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Django is a web development framework designed specifically for Python. Like Ruby on Rails does for Ruby, Django aims to provide a Model-View-Controller framework for web application development as well as a large set of prebuilt libraries to simplify development of common webapp features. Django's modularity also allows easy scalability and enables the reuse of various code blocks, under the policy of "Don't Repeat Yourself". We offer Django with Python 2.7 on Ricky, and Django with Python 3.6 on Tommy. Johnny does not offer Django because of software conflicts.



Server Path Django Version Python Version Loader
Tommy /usr/bin/python3.6 1.10.5 3.6.0 WSGI
Ricky /usr/bin/python2.7 1.11.4 2.7.0 WSGI
Johnny Not available NA NA NA


Using the WSGI loader for a shared hosting environment is ideal because it conserves memory and enhances security.
Complete Django 
We offer the complete, unadulterated Django package.
Our Python installation includes the MySQL extension for interfacing with the MySQL database engine.
Our Python installation includes the PostgreSQL extension for interfacing with the PostgreSQL database engine.
Our Python installation includes the SQLite extension for interfacing with the SQLite database engine.
Extensive prebuilt libraries 
If you need any additional libraries installed be sure to ask at


Shell access 
We don't offer shell (command line) access to our users. Many Django tutorials and installation instructions assume that users have command line access, which may make working with Python & Django more difficult. Most people tend to develop on their home computer and then upload to their web server, which almost negates the need for this feature. Furthermore, most configuration done through the command line can be done through other methods, such as FTP and manual file editing.
WSGI daemon mode 
There are two ways to configure Django to work with the mod_wsgi loader in Apache. You can either create a separate daemon for each Django process (daemon mode), or embed Django into the Apache daemon (embedded mode). While daemon mode tends to be the standard among Django admins because of the increased control it offers, we use embedded mode because it can be setup on a per-user basis without very much root-level configuration. Embedded mode is slightly harder to get working (see directions below), and might break compatibility with some Django tutorials. In most cases it should not be a problem.

Getting started with Django 1.10

The official Django 1.10 documentation is available here.
It's suggested to follow the introduction tutorial to start off with Django: another suggestion is to try and test the package locally before uploading it online, since shell access (sometimes useful for debugging) is not provided on heliohost.

Django 1.10 (available on Tommy) comes with a new structure to manage its web-apps, so we're going to look in details how to set it up on a shared hosting like heliohost. This small tutorial has been thought for linux users, but Windows users should work it out easily.

Let's start by creating an empty "dumb" application to play with: refer to the official documentation for instructions on how to setup django on a personal computer (we suggest using virtualenv, to differentiate each django installation for each project).

Conventions: all the following commands don't need root access to be executed, but the shell commands are preceded by a $ (dollar sign) to differentiate them from the output.
The python executable name used on the local computer is python3 (as on a Fedora OS), but this could change according with the distribution used (e.g. Ubuntu could name it python3.6): change it accordingly to your executable name.

On your local computer, open a terminal, create a new project and perform the minimal configuration:

$ django-admin startproject hello
$ cd hello/ && python3 migrate

This should return a directory structure like this:

$ tree ../hello/
├── db.sqlite3
├── hello/
│   ├──
│   ├── __pycache__/
│   │   ├── ...
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──

2 directories, 10 files

Run the included testing server:

$ python3 runserver
Performing system checks...

System check identified no issues (0 silenced).
March 20, 2017 - 16:42:48
Django version 1.10.6, using settings 'hello.settings'
Starting development server at
Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

Now you can point your browser to the address stated ( ), and you should see the django "hello world" debug message.

Let's set the project up to work on heliohost; we need to rename and link back the file.

$ cd hello/
$ mv dispatch.wsgi

(Windows users should skip the following step and manually copy dispatch.wsgi to each time they overwrite dispatch.wsgi):

$ ln -s dispatch.wsgi

In this way, you can go on doing any edit you need on, since it's just a symbolic link to dispatch.wsgi, which is a configuration file needed to make your django webapp work on heliohost.

Then create a .htaccess file in /home/username/public_html/hello/ containing the instructions for the Apache web server to redirect http requests to your django app. The content should be:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^(media/.*)$ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(admin_media/.*)$ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(hello/dispatch\.wsgi/.*)$ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ hello/hello/dispatch.wsgi/$1 [QSA,PT,L]

This instructs Apache to redirect all the requests (except those requesting something from media/ or admin_media/) to the dispatcher file.

We are not done yet: we need to tell the dispatcher file dispatch.wsgi how to load your django settings; change it from:

import os

from django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_application

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "hello.settings")

application = get_wsgi_application()

to something like:

import os, sys

# edit your username below

from django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_application

os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'hello.settings'

application = get_wsgi_application()

Change username_on_heliohost to the heliohost username used on the webserver.
In order to allow the webserver to serve your django app, you need to add the webserver address in the app settings. Change hello/ and change:




so your website (say, every custom domain you set up like and every subdomain such as www.) can be served by your application.

Now upload the content of the hello/ folder to your public_html/ folder, using whichever method you prefer, so the final content on the heliohost web server should be something like:

$ tree home/
└── username_on_heliohost/
    └── public_html/
        ├── db.sqlite3
        └── hello/
            ├── .htaccess
            ├── dispatch.wsgi
            ├── __pycache__/
            │   ├── ...
            └── -> dispatch.wsgi

4 directories, 10 files

Eventually you can point your browser to your website address(es) and you should see your django application being online!


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