Django is a popular Python-based web framework. It is batteries included which dramatically speeds up web development but also comes with a bit of a learning curve for newcomers. Whether you are new to web development or already experienced, here is an up-to-date list of the best Django books.

Note that new versions of Django come out every 9 months or so. The latest version, Django 3.1, was released in August of 2020, Django 3.2 is expected April 2021, Django 4.0 on December 2021, and so on. This rapid release schedule makes it very difficult–if not impossible–for book authors to keep up with. The books on this list have all been updated in the last few years and are good resources.

Full Disclosure: I’m the author of 3 of these books.


Beginner Books

Intermediate/Advanced Books


Django for Beginners

A project-based introduction to Django that is suitable for total beginners who have never built a website before as well as professional programmers looking for a fast-paced guide to modern web development and Django fundamentals. It covers building 5 websites from scratch including a Blog and Newspaper. Topics include deployment, testing, environment variables, customizing a site, custom user models, emails, permissions, authorizations, and more.


A Wedge of Django

A beginner-friendly walkthrough of building a Django web application from the ground up. Written by the authors of the classic Two Scoops of Django.


Build a Website with Django 3

Build a fully functioning website while learning all about Django topics. From the maintainer of the DjangoBook website and author of the more advanced Mastering Django book.


Tango with Django

The fourth edition of this book written by two scholars at the University of Glasgow demonstrates how to build a sample Rango application. It also explains external APIs, Git, unit testing, and deployment via Python Anywhere.


Django for Professionals

There is a large gap between simple “toy apps” built while learning Django and what it takes to create a production-ready website that can handle thousands or millions of years. This book shows you how to take that next step.

Topics covered include Docker, PostgreSQL, advanced user registration, comprehensive tests, advanced security and performance, search, and file/image uploads.


Two Scoops of Django

An updated edition to the classic Django best practices guide. It does not adopt a typical tutorial structure but instead has chapters dedicated to specific areas of Django including models, views, templates, forms, project structure, queries, admin, and so on.

Most Django developers–myself included–keep a copy of this book on their desk as an indispensable reference guide to building Django projects.


Speed Up Your Django Tests

Author Adam Johnson is a member of the Django Technical Board and an expert on security and testing. In this book he provides an intermediate/advanced guide on adding and speeding up test coverage to any Django web application. This book is chock-fill of wisdom.


Django for APIs

Django is often used as a backend API to power mobile apps or websites using a dedicated JavaScript front-end like React, Vue, or Angular. This book is a hands-on guide to building modern APIs with Django and Django REST Framework.

The book covers building 3 Django APIs from scratch, connecting to a React frontend, user authentication (basic, sessions, tokens), permissions, documentation, viewsets and routers.


The Temple of Django Database Performance

Django’s built-in ORM is powerful but to really maximize performance in your web applications, you need to go a step deeper and master database performance. This books shows you how. It covers profiling and measurement tools, how to evaluate queries, and a host of advanced techniques.


Mastering Django

Mastering Django is a complete guide to Django written in a friendly, accessible tone. The first half covers the fundamentals: models, views, templates, urls, forms. The second half goes in greater depth on the same topics with concrete examples throughout.

High Performance Django

Although released in 2015, this book’s advice is timeless and still relevant to most web applications. It has many great tips for improving performance in your Django website and your related databases.


Obey The Testing Goat

The book is written for Django 1.11 but is so good it still deserves to be on this list. It walks through the test-driven development of a Django web application as well as covering Selenium and more.

Courses

The following are online-only book length courses that are also recommended.