Django is a bit of an enigma because niche as it is, love for this framework seems to be torn between two interesting rivals – the United States and Russia. Still, there is a lot to like for devs since it has all the great characteristics the modern web programmer needs.
Being operating system-independent, Django can run on almost any environment conceivable which is a huge plus. Despite that, not all web hosts are willing to support Django developers.
We’ll leave the ‘why’ out of the equation for now and focus on the best places you can find Django hosting services.
5 of The Best Django Hosts
Although this isn’t a host that crops up in normal searches, if you’re looking for Django hosting it’s likely the first name you’ll come across. This host is entirely geared towards Python and runs off Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Plans cater to all levels of Python users from the absolute beginners to app gurus. At the lowest end of the scale, there is even a free account you can sign up for just to check out the environment.
Using PythonAnywhere to launch your project is simple and those familiar with local environments will be happy to hear it isn’t much different. There are a massive number of pre-built modules ready for import and use.
If you’re looking towards Django, there is also a one-click installer. All you have to do is let it know what you want your app named and where the files are to go. The rest is automated, so there’s no fiddling about with configurations for Apache or anything else.
Quick PythonAnywhere Overview
Price: from $5/mo (free plan available)
- Fast deployment for Django
- Free beginner plan available
- Runs on powerful Amazon web servers
- Active forum
- Free subdomains use shared SSL
- Complex custom SSL handling
2. Digital Ocean
The tagline that reads “The Developer Cloud” should tell you all you need to know about the possibilities of Django hosting here. What you might not realize is that prices at Digital ocean are highly competitive.
Aside from the relatively low cost of entry, Cloud technology means that your billing will be highly precise and you only pay for what you need to use – nothing else. The biggest obstacle to Django hosting on Digital Ocean is that it might not be suitable for everyone.
Unlike a host such as PythonAnywhere, Digital ocean needs you to set up the environment that you need to use. Further, since it’s so highly configurable, you need to not only know what you need, but also how to fit all the moving pieces together.
This means that some time and effort will be spent on managing your environment instead of purely building your apps here. On one hand that makes it much more cost effective for deployment. On the other, it can be a challenge for beginners.
Seriously, if you don’t know what you’re doing, Digital Ocean can be a major challenge. If you do, the sky’s the limit – and I mean that quite literally.
Quick Digital Ocean Overview
Price: from $5/mo
- Highly configurable plans
- Decent cost of entry for Cloud computing
- Virtually limitless options
- Some technical skill needed
- Can be time consuming to manage
ScalaHosting may not offer specially designed DJango plans but their mark of excellence comes in the form of SPanel. With much of the hosting world held under the thrall of cPanel, pricing is sort of monopolized. Many who have rejected cPanel have found a happy home at ScalaHosting.
SPanel changes the game in a major way and offers users a highly usable option. It is also completely cPanel compatible so you can easily migrate to ScalaHosting from whatever host you’re on. They also offer free migration services, so that’s an issue you can conveniently wash off your hands.
SPanel is available on ScalaHosting’s Managed Cloud VPS plans. Despite that fully managed environment, it still manages to clock in at a relatively low cost of entry. You get access not only to SPanel but an entirely configurable environment.
This means support for virtually everything from Python to specialized services like Live Malware scanning via SShield technology – and generous resources to run everything.
Read our in-depth Scala Hosting review.
Quick ScalaHosting Overview
Price: from $9.95/mo
- sPanel is highly cPanel compatible
- Unlimited site migrations
- Live malware scanning
- Fast app deployment
Cons of ScalaHosting
- Non-dedicated Django environment
This Swiss-based host is another that is obviously Django-centric, with servers in Germany, Finland, Switzerland, and the US. Giving them even more credibility is the fact that both founders have technical backgrounds, one of whom is himself a Django dev.
Djangoeurope offers the best of both worlds in Django hosting – a custom environment where you don’t have to worry about most configuration yet is extremely developer friendly. They offer one-click Django deployment without any fuss.
Your account will run on Debian 9 and comes with NGINX and Lighttpd web-server pre-installed. Anything else can either be installed on your own, or you can get them to do it for you if you prefer. This service is openly offered on their site and not a ‘hidden secret’ subject to the whims of support staff.
Aside from Django, you can also use your account much like any other hosting solution. If for some reason you decide to simply run a static site – that option is available to you as well. Plans are priced in euros so you might lose a little on conversion if you’re elsewhere.
Personally, I think that the biggest advantage PythonAnywhere has is that it is offered by those who actually know what Django and Python users need. This results in a very streamlined offering that isn’t likely to go wrong.
Quick Djangoeurope Overview
Price: from €5/mo
- Highly specialized hosting environment
- Quick Django deployment
- Lightweight web interface
- Host unlimited sites and domains
- Very limited bandwidth
- Limited option of OS
5. A2 Hosting
For those unfamiliar, A2 Hosting is a brand that’s long been famed for its developer-friendly hosting plans. Their shared hosting plans come with many features you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
For Django however, it’s better to look towards their VPS plans. It is handy that all you’ll need here for Django is unmanaged VPS. Those plans are very competitively priced at A2 Hosting and start from as little as $5/mo.
Despite it being a generic host like ScalaHosting, A2 Hosting plans still make it easy for those who want a Django environment. All you have to do is set up the virtual environment and run the pip installer. After that it’s simply a matter of configuring Django the way you like it. You can even configure the Django admin interface if you like.
Pip also lets you install any other Python packages that you may need, so it’s sort of an all-in-one deal. For devs, the command line installation using these tools shouldn’t be a problem.
Learn more about A2 Hosting in Jerry review.
Quick A2 Hosting Overview
Price: from $5/mo
- Excellent server performance
- Very dev-friendly
- Turbo servers available
- Unimpressive 99.9% Uptime guarantee
What to Look for in a Django Host
This question is a little debatable since there are many levels of possibilities. On one hand, extremely specialized environments restrict your options somewhat. However, they are also usually pre-configured to your needs and ready to go.
One good example of that is PythonAnywhere which is very purpose-built. So much so that they even offer themselves as a viable solution for educators who need ready environments for teaching their students – with the capability of offering each student a red-to-use account.
Alternatively, there is also a choice in generic hosting that supports Django environments. These solutions are more complex to set up, but with the right host it is possible as well. At the end of the day, choosing your Django host lies mostly in what you need it for.
The hosts I’ve listed here may differ in what they have to offer, but each makes a strong case for those interested in Django and Python. Personally, if you’re looking for a basic sandbox I think a more generic environment is the way to go.
Final Thoughts: Less Search, More Code
Django has been increasing in popularity and it’s not hard to see why. Python is one of the few high-level languages around that works well on multiple platforms. The nature of Django and Python also promotes good coding habits given its ‘reuse of code’ propensity.
Hosting heavily affects the performance of websites – and in this case, even web applications. Going with any of these listed hosts should help you ease those concerns since at the very heart, they are solid performers.
Why waste time looking for a good host when you should be focused on your coding?