Does Django Require a Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Does Django Require a Web Server?

When it comes to developing web applications using Django, one common question that arises is whether Django requires a web server. In short, the answer is yes, Django does require a web server to run and serve the web application to users.

What is Django?

Django is a powerful Python framework that simplifies the process of building web applications. It follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and encourages the use of reusable components, making it an ideal choice for developers looking to create scalable and maintainable web applications.

Why Do We Need a Web Server?

A web server is responsible for handling HTTP requests from clients and serving static or dynamic content in response. In the context of Django, the web server acts as an intermediary between the client’s browser and the Django application.

Static Files

Django provides support for serving static files such as CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, and images. These files are typically stored in a directory called ‘static’ within the project structure. When a request for a static file is received, the web server serves it directly without involving Django.

Dynamic Content

While static files can be served directly by the web server, dynamic content requires processing by Django’s Python code. This includes rendering templates with data from databases or APIs, handling user authentication, form submissions, etc.

Selecting a Web Server for Django

Django itself doesn’t come bundled with a built-in production-ready web server. However, during development, Django provides its own lightweight development server that can be used for testing purposes.


Gunicorn (Green Unicorn) is a popular choice for deploying Django applications in production. It is a pre-fork worker model based HTTP server that can handle multiple concurrent requests efficiently.


uWSGI is another commonly used web server to deploy Django applications. It supports various protocols and interfaces, making it flexible for different deployment scenarios. uWSGI can also be used as an application server behind a reverse proxy like Nginx.

The Role of Web Server vs. Application Server

It’s important to note that the web server and the application server are two distinct components in the deployment architecture of a Django application.

  • The web server: Handles incoming HTTP requests, serves static files, and forwards dynamic requests to the application server.
  • The application server: Executes the Django application code, processes dynamic requests, interacts with databases or external APIs, and generates responses to be sent back to the web server.

This separation of responsibilities allows for better scalability and flexibility in deploying Django applications.


In summary, while Django does require a web server to serve its web applications, it doesn’t come with a built-in production-ready solution. Developers have the flexibility to choose from various options like Gunicorn or uWSGI based on their specific deployment needs. Understanding the role of both the web server and application server is crucial for effectively deploying and scaling Django applications.

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