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Django compressor

Compresses linked and inline javascript or CSS into a single cached file.


{% load compress %}
{% compress <js/css> %}
<html of inline or linked JS/CSS>
{% endcompress %}


{% load compress %}
{% compress css %}
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/media/css/one.css" type="text/css" charset="utf-8">
<style type="text/css">p { border:5px solid green;}</style>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/media/css/two.css" type="text/css" charset="utf-8">
{% endcompress %}

Which would be rendered something like:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/media/CACHE/css/f7c661b7a124.css" type="text/css" charset="utf-8">


{% load compress %}
{% compress js %}
<script src="/media/js/one.js" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">obj.value = "value";</script>
{% endcompress %}

Which would be rendered something like:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/media/CACHE/js/3f33b9146e12.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Linked files must be on your COMPRESS_URL (which defaults to MEDIA_URL). If DEBUG is true off-site files will throw exceptions. If DEBUG is false they will be silently stripped.

If COMPRESS is False (defaults to the opposite of DEBUG) the compress tag simply returns exactly what it was given, to ease development.


For production sites it is advisable to use a real cache backend such as memcached to speed up the checks of compressed files. Make sure you set your Django cache backend appropriately.

CSS Notes:

All relative url() bits specified in linked CSS files are automatically converted to absolute URLs while being processed. Any local absolute URLs (those starting with a '/') are left alone.

Stylesheets that are @import'd are not compressed into the main file. They are left alone.

If the media attribute is set on <style> and <link> elements, a separate compressed file is created and linked for each media value you specified. This allows the media attribute to remain on the generated link element, instead of wrapping your CSS with @media blocks (which can break your own @media queries or @font-face declarations). It also allows browsers to avoid downloading CSS for irrelevant media types.


  • Use only relative or full domain absolute URLs in your CSS files.
  • Avoid @import! Simply list all your CSS files in the HTML, they'll be combined anyway.

Why another static file combiner for django?

Short version: None of them did exactly what I needed.

Long version:

JS/CSS belong in the templates
Every static combiner for django I've seen makes you configure your static files in your While that works, it doesn't make sense. Static files are for display. And it's not even an option if your settings are in completely different repositories and use different deploy processes from the templates that depend on them.
django_compressor doesn't care if different pages use different combinations of statics. It doesn't care if you use inline scripts or styles. It doesn't get in the way.
Automatic regeneration and cache-foreverable generated output
Statics are never stale and browsers can be told to cache the output forever.
Full test suite
I has one.


Django compressor has a number of settings that control it's behavior. They've been given sensible defaults.


Default:the opposite of DEBUG

Boolean that decides if compression will happen.



Controls the URL that linked media will be read from and compressed media will be written to.



Controls the absolute file path that linked media will be read from and compressed media will be written to.



Controls the directory inside COMPRESS_ROOT that compressed files will be written to.



A list of filters that will be applied to CSS.



A list of filters that will be applied to javascript.



The dotted path to a Django Storage backend to be used to save the compressed files.



The backend to use when parsing the JavaScript or Stylesheet files. The backends included in compressor:

  • compressor.parser.BeautifulSoupParser
  • compressor.parser.LxmlParser

See Dependencies for more info about the packages you need for each parser.


Default:"default" or CACHE_BACKEND

The backend to use for caching, in case you want to use a different cache backend for compressor.

If you have set the CACHES setting (new in Django 1.3), COMPRESS_CACHE_BACKEND defaults to "default", which is the alias for the default cache backend. You can set it to a different alias that you have configured in your CACHES setting.

If you have not set CACHES and are still using the old CACHE_BACKEND setting, COMPRESS_CACHE_BACKEND defaults to the CACHE_BACKEND setting.


Default:2592000 (30 days in seconds)

The period of time after which the the compressed files are rebuilt even if no file changes are detected.


Default:30 (seconds)

The upper bound on how long any compression should take to run. Prevents dog piling, should be a lot smaller than COMPRESS_REBUILD_TIMEOUT.



The amount of time (in seconds) to cache the result of the check of the modification timestamp of a file. Disabled by default. Should be smaller than COMPRESS_REBUILD_TIMEOUT and COMPRESS_MINT_DELAY.


  • BeautifulSoup (for the default compressor.parser.BeautifulSoupParser)
pip install BeautifulSoup
  • lxml (for the optional compressor.parser.LxmlParser, requires libxml2)
STATIC_DEPS=true pip install lxml


Compresses linked and inline javascript or CSS into a single cached file.




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