Django Hello, World + Deployment

In this tutorial, we will build a "Hello, World" website with Django and then deploy it to

If you want to learn Django properly, I provide step-by-step instructions and detailed explanations in my book Django for Beginners. The first four chapters are available free online.

Initial Set Up

Open a new command line shell. The code can live anywhere on your computer. For this tutorial, we'll put it on the desktop in a folder called helloworld.

# Windows
$ cd onedrive\desktop\code
$ mkdir helloworld
$ cd helloworld

# macOS
$ cd ~/desktop/code
$ mkdir helloworld && cd helloworld

Create a new virtual environment called .venv, activate it, and install Django with Pip.

# Windows
$ python -m venv .venv
$ .venv\Scripts\Activate.ps1
(.venv) $ python -m pip install django~=4.2.0

# macOS
$ python3 -m venv .venv
$ source .venv/bin/activate
(.venv) $ python3 -m pip install django~=4.2.0

Use the startproject command to make a new Django project called django_project and a new app called pages.

(.venv) $ django-admin startproject django_project .
(.venv) $ python startapp pages 

Add the new pages app to the INSTALLED_APPS configuration.

# django_project/
    "pages",  # new

Then run migrate to set up the initial database and runserver to start the local Django web server.

(.venv) $ python migrate
(.venv) $ python runserver 

Open up in your web browser to see the Django welcome page.

Django Welcome Page

Django Hello, World

Now let's configure a basic view that returns the text "Hello, World!".

# pages/
from django.http import HttpResponse

def homePageView(request):
    return HttpResponse("Hello, World!")

Create a new file in your text editor called pages/ with the following code.

# pages/
from django.urls import path

from .views import homePageView

urlpatterns = [
    path("", homePageView, name="home"),

And update the project-level django_project/ file as well.

# django_project/
from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path, include  # new

urlpatterns = [
    path("", include("pages.urls")),  # new

We're done! Start the local server again:

(.venv) $ python runserver

If you refresh the browser for it now displays the text "Hello, World!"

Hello, World in Local Browser

Django Deployment Checklist

Django is configured by default for local development. A proper production-ready deployment is quite involved--see How to Deploy Django and Django deployment checklist--but the following insecure steps will let us deploy our simple site for demonstration purposes.

If you want to learn how to deploy properly, again, I cover it over multiple projects in the Django for Beginners book.

First, update ALLOWED_HOSTS to accept all hosts: this is horribly insecure in a real production website but fine in this instance for demonstration purposes.

# django_project/ 

Second, install Gunicorn as our production server.

(.venv) $ python -m pip install gunicorn==20.1.0

Then create a requirements.txt file listing the packages in our Python virtual environment.

(.venv) $ pip freeze > requirements.txt

This creates a new requirements.txt file in the project-level directory.

Fly Deployment

Time for deployment. Sign up for an account on their website using your email address or GitHub account. Adding a payment method is now required.

Fly has its own Command Line Interface (CLI) to help manage deployments. Follow the official instructions to install it. Then from the command line, sign in with the command flyctl auth login, which will likely open up a web browser window for you to sign into Fly.

(.venv) $ flyctl auth login
Opening ...

Waiting for session... Done
successfully logged in as

To configure and launch our site run the fly launch command and follow the wizard.

(.venv) $ fly launch
Creating app in ~/django-helloworld
Scanning source code
Detected a Django app
? Choose an app name (leave blank to generate one): django-helloworld
automatically selected personal organization: Will Vincent
Some regions require a paid plan (fra, maa).
See to set up a plan.

? Choose a region for deployment: Boston, Massachusetts (US) (bos)
App will use 'bos' region as primary
Created app 'django-helloworld' in organization 'personal'
Admin URL:
Set secrets on django-helloworld: SECRET_KEY
? Would you like to set up a Postgresql database now? No
? Would you like to set up an Upstash Redis database now? No
Wrote config file fly.toml
 Configuration is valid
Your app is ready! Deploy with `flyctl deploy`

In your project directory, Fly created two new files: fly.toml and Dockerfile. The fly.toml is a Fly-specific configuration file while the Dockerfile contains instructions for creating a Docker image on Fly servers.

Now that everything is configured, run the command flyctl deploy to deploy our project on Fly servers.

(.venv) $ flyctl deploy
 1 desired, 1 placed, 1 healthy, 0 unhealthy [health checks: 1 total, 1 passing]
--> v0 deployed successfully

This initial deploy will take a few seconds to run as it uploads your application, verifies the app configuration, builds the image, and then monitors to ensure it starts successfully. Once complete, visit your app with the following command to open your custom URL in a web browser:

(.venv) $ fly open

Hello, World on Fly servers

You are up and running! Wasn't that easy? Mine is located at


We started with an empty directory and in a matter of minutes had a running Django application deployed to the web. A few things to note:

If you want to take the next step learn how to deploy a production-ready Django application with a PostgreSQL database to, check out this follow-up tutorial.

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