5 best Django books for all skill levels in 2021

Django is the most popular open source web framework built on top of python. The primary purpose of this framework is to enable super fast development of backend applications.

If you are a programmer, learning Django is something to be considered regardless of whether you are doing it for a fresh career or for simply expanding your horizon as a programmer.

There are several ways to learn Django development. If you already have some knowledge on python, I would recommend learning by doing. 

Pick up a small application and build it. When you get stuck somewhere, do a google search to solve that specific problem and move on.

This method will not only teach you Django but also leave a nice feeling of accomplishing something in the process of learning it.

If you prefer to learn by understanding the concepts first, there are some really good books that can help you achieve this.

What are the top 5 books for Django development?

  1. Django for beginners
  2. Django for APIs
  3. A wedge of Django
  4. Lightweight Django
  5. Django 3 by example

Django for beginners

By William S Vincent

If you have never built a website before, or if you have built one using other frameworks but aren't familiar with the fundamentals of Django, this book is for you.

This book utilizes 5 real world examples including building a blog and a newspaper website to get you started on web development

You can learn how to tailor the look and feel of these websites to your own UI preferences and use the best security practices to deploy your app online.

This book costs $37.19 for the kindle version and $39 for the paperback version and is available on Amazon.

Django for APIs

By William S Vincent

If you've read Django for beginners, the next logical step would be to read Django for APIs.

This book teaches you how to create APIs using the Django REST framework which is the modern way of API development. 

Django REST framework is built on top of Django which adds some really rich capabilities to your application without you having to write much code.

This book will teach you how to use viewsets and routers within DRF for writing crisp code that is highly readable and extensible.

You will also get to learn how to build a backend for a real world frontend application that is built in React (Javascript).

This book costs $39.10 for the kindle version and $38.46 for the paperback one and is available on Amazon

A wedge of Django

By Daniel and Audrey Feldroy

Originally called “Django crash course”, this book will teach you how to build a production grade application from scratch. 

The contents of this book have been primarily used by real software companies to get their engineers up and running and was previously only available for companies paying $3000 a seat for in-person training.

I would recommend getting this book if your intention is not just to enhance your programming skills but to actually build a production scale application that solves a real business problem and makes you profit.

This book has been updated for python 3.8 and Django 3.1 which are the latest versions floating around in the market at the moment.

This book is available on the authors website for $34.99

Lightweight Django

By Mark Lavin & Julia Elman

Django is a “batteries included” solution, which means it contains a bunch of programming tools, design patterns and features. All of this may not be required for the application that you are building.

This book teaches you to make the best of Django’s decoupled design by choosing the components you need to build the lightweight applications you want.

It is a hands-on book that teaches you rapid application development using client side MVC frameworks such as backbone.js. 

You will also learn how to break reusable applications into smaller services that communicate with each other.

The book promises to teach you how to build single page applications that respond to actions in real time.

The caveat here is that you need some familiarity with python and javascript to utilize this book to its fullest capabilities.

The book is available for purchase on Amazon as well as the O’Reilly website. You can get the kindle version for $17.27 while the paperback version is available for anywhere between $16.72 - $33.10 depending on whether you want to buy a new copy or a used one.

Django 3 by example

By Antonio Mele

This book is great for folks who like to learn by doing. 

You will learn how to build a blog application,  a social image bookmarking website, an online shop and an e-learning platform.

During the course of these projects, you will learn how to tackle common web development problems using best practices and deploying them using the most resilient web servers in the market which include NGINX, uWSGI and Daphne.

By the end of reading this book, you will also become familiar with all the django essentials including models, views, ORM, templates, URL routing, forms and authentication.

This book also teaches you how to integrate other 3rd party technologies like Redis, Celery, RabbitMQ and PostgresQL into your Django application. All of these are essential for building a real world web application.

There are also some advanced concepts in this book like implementing a full-text search engine and a recommendation engine.

This book costs $7.86 for the kindle version and $49.99 for the paperback one and is available on Amazon

Get started with Django development today

I sincerely hope that you find a Django book that fits your needs. 

Learning any new programming language or framework is hard in the beginning but once you get the hang of it, it is hard to stop.

If you are looking for more help with Django development, check out Learn Django which is a series of blog posts on the subject, or subscribe to my newsletter.

Happy coding ✌️