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A cookiecutter template for creating Django projects quickly.
Python HTML Shell Makefile JavaScript CSS
branch: master



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A cookiecutter template for Django.



  • Only maintained 3rd party libraries are used.
  • PostgreSQL everywhere (9.0+)
  • Environment variables for configuration (This won't work with Apache/mod_wsgi).


Let's pretend you want to create a Django project called "redditclone". Rather than using startproject and then editing the results to include your name, email, and various configuration issues that always get forgotten until the worst possible moment, get cookiecutter to do all the work.

First, get cookiecutter. Trust me, it's awesome:

$ pip install cookiecutter

Now run it against this repo:

$ cookiecutter

You'll be prompted for some questions, answer them, then it will create a Django project for you.

Warning: After this point, change 'Daniel Greenfeld', 'pydanny', etc to your own information.

It prompts you for questions. Answer them:

Cloning into 'cookiecutter-django'...
remote: Counting objects: 550, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (310/310), done.
remote: Total 550 (delta 283), reused 479 (delta 222)
Receiving objects: 100% (550/550), 127.66 KiB | 58 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (283/283), done.
project_name (default is "project_name")? Reddit Clone
repo_name (default is "Reddit_Clone")? reddit
author_name (default is "Your Name")? Daniel Greenfeld
email (default is "Your email")?
description (default is "A short description of the project.")? A reddit clone.
domain_name (default is "")?
version (default is "0.1.0")? 0.0.1
timezone (default is "UTC")?
now (default is "2015/01/13")? 2015/01/16
year (default is "2015")?

Enter the project and take a look around:

$ cd redditclone/
$ ls

Create a GitHub repo and push it there:

$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "first awesome commit"
$ git remote add origin
$ git push -u origin master

Now take a look at your repo. Don't forget to carefully look at the generated README. Awesome, right?

Getting up and running

The steps below will get you up and running with a local development environment. We assume you have the following installed:

  • pip
  • virtualenv
  • PostgreSQL

First make sure to create and activate a virtualenv, then open a terminal at the project root and install the requirements for local development:

$ pip install -r requirements/local.txt

Then, create a PostgreSQL database and add the database configuration using the dj-database-url app pattern: postgres://db_owner:password@dbserver_ip:port/db_name either:

  • in the setting file,
  • or in the environment variable DATABASE_URL

You can now run the usual Django migrate and runserver command:

$ python migrate

$ python runserver

Live reloading and Sass CSS compilation

If you'd like to take advantage of live reloading and Sass / Compass CSS compilation you can do so with the included Grunt task.

Make sure that nodejs is installed. Then in the project root run:

$ npm install

Now you just need:

$ grunt serve

The base app will now run as it would with the usual runserver but with live reloading and Sass compilation enabled.

To get live reloading to work you'll probably need to install an appropriate browser extension

It's time to write the code!!!

For Readers of Two Scoops of Django 1.8

You may notice that some elements of this project do not exactly match what we describe in chapter 3. The reason for that is this project, amongst other things, serves as a test bed for trying out new ideas and concepts. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, but the end result is that it won't necessarily match precisely what is described in the book I co-authored.

"Your Stuff"

Scattered throughout the Python and HTML of this project are places marked with "your stuff". This is where third-party libraries are to be integrated with your project.


Want a stable release? You can find them at

Not Exactly What You Want?

This is what I want. It might not be what you want. Don't worry, you have options:

Fork This

If you have differences in your preferred setup, I encourage you to fork this to create your own version. Once you have your fork working, let me know and I'll add it to a 'Similar Cookiecutter Templates' list here. It's up to you whether or not to rename your fork.

If you do rename your fork, I encourage you to submit it to the following places:

  • cookiecutter so it gets listed in the README as a template.
  • The cookiecutter grid on Django Packages.

Or Submit a Pull Request

I also accept pull requests on this, if they're small, atomic, and if they make my own project development experience better.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.