Is Django a Web Server or Application Server?


Scott Campbell

Is Django a Web Server or Application Server?

If you are new to web development, the terms “web server” and “application server” might seem confusing. Many people often wonder whether Django is a web server or an application server. In this article, we will explore the difference between these two concepts and clarify Django’s role in the web development process.

Understanding Web Servers

A web server is a software application responsible for handling HTTP requests from clients and delivering web pages and other resources in response. It listens for incoming requests on a specific port and responds with the requested content.

Examples of popular web servers include:

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Nginx
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)

The Role of Django

Django, on the other hand, is not a web server but a high-level Python web framework. It provides you with a set of tools, libraries, and patterns to build dynamic websites efficiently.

Django follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, which helps developers separate concerns and write clean code. It handles various aspects of web development, such as URL routing, database interaction, form handling, and template rendering.

Django’s Interaction with Web Servers

In order to serve your Django applications over the internet, you need to deploy them on a web server. Django can be deployed on any web server that supports Python applications.

An example deployment stack for Django could include:

  • Nginx as a reverse proxy server
  • Gunicorn or uWSGI as the application server
  • Django as the web framework
  • PostgreSQL or MySQL as the database server

The web server (in this case, Nginx) is responsible for receiving HTTP requests from clients and forwarding them to the application server (Gunicorn or uWSGI). The application server then processes these requests using Django and returns the appropriate response back to the web server, which finally delivers it to the client.


In summary, Django is a powerful web framework used for building dynamic websites. While it is not a web server itself, it needs to be deployed on a web server that supports Python applications. Understanding this distinction between web servers and application servers is crucial for effectively deploying and running Django applications.

By leveraging Django’s capabilities alongside compatible web servers, you can create robust and scalable web applications that meet your specific requirements.

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