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Optimizing Django for Performance and Efficiency There are a lot of Django hosting options out there, from shared Django hosting to dedicated servers and pre-configured VPSs. You can always find a suitable hosting option for your Django-based web application. However, even the best Django hosting won't be enough if you don't optimize your application. In this part, we are going to talk about how you can optimize Django for performance and hosting efficiency.


There are a lot of Django hosting options out there, from shared Django hosting to dedicated servers and pre-configured VPSs. You can always find a suitable hosting option for your Django-based web application. However, even the best Django hosting won't be enough if you don't optimize your application. In this part, we are going to talk about how you can optimize Django for performance and hosting efficiency.

Caching and Laziness

Django has a very powerful caching framework built into its core. Caching works by storing elements that would normally be called (and processed) dynamically or on the fly. Not all parts of your Django site needs to be called dynamically all the time, so caching can really help speed up page loading time and reduce server resource usage.

Even better, Django offers different levels fo caching. You can set the caching to work with select views or an entire site, depending on the kind of content you are serving and other factors. Caching can also be combined with laziness. By default, Django's QuerySet is rather lazy; it stores values that are processed by the application to save time and resources used by calling them from the database framework directly. You can use functions such as allow_lazy to help define values that don't need to be updated constantly.

These two functions work well with various hosting options too. There is no need to configure your server or hosting account in a particular way for caching and laziness to work. With certain hosting options where you have root access, however, you can configure Django caching to work in tandem with server caching and reverse proxy. The result is a very fast web application or website.

Code Cleanups

Caching and laziness are great, but they are not excuses for lazy coding. There are a few basic things you can do to optimize your codes even further:

- Start with the right directory structure, or arrange your web application into the proper structure before deployment. The former option is certainly better, since you will have better control over how the app is developed. You can also track changes and keep your codes optimized without a problem with a proper structure in place.

- Delete unused assets and other elements before deployment.

- Keep track of updates and changes too. I know how easy it is to start storing old versions in the deployment server; after a while, however, the unused files will start clogging up your Django hosting account and eating up valuable hosting space. You can still store older versions of your app offline or on the testing and development server.

It is also a good idea to compress assets. Images, for instance, can be compressed for better web delivery. I usually remove metadata, color profile and other unused data from images before uploading them to the cloud. You can reduce image sizes by more than 40% just by running compression and optimization tool such as Jpegoptim.

Just Use Django

Django is a very flexible programming platform. It takes the strong suits of Python and turns it into something powerful. There is no need to worry about database compatibility or not being able to develop the web application you want using Django. Unfortunately, many still hack or modify Django's actual core just to get things done.

Modifying Django's core is certainly not the most efficient way of doing things. You will not be able to update your Django installation easily, which means you will lose any performance improvement and optimization built into each update. Some modifications will even bypass Django's native routines; the use more server resources and may not behave the way Django is supposed to behave under heavy load.

If you can't achieve what you are trying to achieve with Django, get in touch with thousands of other Django developers online. There are plenty of online forums and communities of Django developers that can help you. Like I said, Django is a very flexible platform; it is hard to imagine not being able to do something with the laid framework.

Use Proven Templates and Modules

To take it a step further, use proven modules and templates to help you develop the site you want. If you are starting an online store and you want to use Django, for instance, you can use existing CMS or platforms such as Mezzanine. Mezzanine is built using Django framework, so it will work with your Django hosting out of the box.

Existing platforms built using Django are tried and tested, so you can expect them to perform optimally under heavy load. You can also find a lot of tutorials on how to optimize them even further. Whether you are trying to conserve server resources or you simply want your site to run smoothly and optimally, these platforms may be the answers you are looking for.


Author

Phong Thai Phong Thai is a Web Developer, Web Coder for 15 years with PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of JavaScriptBank.com - provide thousands of free JavaScript code examples, web development tips and tricks, helpful blogging guides.

Follow him on twitter@js_bank or connect with him on facebook@jsbank if you want. His websites for your knowledge: javascriptON.com, inOneSec.com, www.gomymobi.com

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