer is still going strong. Fortunately, the plans are optimized for Django.
Here’s what RoseHosting throws into the mix.
RoseHosting runs some impressive technologies in its data centers, and the result is top-notch performance. The provider even backs this up by guaranteeing 99.99% uptime, or 10% of your monthly fee back.
You can pick your OS when purchasing a Django hosting plan. The standard offer includes a choice between CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, and Elastic, the first three being standard for running Python-based apps.
You have root access so you can make any changes yourself. Alternatively, you can submit a support ticket, and the techies will set up any technologies you need to use, including Django.
This will take a bit longer than the standard 1-click install, but the support can fine-tune the setup to your needs—which is arguably better.
Just be as specific as you can about any technologies you want, so the support can build the optimal setup. Pretty much anything without a paid license is fair game, though you can contact the support team beforehand and discuss the exact solution.
RoseHosting can also migrate an existing Django app for you free of charge. If you also prefer running a control panel, DirectAdmin is available with CentOS for $5/month.
RoseHosting is one of the few Django web hosts that will fully set up and optimize the environment to your needs. It’s solid if you need a bit of extra help starting out.
RoseHosting offers useful features like a managed firewall and integrated Let’s Encrypt SSL. As for backups, only weekly ones are available free of charge. You either have to set up your own daily backup solution or pay extra.
You can get Cloudflare CDN for a one-time $10 installation fee. Afterward, the feature is free. The Pro version of the service is $20/month with no setup fee required.
The plans start with 1 CPU core and 1GB RAM, and you can scale up to 12 cores and 64GB RAM. If you outgrow that, you can transfer to RoseHosting’s dedicated servers that get you all the same benefits, but get pretty massive—the largest comes with 56 CPU cores and 96GB RAM.
The smallest plan starts at $24.95/month, which is decent for fully managed Python web hosting. Even better, the prices stay reasonable throughout.
Just keep in mind RoseHosting has a shorter money-back guarantee than most providers—only one week. Also, some features, like the Cloudflare CDN setup, are non-refundable.
All in all, RoseHosting has a great Django platform, though there are a few pricing specifics to keep in mind.
The plans include fully managed support. This covers things like firewall and DNS management, installing custom technologies, monitoring, etc.
The tech team maintains the Django servers splendidly. Agents will even dedicate one hour each month to help you troubleshoot code, which is excellent if you’re just getting into Django or are merely working alone and need some assistance.
You can contact the team 24/7 with any issues, and you’ll get an immediate answer almost every time.
RoseHosting’s support is top-notch. Few providers out there dedicate as much attention to each customer.
RoseHosting Around the Web
RoseHosting’s customers have mostly positive things to say about the service. The PR team did get into some arguments about negative reviews, though, which is a bit odd.
The company isn’t publicly traded, which is probably the reason they can do that. Still, smaller, private companies can provide much better service than large corporations, so this isn’t really a problem.
- Thorough management service
- Decent features
- Scales well
- Superb support
- Fairly priced
- Iffy money-back policy
- Daily backups are paid extra
RoseHosting is an excellent place to host a Django website. Both beginners and experienced developers can get good use out of the platform. As long as you plan out what services you’re purchasing, you can enjoy a stellar service.
Webhostpython is a relative newcomer to the world of hosting, but one with a strong technical aptitude. It offers standard hosting plans, but its Python and Django hosting is the highlight of the overall offer.
Here’s what you can expect.
Webhostpython sports pretty impressive technologies in its two data centers. The systems are designed to provide maximum reliability, speed, and protection against potential DDoS attacks.
You can access your server through SSH with all plans, but only the largest plan allows root access privileges.
The solutions all come with CentOS 7, though CloudLinux licenses are available. Supported technologies include Python 2 and 3, several versions of Django, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, and databases like MariaDB/MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. You can also use other Python frameworks like Flask, CherryPy, and Bottle.
You can integrate Git with Django, as well as Apache Subversion, which are both handy version control tools.
All in all, you get lots of developer-friendly features.
Another thing to mention is the plans are designed for effortless scaling. Since one of the main advantages of Django is its own easy-to-scale design, having a platform that can keep up is a huge benefit.
You get cPanel with Django plans. You also get features like a managed firewall, free Cloudflare CDN with Railgun, free SSL, and more.
You can pick from four Django-optimized plans, including one geared towards resellers.
The Solo plan starts at $30/year and gets you 50GB SSD storage and 10TB bandwidth. The website leaves this out, but it comes with 1 CPU core and 3GB RAM. The plans grow to about five times that, so you get decent scaling.
One thing to point out is Webhostpython only operates in the US. It’s less than ideal if you want to target users in, let’s say, Europe or Asia.
The plans are pretty generous and include a couple of cool features to boot.
As expected, Webhostpython’s support is technically strong. They are decent at handling all Python web hosting-related issues and can help you every step of the way.
That said, the chat feature is sort of clunky and can send queries directly to the ticketing system without prompting you. It’s best to stick with either phone or email tickets here.
Otherwise, the support is solid.
Webhostpython Around the Web
There are few Webhostpython user reviews out there since the host is fairly new. Still, the users that did review the service are satisfied with it, especially the support.
There’s not much in terms of negative reactions to speak of, save for a couple of ancient reviews.
- Very developer-friendly
- Generous resources
- Includes a Django reseller plan
- Knowledgeable support
- Live chat is kind of clunky
- Only US data centers available
- Root access only available with the largest plan
Webhostpython is one of the Django hosts that invest heavily in their tech. The only reason it’s not closer to the top of the list is that it only works for US developers. Still, if you need a US-based hosting service for your Django apps, it’s an excellent solution.
HostRipples is one of the popular cloud hosting providers to break out of India. It now has data centers in 18 locations around the globe and provides a range of services.
Django hosting is one of them, so let’s see what it’s all about.
Hostripples runs Tier-4 data centers, meaning the infrastructure is designed for 99.995% uptime. With Django plans, the performance is decent, though not the best out there.
Hostripples is one of the few providers offering shared Django hosting. This means the solutions are pretty stiff, as you can’t request a custom server setup.
By default, shared hosting runs on Apache and MySQL, and Hostripples does a superb job of keeping up-to-date with these technologies. If you want to run a different web server or database, you’d have to find a different provider.
Aside from that, the hosting also supports technologies like PHP, Perl, and SSI.
You can set up cronjobs. The hosting plans integrate with GitHub, which is always useful for developers. If you need it, you can take advantage of a free Django migration service too.
Unfortunately, Django hosting only allows FTP access, and not SSH, which is bound to annoy some security buffs.
There is a bit of misinformation on the product page about the control panel. In fact, Django plans come with cPanel and not Plesk.
You get pretty standard features you’d expect from a shared provider. This includes SSL, emailing features (with the possibility of email forwarding or creating emailing lists), backups, extensive security features, Cloudflare, and free domain registration with the second and third plans (if you pay annually).
The three plans are:
- Smart—2GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, $1.96/month
- Business—5GB RAM, 50GB SSD storage, $3.95/month
- Enterprise—10GB RAM, 80GB SSD storage, $6.46/month
You have to prepay for three years of Django web hosting to get these deals. After the initial hosting period, the price doubles.
Hostripples is also somewhat vague about CPU and bandwidth limits. You supposedly have access to full CPU power of the server, as long as you don’t overspend it. The acceptable use policy is unclear on what actually constitutes overspending, though.
All in all, the plans are decent for the price. If you want to try out Django on shared hosting, Hostripples has a decent platform. Still, this type of hosting is rarely the ideal environment for most developers.
The support team is available 24/7 and tends to get back to users pretty quickly. They have little trouble answering any questions.
You should keep in mind that not every agent is a Python expert, as is the case with some of the best Django hosting providers. You’ll likely have to wait for the tech team if you have any more complex issues.
The support is pretty decent overall.
Hostripples Around the Web
Most customers are satisfied with Hostripples’ service. They like the decent features and how helpful the support team is.
A few customers did complain about downtime about a year ago. The service is rather stable now, and Hostripples does offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. There’s little cause to worry as things stand.
- Decent infrastructure
- Efficient support
- Shared environment is restrictive
- Requires a three-year commitment for the best deal
- Vague acceptable use policy
Hostripples is a decent choice if you want to try running Django on shared hosting. The plans are affordable and come with decent features if you intend to use Apache and MySQL.
You can also use some of the many VPS plans and get more freedom. Still, there’s no real advantage to Hostripples here over providers with a stronger technical aptitude, like RoseHosting.
Hostwinds is a provider with a “customer comes first” attitude and support for many cutting-edge technologies. It also allows you to run Django, so let’s see what else is in the offer.
You can use both VPS and cloud Django hosting. The environments are relatively similar, but cloud hosting adopts the pay-as-you-go model. This makes it better for unpredictable traffic and quick scaling.
You can choose between Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Fedora. Windows VPS is also available and offers similar features, though it is slightly more expensive.
The plans are all fully managed, meaning the support will take care of server monitoring, firewall management, patches, speed optimization, malware scans, backups, and more. However, it will only help you set up the server stack in some cases.
What you can do is use 1-click installs to set up LAMP or LEMP, or upload your own images. You also have root access, so you can configure the environment to your liking.
You can also use a robust in-house control panel. It is equipped with a powerful API, snapshot features, firewall management, custom SSH key creation, deploying load balancers, and more.
All in all, you get all the tools you need to easily set up the server and host a Django app.
All plans get you features like daily and on-demand backups, a volume storage system, optional cPanel, and more. Offsite backups are paid extra, but the backup storage is affordable.
Both VPS and cloud plans have ten different tiers. You can get anywhere from 1 CPU core, 1GB RAM, and 30GB SSD storage to 16 cores, 96GB RAM, and 750GB storage.
It’s an impressive range of plans suitable for almost anyone’s needs. Even better, the plans are all relatively affordable. That said, it might be even more cost-effective to upgrade to a dedicated server instead of going for the two largest plans.
All in all, it’s a decent service, though it lacks some Django-oriented tools. If you want something better designed to help Python devs, take a look at the PythonAnywhere review above.
The support is available 24/7 and usually gets back to users immediately. The frontline agents are knowledgeable, and the tech team does a decent job of keeping everything up and running.
Not each agent is a Python professional, though. You might get bounced around a bit if you need help with something specific to the language. They can handle most queries just fine, though.
Hostwinds Around the Web
Hostwinds user reviews are positive for the most part. Users like the decent platform and tech support has made life easier for a bunch of its clients.
One recurring complaint is about billing. Many customers don’t realize that the plans have a promo period, after which the prices go up.
Indeed, Hostwinds doesn’t make it obvious the VPS introductory prices are only discounted 53% for your first subscription period. Once you have to renew the plan, the prices go back to normal—it’s just something to keep in mind.
Other than that, Hostwinds gets positive reactions.
- Great environment and control panel
- Broad range of plans
- Decent support
- Fair pricing
- Value falls off with the largest plans
- Few Django-specific features
Hostwinds has a decent Django hosting platform if you have the time to configure the servers to your needs. Once you do that, you’ll have plenty of useful features at excellent support to back you up the rest of the way.
6. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is an independent provider that invests heavily in technology. Its VPS plans support a variety of languages and frameworks, including Django.
Here’s what the plans can do.
InMotion Hosting Environment
InMotion hosting runs on decent hardware. Both its data centers are in the US, though, so you’ll get the best performance in North America. You should look at other Python web hosts if you intend to target different locations.
Nginx is available, but the VPS plans come with LAMP stack preinstalled. This is fine, since Apache and MySQL are pretty common for running Django apps.
You might not need PHP, and you can easily remove this through SSH when you add Django. You can also submit a ticket and have the support allow you root access. This will give you more freedom configuring your server.
Alternatively, the support team can set Django up for you. In fact, when you sign up, you get two hours of attention from InMotion’s system admins. They can set up any technologies, automate cronjobs, set up emails, or just give you advice.
It’s an awesome service if you’re not extremely confident in your technical skills. You can also get this kind of attention any time, but it’s only free the first time—afterward, it’s $99.
It’s a pretty decent environment, though you get less assistance than from Django hosts like RoseHosting.
InMotion Hosting Features
VPS plans come with a cPanel license, automated backups, free SSL, a robust firewall, a domain name with a six or twelve-month subscription, and the possibility to resell plans through WHM.
The provider offers three plans. You can get:
- 4GB RAM, 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth—Starts at $19.99/month, renews at $59.99/month
- 6GB RAM, 150GB SSD storage, 5TB bandwidth—Starts at $29.99/month, renews at г$99.99/month
- 8GB RAM, 260GB SSD storage, 6TB bandwidth—Starts at $49.99/month, renews at $179.99/month
The initial discounts are pretty generous, but you have to prepay for three years to take advantage of them. You can also pay for a shorter period, but the discount will be smaller.
One benefit of InMotion is it offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which is three times longer than the industry standard. This gives you enough time to publish a Django website and test out the environment without rushing.
InMotion Hosting Support
Support is available 24/7 via chat, phone, email, and Skype, though the response times can be a bit erratic.
The support provides decent assistance, especially if you go for one-on-one sessions with the system admins. The tech team will keep everything in top-notch condition.
InMotion Hosting Around the Web
InMotion Hosting user reviews are mostly positive. Users like the robust features and how helpful the support is.
A bunch of users did complain about the annoying initial verification. The thing is that InMotion requires you to make a phone call to activate the service.
This does help avoid scams, but it can be frustrating if you’re outside the US. You should be aware that you’ll have to wait a bit for the account activation.
- Helpful onboarding process
- Decent features
- 70% initial discounts
- 90-day refund period
- Solid tech team
- Clunky account activation
- Only has data centers in the US
InMotion Hosting is a decent choice if you want to host a Django website in the US, and want a bit extra help managing your VPS. The hefty initial discount also gives you enough breathing room to take things slow and grow your apps without worrying about hosting fees (at least for a while).
WebFaction is another provider focused on developers. It is often recommended as the go-to platform for hosting Django apps.
Here’s what it can do.
WebFaction has measures in place to ensure optimal performance, like Raid-10 redundant SSD storage and 24/7 infrastructure monitoring. The performance turns out just average, though, and it isn’t really the provider’s strong suit.
All servers run on CentOS 7. You can install Django 2.2.7 from the dashboard, which is one of the more recent releases.
The default Django setup comes with Apache, Python 3.7, and mod_wsgi 4.6.8—a standard module to deploy Django on Apache servers. You also get a bunch of handy modules uploaded by default.
Choosing this setup also sets up a cron job that will restart Apache if it stops working for 20 minutes. This is a pretty useful function and saves you a few minutes setting it up yourself.
WebFaction also lets you use an in-house control panel. The interface is kind of dated, but it isn’t much of a challenge for developers. You can use it to monitor your server, install your own technologies, set up SSL certificates, and more.
You can try the service without a credit card for two days, just keep in mind this turns off some functions like SSH access. You also can’t set up dynamic apps during the trial period, meaning you can’t host a Django app.
Not to worry, though, WebFaction offers a full refund for 60 days—above average—and prorated refunds at any time you wish to cancel the service. Both are nice gestures and give you more than a fair change to test out the platform.
WebFaction caters to developers, so you miss out on a couple of traditional features like cPanel. You can install SSL certificates easily, though, and also set up email inboxes with spam filtering.
WebFaction supports a bunch of developer technologies like PHP, Rails, Node.js, and databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL.
You can also set up git, which is helpful for collaborating with other developers. One advantage WebFaction has over PythonAnywhere is WebSockets support.
Signing up for a plan is sort of unintuitive. You have to start the free trial first, and then pick the plan you want to use.
As for the actual plans, you can choose from one shared and five cloud plans. The $10/month shared plan gets you all the same features as the cloud platform, but you have to share the CPU resources with others.
The Django cloud plans start at $20/month and go up to $240/month. The resources you can get are decent—starting at 2GB RAM, 1 CPU core at 3.4GHz, and 15GB storage—but the value sort of falls off with the larger plans. The service works best for medium-sized projects.
Unfortunately, WebFaction’s support is only directly available through its ticketing system.
Like most services aimed at developers, the provider has you look towards documentation and the community forums. The documentation is indeed extensive, and the community is tightly knit, with WebFaction’s team actively participating.
You can almost always find the info you need, but it takes a bit of searching.
WebFaction Around the Web
WebFaction gets mostly positive reactions, and it is one of the most popular platforms among Django developers.
That said, there is a growing concern about WebFaction’s future, now it has been acquired by GoDaddy.
By all accounts, GoDaddy wants to merge the two services. Still, it is unclear whether the current users will use the features they signed up for, or they’ll have to switch to GoDaddy’s standard platform.
Currently, users can use one account to purchase both WebFaction’s and GoDaddy’s services. It’s tough to say what the future holds for WebFaction, though, which is exactly what put it in the last spot in our Django web hosting reviews.
- Great developer-friendly features
- Awesome community forum
- Generous refund policy
- Not the best performance
- Support only available through email tickets
- Might merge with GoDaddy
WebFaction has a solid, developer-oriented service. Before the GoDaddy acquisition, it would have been much higher in this list. As things stand, though, it’s best to use it for short-term projects until the situation stabilizes.
8. What Is Django?
Django is an open-source web framework for Python. It helps you use the programming language to write web applications.
In case you’re not familiar with frameworks, essentially, they are code libraries on steroids. Instead of writing an entire program (in this case, a web app) from scratch, you can retrieve commonly used pieces of code from a framework.
The steroids part comes from additional functionalities like the inversion of control and extensibility (particularly noticeable in Django).
In practice, it takes much less time to develop and deploy a Django app than if you were simply using Python. Django even takes this a bit further than most frameworks. Instead of covering only the basics, it includes quite a few advanced—but commonly used—features, out of the box, which I’ll get into a bit later.
The framework can be used for building a wide variety of systems. You’re really not constrained to one type of web application, so Django can be used for a variety of projects.
To give you an idea, а Django-based backend can support communication systems, mobile apps, CMSs, social media websites, and much more. If you have something database-driven in mind, chances are Django already has the tools to support it.
Those are the basics. Now, let’s get into what Django can and can’t do, specifically.
When to Use Django
For starters, Django is excellent for new developers.
Python is widely considered the ideal programming language for beginners. This is because it features readable syntax, an extensive library, and tools like the interactive console.
Django builds on this.
The framework encourages creating readable, DRY code. Beginners can also take advantage of awesome documentation, as well as a bunch of community-created resources.
Plus, the framework comes with a development server, meaning you can test applications on the go. Just keep in mind you should set up different web server app on your Django production server—Apache or Nginx are both popular choices.
If you’re interested in using Python in the back end, Django is likely the best framework to start with.
As for working on actual projects, Django has more than a few benefits.
The framework adopts Python’s “batteries included” philosophy. You can use lots of advanced modules out of the box, including an admin UI, caching, authentication and security tools, URL routing, sitemap generation, and much more.
If you need something not included by default, Django also sports thousands of downloadable packages. These take a few minutes to set up, which beats writing the code yourself by quite some margin.
Django also encourages reusing code, so you don’t have to write everything twice. This results in swift development and rather lean apps. You can get a relatively large project up and running in a matter of days and even benefit with surprisingly cheap Django hosting.
To give you an idea, the creators of Instagram built and deployed the first version of the service in just about two weeks.
The framework also allows some pretty insane scaling. Using the same example, the photo-sharing service grew from zero to five million users in just eight months without any problems.
In short, if you want to quickly and easily deploy a complex dynamic application, Django is for you.
When Not to use Django
Django has many merits, but it is not a silver bullet.
For starters, the framework is quite monolithic. If you want to replace some of the modules available out of the box, it might end up taking a lot of effort before you can publish a Django website. It pays off to see if the tools will work for you before starting a project.
Another instance where Django isn’t ideal is with extremely small projects. Something simple, like a website that’s not database-driven, won’t need all of Django’s internal modules. In such scenarios, running Django would just impede the site’s performance.
If this is the case, it’s likely more convenient to use a micro web framework like Flask instead.
On the opposite end, there are extremely large projects. If your application turns into a massive, enterprise-grade project, it might be more worthwhile to switch to a microservice architecture and keep using Django for some services. Such segmentation would just make it easier to maintain the behemoth, compared to a massive monolithic application.
The last few cases we mentioned are just the outliers. Most web applications nowadays are dynamic and database-driven, which is precisely where Django excels.
If your project falls into this category, Django will probably do the job well. The framework is both platform-agnostic and flexible, so it fits a lot of use cases. Plus, Python is an awesome multi-purpose language, so you can even add functionality like machine learning.
9. How to Choose the Right Django Host?
There are a few factors to consider when looking for a Django web hosting provider. Not all hosts offer the same features, and no plan works for everyone. Here’s what to look out for.
Managed vs. Unmanaged
This one depends on your preference.
Unmanaged providers leave most of the server management to you. You may get some features like an easy OS or stack setup. Still, you’d have to handle most of the updates, security patches, and other maintenance.
With managed hosting, the provider takes over some maintenance, like implementing patches, running backups, installing technologies, etc. Plenty of PaaS providers out there not only manage Django servers but provide a bunch of tools useful for Django developers.
It really comes down to what your needs and requirements are. Unmanaged hosting is usually more affordable, but it takes more effort to set everything up.
Managed hosting, on the other hand, can save you, or your team, some time running everything. Since fast deployment is one of the main benefits of Django, saving even more time can really pay off.
Shared, VPS, Cloud, or Dedicated Django Hosting?
This also depends on what you need.
Root access is usually a benefit, but not all providers offer it. This lets you make custom changes to the server configuration, which can be a great help.
Some hosts, especially managed ones, may provide an installation service or tools that let you easily deploy Django. This is always a plus, as it saves time, though users who want to minmax everything will like root access as well.
This means shared hosting can be kind of restrictive. Some providers, like A2, do offer shared Django hosting, but this tends to be somewhat restrictive. If you do decide on a shared platform, check which technologies are supported by default, as you will not be able to change them after the fact.
VPS hosting is an awesome starting platform for Django developers. You can get a small VPS for a low price and have all the benefits of owning a server.
Cloud hosting is similar, but it comes with additional benefits of both easy horizontal and vertical scaling. Django can create awesomely scalable apps, so this ensures smooth sailing if your app blows up in popularity.
Dedicated hosting is more of a specialty case. It’s usually the go-to option after outgrowing a smaller solution. If you do expect lots of users to rush in right away, though—for instance, if you’re building a wiki for a larger company—dedicated hosting is worth considering too.
Features that Help with Django
Any features that make it easier to build and deploy a Django app are a help, including any developer-friendly features.
This includes things like support for the databases you need, Git support, cronjobs, deploying staging environments, a monitoring system, etc. Out of the box support for Python WSGI servers like Gunicorn is also a plus.
Some hosts even preinstall generally useful Django packages. For instance, Celery (or a similar package) is essential for running multiple Threads, as Django doesn’t have this functionality by default.
Of course, you should also consider what kind of app you want to build. For example, if you want to build a real-time app, you’ll need WebSockets support.
These are a few additional general factors to keep in mind when looking for a place to host a Django app:
- Server resources—An advantage of Django is you can create lean, mean apps, especially if you reuse lots of functions. This means you can get away with a smaller server than when using another programming language or framework.
- Performance—Not all providers do a good job maintaining their hardware and environment. The last thing you need is a slow server or, even worse, one that keeps going offline.
- Tech support—Despite the framework’s popularity, Django developers aren’t cheap. A hosting provider might not have an expert familiar with it, which is not ideal if you’re going with managed hosting and expect assistance.
- Reputation—People tend to be vocal about any bad hosting experiences. Checking out what long-time users have to say about a hosting service can help you determine if a provider is worth your time (and money).
- Price—Let’s face it, a lot of what developers do is about optimizing resource spending and reducing hosting costs. Finding a Django web hosting provider that gets you good results is essential, but finding one that offers excellent value is even better.
Keep the above things in mind, and you should have no problem picking the right provider for you.
10. Wrap Up
That concludes the list of the top Django hosting providers. You now also know how to recognize a decent provider for Django yourself. Good luck making your Django app a success!
Q: Where can I host my Django site?
A: You can host it on any platform that supports the technologies you need or lets you install your own.
Many developers prefer going with a blank server and setting everything up themselves. Really any environment that allows root access will do here, as this gives you the freedom to configure your Django installation and tinker with the environment.
Alternatively, your Django hosting provider could set everything up for you. Still, few providers can optimize everything perfectly for specific Django apps, so root access is always a benefit.
If you’re interested in something optimized for Django out of the box, you can check out the best providers above. These will save you some time setting everything up yourself, but you’ll still have to do some of the work.
Q: Where can I host Django for free?
A: There are a few decent options here. Both PythonAnywhere and Heroku offer a respectable free tier.
These plans are convenient if you want to do testing. PythonAnywhere might have a bit of an edge here, as it doesn’t time out your server if you stop using it for a while. This may allow you to set up an extremely basic website—for instance, a portfolio.
Just keep in mind free Django hosting isn’t meant to replace a fully-fledged hosting service. These are limited plans that are best used for testing only and would slow you down if you tried to set up a legitimate website.
Q: Is Django a Web Server?
A: No. Django is a Python framework. It essentially helps developers write Python apps more efficiently. Django does have its own web server integrated, which I’ll explain in the question below, but you should only use this for development and not production.
A web server, on the other hand, is an application that receives requests from users and retrieves data for them. Applications tell the web server what to do, but it’s what’s working behind the scenes whenever you want, for instance, to see a web page.
You do need a web server to deploy Django apps for production. You can check out the popular choices below.
Q: Which server is used in Django?
A: For development, Django includes its own basic WSGI server. You can easily test functions without worrying about setting up a web server. This is not optimized for security or performance, though, so it’s only recommended you use it for testing.
Once you want to move to production, you’ll need to use a WSGI application server, which lets web servers interact with Python code. Gunicorn and uWSGI are some of the more used application servers.
As for web servers, both Apache and Nginx are often used on Django servers. They work well with pretty much any WSGI server and are the most common servers you’ll see in use today.
Q: What is Django used for?
A: Generally speaking, Django is used for creating dynamic web applications written in Python. Beyond that, it’s pretty flexible about what you can create.
For instance, you can build CRM and content management systems, ecommerce or booking websites, communication platforms, social networks, data analysis apps—you name it.
Django excels at letting you build just about anything quickly and making it work on any platform. It’s a bit overkill if you want a very basic site, but it’s a top-notch choice otherwise.
Q: Is Django Good for WordPress?
Not really. Django is a Python framework, whereas WordPress works with PHP and MySQL. The specialized WordPress hosts out there are many more than those who can do Django justice, so if you want to use the CMS shouldn’t struggle much to find a quality WordPress option.
Q: Can GoDaddy host Django?
A: You can run Django on both GoDaddy’s VPS and dedicated plans. The service even has a couple of cool tools included.
That said, GoDaddy does lack the features and the tech support to compete with the best providers here. The service does the job, but it’s hard to recommend GoDaddy over any of the best providers.
If you’re interested, we’ve hand-picked the top Django hosting providers. You can read all about them in the reviews above.
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