This post is the start of a little series called Django Tips, answers to short, common questions I receive from readers.

Question: Why do we explicitly call python manage.py makemigrations users instead of just python manage.py makemigrations in DjangoX?

Answer: This pattern is also used in my books and for good reason. When you just type python makemigrations then a migrations file is creating for all changes. This can be a problem if you have made changes to multiple apps, for example users and also blog. The resulting migrations file will contain information on BOTH which makes it harder to debug issues in the future. The goal is to keep every migration as concise and atomic as possible.

If you add the specific app name to the end of the command–for example, python makemigrations user–the migrations file only includes changes for that specific app. Then you can run python makemigrations blog if you have two different changes ready to commit.

So get in the habit of being explicit with every migration file you recreate. It’s a best practice that will help you down the road.