The Best Database for Django Web Apps (2023)

The Django Web Framework includes support for a number of different databases.

Examples include MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.

This article explains why I believe PostgreSQL is the best database for Django web apps.

Table of Contents

You can skip to a specific section of this article on the best database for Django web apps using the table of contents below:

  • What is Django and its ORM feature?
  • Django Database Support
  • Best Database for Django
  • What is PostgreSQL?

    • Advantages of PostgreSQL
  • Django specific functionality with PostgreSQL
  • Final Thoughts

What is Django and its ORM feature?

The Django framework is a free and open-source framework designed to develop web applications. This Python-based framework consists of different components like authentication, content management, database interactions that you can use to create any kind of web application.

One of the most powerful and useful features of Django is its Object-Relational Mapper (ORM). The ORM allows developers to map data between the application models and the database without having to write any SQL queries. The Object-Relational Mapper will map object attributes defined in Django model classes to the corresponding fields in the database and interact with the data as necessary from a given database. This allows developers to rapidly develop their applications, eliminating the need to write separate SQL queries for database transactions.

Django Database Support

The Django framework Model-View-Template (MVT) architecture is designed so developers can change the frontend visual structure of an application without affecting the underlying backend logic. This is especially useful when interacting with databases. When a Django web application is configured, an SQLite database is automatically created by default. However, we can specify a different database by changing the database configuration in the file of the Django application.

Example Configuration using PostgreSQL.

DATABASES={ 'default':{ 'ENGINE':'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2', 'NAME':'<Project Name>', 'USER':'<Username>', 'PASSWORD':'<Password>', 'HOST':'<IP/URL>', 'PORT':'<Port>', }}

Django is a database-agnostic framework. Giving developers the freedom to select a backend database that best suits their application. Django officially supports the following databases.

(Video) I built 10 web apps... with 10 different languages

  • PostgreSQL
  • MariaDB
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • SQLite

Additionally, Django supports CockroachDB, Firebird, and Microsoft SQL Server via 3rd party backends. The important thing to note here is that not all ORM features are supported by 3rd party backends.

Best Database for Django

The three most widely used Database Management Systems for Django are SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.The Django community and official Django documentation state PostgreSQL as the preferred database for Django Web Apps. The official Django documentation states the following about PostgreSQL.

“Django provides support for a number of data types which will only work with PostgreSQL. There is no fundamental reason why (for example) a contrib.mysql module does not exist, except that PostgreSQL has the richest feature set of the supported databases so its users have the most to gain.”

The Django framework supports PostgreSQL 9.5 and higher. The psycopg2 adapter version 2.5.4 or higher is required to establish a connection between Django and PostgreSQL databases. Django uses the “django.contrib.postgres” module to make database operations on PostgreSQL. Out of all the available databases, PostgreSQL provides the richest feature set and full compatibility for extended functionality such as GeoDjango to create geographic web applications.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is an enterprise-grade free and open-source database management system. PostgreSQL uses and extends the SQL language with many features that allow this database to be used in complicated data workloads. The PostgreSQL database is well known for its proven architecture, reliability, data integrity, robust feature set, and extensibility. With its 30 years of active development and a dedicated open-source community, this has become a highly reliable DBMS.

The PostgreSQL database supports all major operating systems and has been ACID-compliant since 2001. This database supports SQL for relational and JSON for non-relational database queries.

Following are some of the features of PostgreSQL

  • Compatibility with various platforms, languages, and middleware
  • Robust access-control system and Multi-factor authentication support
  • Tablespaces
  • Nested transactions
  • Advanced Indexing options such as GiST, GIN, Bloom filters, etc…
  • Write-ahead Logging (WAL)
  • Custom Data Types
  • Proven Data Integrity
  • Standby server and high availability
  • Multi-version concurrency control

Let us take a look at the major differentiating factors between MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.

MySQL is available under GNU Licence and other proprietary license agreements.PostgreSQL is released under PostgreSQL License.
MySQL offers paid versions with support from Oracle Corporation.Completely free and open-source solution.
MySQL ACID compliance depends on using the NDB and InnoDB cluster storage engines.PostgreSQL is a complete ACID-compliant solution.
MySQL has a speed advantage in OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) and OLTP (Online Transactional Processing)PostgreSQL performs well in the execution of complex queries.
MySQL is best suited for BI (Business Intelligence) applications.While PostgreSQL works well with BI applications, it’s geared more towards Data analysis and Data Warehousing applications.

Advantages of PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL’s write-ahead feature for logging increases the fault-tolerant nature of the database.
  • The database has built-in support for geographic objects which make PostgreSQL the ideal choice for geographic data handling. This enables PostgreSQL to be used as a geospatial data (data containing geographical components like coordinates, addresses, etc...) store.
  • A large active community that leads to consistent database improvements.
  • PostgreSQL conforms to 170 out of 176 mandatory features of the SQL:2016 core conformance.
  • Easy administration and maintenance in both embedded and enterprise usage.

Django specific functionality with PostgreSQL

Using the Django framework with the PostgreSQL database provides many benefits over other databases. In the below section, we will go through a high-level overview of PostgreSQL specific features in Django. Please refer to the official Django documentation for a comprehensive understanding of each feature using the provided links.

  • Django offers PostgreSQL specific model fields such as ArrayField where lists of data can be stored, HStoreField where we can store key-value pairs and JSONField to store JSON encoded data.

    ArrayField Data Type

    (Video) Using Databases With Django - Django Databases #1

    from django.contrib.postgres.fields import ArrayFieldfrom django.db import models class VehicleDetails(models.Model): make = models.CharField(max_length=250, null=False) model = models.CharField(max_length=250, null=False) engine_numbers = ArrayField( ArrayField(models.CharField(max_length=15, blank=True), size=8,), size=8, )

    JSONField Data Type

    from django.contrib.postgres.fields import JSONFieldfrom django.db import models class Personal_Information(models.Model): user_id = models.CharField(max_length=20, primary_key=True) name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False) data = JSONField() #Sample JSON Data Set # data = { # 'group' : 'admin', # 'other_permissions': { # 'file_access' : True, # 'object_access': False, # }, # } def __str__(self): return
  • PostgreSQL specific aggregation provides functions for both General-purpose data aggregation and statistical analytics.

    StringAgg function

    # String AggregationUserDetails.objects.aggregate(result=StringAgg('name')) # String Aggregation using a delimiterUserDetails.objects.aggregate(result=StringAgg('name', delimiter=';'))
  • The PostgreSQL specific database constraints allow developers to enforce rules on the type of data that can be inserted into the database. This increases overall data accuracy and reliability.


    from django.contrib.postgres.constraints import ExclusionConstraintfrom django.contrib.postgres.fields import DateTimeRangeField, RangeOperatorsfrom django.db import modelsfrom django.db.models import Q class ReservatonDetails(models.Model): reservation_id = models.IntegerField() class VehicleDetails(models.Model): reservation = models.ForeignKey('ReservatonDetails', on_delete=models.CASCADE) timespan = DateTimeRangeField() cancelled = models.BooleanField(default=False) class Meta: constraints = [ ExclusionConstraint( name='exclude_overlapping_reservations', expressions=[ ('timespan', RangeOperators.OVERLAPS), ('reservation', RangeOperators.EQUAL), ], condition=Q(cancelled=False), ), ]
  • Django framework provides PostgreSQL specific form fields and widgets using the “django.contrib.postgres.forms” module to enhance the functionality of Django forms and widgets.

    SimpleArrayField for Forms

    (Video) Deploy Django and PostgreSQL on Render Cloud for free | 2023 | Render Cloud platform

    from django import formsfrom django.contrib.postgres.forms import SimpleArrayField class OrderQuantity (forms.Form): orders = SimpleArrayField(forms.IntegerField(), delimiter=',')
  • PostgreSQL specific database functions such as TranscationNow that return the date and time of the database server when the current transaction started.

    TranscationNow function

    from django.contrib.postgres.functions import TransactionNowUserDetails.objects.filter(lastmodified__lte=TransactionNow())
  • PostgreSQL specific model indexes like BrinIndex, BTreeIndex, GinIndex provide the users with advanced indexing functionality that can help manage large datasets.

    BrinIndex Index Creation

    from django.contrib.postgres.indexes import BrinIndexclass Measurement(models.Model): class Meta: indexes = ( BrinIndex(fields=['time']), ) time = models.DateTimeField( 'Time of measurement', null=True )
  • While Django offers a wide variety of built-in lookups for filtering, PostgreSQL specific lookups extend this functionality further. One of the PostgreSQL specific lookups is Unaccent which enables accent-insensitive lookups.

    Unaccent Lookup

    # Unaccent lookup for user first nameUserDetails.objects.filter(first_name__unaccent__startswith='Barry')
  • PostgreSQL provides functionality to create PostgreSQL extensions in the database using Django Database migration operations.

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    Installing BtreeGinExtension with a migration

    from django.contrib.postgres.operations import BtreeGinExtension class Migration(migrations.Migration): # Migration Commands operations = [ BtreeGinExtension(), ... ]
  • PostgreSQL database supports Full-text search functionality which enables searching natural language documents using Django.


    from import SearchQuery # Search as separate phrases# Default search_type=plainSearchQuery('Lex Corp') # Search as a single phraseSearchQuery('Stark Industries', search_type='phrase')
  • The “django.contrib.postgres.validators” module provides additional validators that are specific to PostgreSQL.

    Range Validators

    from django.contrib.postgres.validators import RangeMinValueValidator, RangeMaxValueValidatorfrom psycopg2.extras import NumericRange class UserDetails(models.Model): name = models.CharField(max_length=200, null=False) age_range = IntegerRangeField( default=NumericRange(1, 101), blank=True, validators=[ RangeMinValueValidator(1), RangeMaxValueValidator(100) ] )

Final Thoughts

Django with its preferred database, PostgreSQL, enables developers to leverage all the advantages of PostgreSQL within a Django application. In this article, we gained an understanding of why PostgreSQL is the best database for a Django web app and the extended functionality it offers.

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Which database is best for Django app? ›

Postgresql is the preferred database for Django applications due to its open-source nature; and it's also ideal for complex queries.

Is SQLite enough for Django? ›

Yes, you can use SQLite with Django. The web framework for perfectionists with deadlines. Now, you may not want to do that with a large site in production but it should be fine for some development or for a very simple site that doesn't depend much on DB.

Which SQL Server is best for Django? ›

The three most widely used Database Management Systems for Django are SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. The Django community and official Django documentation state PostgreSQL as the preferred database for Django Web Apps.

Which database is best for web development? ›

MySQL. MySQL is one of the most popular databases to use in 2022 in the computer world, especially in web application development. The main focus of this database is on stability, robustness, and maturity.

Is MongoDB best for Django? ›

Django, the most popular Python web framework, is an ideal tool to build secure and easy-to-maintain applications using MongoDB. Using MongoDB with Django is advantageous because: Every second, more and more unstructured data is generated from various sources like chats, real-time streams, feeds, and surveys.

What is the best database for an app? ›

Choosing a Database for Mobile Application Development
  1. MySQL. MySQL is one of the most well-known SQL databases on the market, so it is also commonly used within the development of mobile applications. ...
  2. PostgreSQL. ...
  3. MongoDB. ...
  4. Amazon Web Services DynamoDB. ...
  5. Couchbase.
Jun 17, 2022

Is Django enough for full stack? ›

Django [Best Python Full Stack Framework]

Django is the most popular Python framework for web development. It's a full-stack framework and includes all the necessary features by default instead of offering them as separate libraries.

Is MySQL needed for Django? ›

Django officially supports the following databases: PostgreSQL. MariaDB. MySQL.

How big is too big for SQLite? ›

Maximum Database Size

The maximum size of a database file is 4294967294 pages. At the maximum page size of 65536 bytes, this translates into a maximum database size of approximately 1.4e+14 bytes (281 terabytes, or 256 tebibytes, or 281474 gigabytes or 256,000 gibibytes).

Should you use raw SQL in Django? ›

Django uses the primary key to identify model instances, so it must always be included in a raw query.

Which environment is best for Django? ›

As a result, experienced Python/Django developers typically run Python apps within independent Python virtual environments. This enables multiple different Django environments on a single computer. The Django developer team itself recommends that you use Python virtual environments!

What is the best frontend for Django? ›

In my opinion, the best way to use Django for web applications is to use it to build a REST API and use front-end frameworks — React. js, Angular. js, Ember. js, Vue.

Which database works best with Python? ›

SQLite. SQLite is probably the most straightforward database to connect to with a Python application since you don't need to install any external Python SQL modules to do so.

Which database is most in demand? ›

As of February 2023, the most popular database management system (DBMS) in the world was Oracle, with a ranking score of 1247.52; MySQL and Microsoft SQL server rounded out the top three.

Which database has more demand? ›

Today, MySQL is one of the most popular and widely used SQL databases. It is also one of the most used databases in Web Applications. Some of the world's largest Web-Scale applications (e.g., Facebook, Uber) uses MySQL.

What is better than MongoDB? ›

Some of the best MongoDB alternatives include Redis, Apache Cassandra, RethinkDB, DynamoDB, OrientDB, CouchDB, and ArangoDB.

When should I not use MongoDB? ›

One of the downsides of MongoDB is that it doesn't support transactions. Though fewer and fewer applications are requiring transactions, there are still some that need transactions in order to update multiple documents/collections. If that's a necessary function for your team, MongoDB should not be used.

Does Django need a database? ›

Although you can use Django without a database, it comes with an object-relational mapper in which you describe your database layout in Python code.

Which database is easiest to use? ›

MySQL is extremely easy to deploy and manage. It supports ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability), thereby making it the most reliable. This Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) offers fast-loading utilities with different memory cache to maintain and administer Servers.

Which database is best for API? ›

Top Database APIs for Your Developer Toolkit
  • MongoDB is an American-based document database company that has become popular among developers for its flexible schema approach. ...
  • Notion is a notetaking and project management software that allows you to organize all your needs in one convenient place.
Jan 25, 2022

Which database is best for large data? ›

Amazon Redshift, Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL, IBM DB2, etc.
  • Unstructured data is stored according to different models (key-value, document-oriented, graph, wide-column store, and multi-model)
  • Supports dynamic data schema.
  • Horizontally scalable.
  • Unstructured query language.

Where should I host my Django app? ›

Therefore, for demanding projects built on Django, servers from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are often optimal even with high prices.
  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  2. Azure (Microsoft)
  3. Google Cloud Platform.
  4. Hetzner.
  5. DigitalOcean.
  6. Heroku.
Dec 30, 2022

What is the best way to deploy Django app? ›

Django websites can be deployed on any number of hosting providers. The first choice is deciding whether to use a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) option or a virtual private server (VPS). A PaaS is an easier albeit more expensive option that can handle many deployment issues with minimal configuration.

Can Django use NoSQL database? ›

Does Django support NoSQL databases? ¶ NoSQL databases are not officially supported by Django itself. There are, however, a number of side projects and forks which allow NoSQL functionality in Django.

What databases can Django use? ›

Some alternatives to MySQL as a database for Django include PostgreSQL, SQLite, and Oracle. PostgreSQL is a popular open-source database that is widely used with Django and offers many advanced features, such as support for transactions, stored procedures, and triggers.

Which database is best for Python? ›

SQLite. SQLite is probably the most straightforward database to connect to with a Python application since you don't need to install any external Python SQL modules to do so. By default, your Python installation contains a Python SQL library named sqlite3 that you can use to interact with an SQLite database.

Do any big companies use Django? ›

Instagram. One of the most famous and fast-growing social networks, Instagram is another example of a website built with Python+Django. It's also a great example of scalability — in 2022, it has reached 2 billion monthly active users.

What famous websites use Django? ›

These are 9 popular Django applications:
  • Instagram. Instagram is a social media application for sharing photos and videos. ...
  • National Geographic. ...
  • Mozilla. ...
  • Spotify. ...
  • Pinterest. ...
  • Disqus. ...
  • Bitbucket. ...
  • Eventbrite.

How do I make my Django site responsive? ›

  1. Install django-responsive2: pip install django-responsive2.
  2. Add responsive to INSTALLED_APPS: INSTALLED_APPS = ( ... ' responsive', ... )
  3. Add django. core. context_processors. request and responsive. ...
  4. Add the ResponsiveMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES: MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES = ( ... 'responsive. middleware.

How do I deploy a Django Webapp? ›

You can use Visual Studio Code or your favorite text editor.
  1. Step 1: Creating a Python Virtual Environment for your Project. ...
  2. Step 2: Creating the Django Project. ...
  3. Step 3: Pushing the Site to GitHub. ...
  4. Step 4: Deploying to DigitalOcean with App Platform. ...
  5. Step 5: Deploying Your Static Files.
Sep 29, 2021

Can I create a database with Django? ›

If you're new to databases, or you're just interested in trying Django, this is the easiest choice. SQLite is included in Python, so you won't need to install anything else to support your database.

What is the difference between Django and MongoDB? ›

Generally speaking, Django has a wrapper for every relational database it supports, but Mongo is a non-relational database, so you need some external help. You need the MongoEngine Python package in order to utilize MongoDB. Other options are Ming, MongoKit, django-mongodb and django-nonrel.

Does Django use relational database? ›

By default, Django models operate on Relational Database Management System (RDBMS).


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