Best Django Books (2023) for Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced Programmers
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 4.2, was released in April 2023 and Django 5.0 is scheduled for December 2023. 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 but also a fan of all the ones listed here.
- Two Scoops of Django
- Speed Up Your Django Tests
- Django for APIs
- Django for Professionals
- Boost Your Django DX
- Mastering Django
- High Performance Django
- The Temple of Django Database Performance
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.
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
Adam Johnson is a member of the Django Technical Board and an expert on security and testing. He has many Django and Python tutorials available on his personal blog that are worth a look. This book is for intermediate/advanced Django developers but is absolutely loaded with wisdom and tips on Django’s test framework and pytest.
Django for APIs
The book covers building 3 Django APIs from scratch, testing, deployment user authentication (basic, sessions, tokens), permissions, documentation, viewsets and routers.
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.
Boost Your Django DX
Another excellent book from Adam Johnson containing a multitude of tools and techniques to boost a Django Developer’s Experience, or DX. There are 12 chapters covering every piece of the extended Django toolchain.
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 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 2014, 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. It is free to read online now, too!
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.
The following are online-only book length courses that are also recommended.
- Developing RESTful APIs with Django REST Framework
- Test-Driven Development with Django, Django REST Framework, and Docker
- Create a real-time taxi app with Channels and Angular
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