Back in 2011, we were using Plone CMS – Python and Zope-based platform – for most of our client projects. Some of the Softformance team members are still Plone contributors. We even presented our projects in 2008 and 2011 at Plone CMS conferences.
Unfortunately, Plone’s popularity began to decline, and we had to look for a new technology stack to stay relevant in the digital services marketplace.
So, we started to seek new core technology for our agency.
We needed to find a new thing that was easy to use and learn. It should be fast and, most importantly, have prospects for future growth.
We didn’t want to switch from Python. It was and still is a great programming language, so we tried to find something on top of it.
Somewhere in the middle, we found the Django web framework and decided to research it a bit deeper before making the final decision.
We included these several phases into our Django research, where we:
- started a pet project and finished it over a weekend
- read Django history and made a prognosis for its future perspective
- did profound research on developers and Django website examples at that time
The result of this experiment exceeded all our expectations. We switched to Django quickly and haven’t betrayed it since 2014.
And in this article, we want to share our research on the most popular Django website examples with you.
We keep an eye on the industry and update this list regularly. So, we hope you’ll enjoy this list, and it will help you decide whether to use Django for your next great software product.
Disqus is a world-famous community platform built with Django web framework. It works on almost all websites and empowers them with a rich-feature commenting system.
Let’s just look at the capabilities of Disqus:
- more than 2 billion users monthly across 191 countries
- over 4 million websites using Disqus commenting
- 70 languages supported
- 50 million comments per month
And it is Django that helps Disqus to perform all these hard-to-measure things.
But, Disqus uses Django not only for development and optimization.
Disqus lead engineer David Cramer and director of design Chris Jennings applied Django to create Sentry – an error monitoring tool, which is also a great Django website example.
Today, 70K organizations worldwide use Sentry for error tracking. And we aren’t an exception because we use Sentry with all of our projects.
Social networks also like Django web framework because it helps handle high loads of data and millions of user interactions.
With 478 million monthly active users in 2021, Django safeguards the flawlessness of Pinterest by allowing users to follow each other and share pins and boards.
Facebook is another instance of a social network that uses Python/Django for its tech infrastructure.
According to the Facebook engineering team, Python/Django is responsible for 21% of the infrastructure’s codebase. Given the sky-high number of daily operations, 21% is quite nothing to sneeze at.
In short, Python/Django helps Facebook users to upload pictures, posts and update statuses.
Instagram has become the favorite platform of nearly 1 billion users in 2021. But few people know that Django web framework is behind the scenes of this leading social media platform.
Instagram started using Python/Django back in 2010. It only took two weeks for the Instagram founders to develop an app and launch it.
Also, all Instagram software engineers are fond of Django, and one of them, Min Ni, said:
“We initially chose to use Python because of its reputation for simplicity and practicality, which aligns well with our philosophy of do the simple thing first.”
However, when Instagram started to grow fast in 2017, the company decided to switch from Django and find new technologies. They took into account different options, and in the end, they decided to…
…continue scaling with Python and Django.
The 2017 head of engineering, Hui Ding, said on that matter: “we had been able to get to a few hundred million users with our Python/Django stack, so we decided we would continue. Also significant in the decision was that our engineers really love Python. It’s actually a reason people want to come work for us”.
Spotify is another great example of a Python/Django app. It’s changed the way we listen to music.
As follows, the Spotify engineering team uses Python/Django for data analysis and backend services.
And there are three reasons why Spotify engineers still rely on Django web framework in 2021:
- Machine learning and AI options
- Python/Django community
Spotify is an active contributor to the Python/Django community. It participates in and sponsors conferences like PyCon and Euro Python, supports PyData, NYC PyLadies, Python User Groups, and hosts hackathons.
This site requires no special introduction. Being a global powerhouse, Netflix has reached 208 million subscribers in 2020 and not without the help of Python/Django.
As the Netflix engineering team writes, “we use Python through the full content lifecycle, from deciding which content to fund all the way to operating the CDN that serves the final video.”
The Netflix team relies on different Python open-source packages and frameworks, including Django web framework.
Besides, the powerful analytics and machine learning capabilities of Python/Django help Netflix choose recommended movies and show them just for you.
We all know Youtube as a place where we can watch educational content, travel blogs, or cute baby cat videos.
Yet, it’s not a secret that the endless hours of entertainment require strong performance and constant development of new features.
And that is the reason why Youtube shifted from PHP to Django in its early days.
The Washington Post
Here’s an interesting thing: Django was originally created for the support of the Lawrence Journal-World content application.
And today, Django empowers the most popular news outlets. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Guardian utilize the Django web framework.
The reasons why these social media giants choose Django are efficient performance and the ability to handle high loads of information. For instance, the New York Times had 92.5 million unique visitors, and the Washington Post was opened by 88 million users in March 2021.
The Onion is another famous Django website example. It is an online publication venue for local, national, and international news.
Moreover, the Onion is one of the most read newspapers in the world.
The role of Django web framework in this all is to make the Onion website up and running. All publications, features, and designs highly rely on the Django framework.
Almost all TV viewers and nature-lovers know what National Geographic is. And those who do not know probably have ever heard about an organization committed to exploring our world.
And Django web framework helps National Geographic in its noble mission.
National Geographic website and education page rely on a custom Django content management system (CMS). In other words, Django helps National Geographic to manage all website content, from images and ads to modules.
Django is widely used by government organizations since security is the framework’s strong point.
And NASA is one of the most important government websites made with Django web framework. The framework helps NASA to cope with 2 million monthly visits and stay secure at the same time.
You probably know Dropbox because of the document storing revolution it caused. And it also uses Django web framework for backend and client desktop software.
What is more, Dropbox is the most used cloud storage service – 92% of the Fortune 500 organizations use Dropbox.
And it’s not a secret that users appreciate Dropbox because of the functions it has. The engineering team developed a user history option, account synchronization, and file sharing option with the help of Django.
Marketing automation tools and Django are also a good match.
Opesta is one of such marketing tools powered by Django web framework. It is a Facebook messenger chat platform similar to ManyChat and ChatFuel.
Opesta allows Shopify owners to connect their buyers with their website visitors and FB Page fans.
With Python, Django, and Django REST API Framework, we were able to build a messaging broadcasting system capable of sending hundreds of thousands of messages in minutes.
Prezi is a cloud-based tool that helps to create eye-catching presentations. And when Prezi has seen significant growth and reached more than 100 million subscribers, it needed a more scalable solution to double the odds for success.
That future-looking solution was a custom content management system on the Django web framework.
After implementing Django CMS for Prezi, its Senior Product Manager, Jonathan Schwartz, said that Django CMS “allows the Prezi team to focus more on what’s important: creating the best possible content and services for our users.”
A ticketing and event management platform Eventbrite is another Django-powered website.
From the very beginning, Eventbrite was developed with Python and other in-house frameworks. But when the platform audience began to grow and interaction volumes increased, in-house frameworks couldn’t cope with them.
That is where Django web framework got in the game.
And today, thanks to Django, Eventbrite can adjust events to any audience size and provide even 50 million users with never-to-be-forgotten experiences.
Uber is the brand most people associate with ride-sharing.
But few know that Uber uses Python/Django for their APIs, calculations, and business logic.
So, next time when you wait for your taxi, know that the accurate estimated time of arrival is calculated by Django.
Lyft is an Uber competitor that also benefits from Django web framework.
Similar to Uber, Lyft uses Python/Django for data processing.
But also, Django empowers Lyft with machine learning opportunities. It predicts models and behaviors to plan the best route.
BitBucket is a cloud-based Git repository. 17 million requests and 6 million repositories annually make BitBucket one of the most heavily loaded apps built with Django.
As follows, BitBucket chose Django web framework for three reasons:
- strong performance to handle millions of users daily
- versatile Django community
- ready-to-implement packages and open-source solutions
With all these Django assets, BitBucket can easily take what they need and use more effort to think about how to make the product skyrocket.
Frankly speaking, Mozilla did not use Python/Django from the start. Engineering teams applied PHP and CakePHP for browser development.
As the popularity of Mozilla grew, the number of users reached 250 million. And billions of searches led to low performance and slow loading.
Thus, both the management and engineering teams had to make an urgent decision:
- stay with their current tech stack and lose users?
- switch to new technology and attract more users?
That is where Django came in hot.
Since then, all the add-ons of Mozilla and the support website are powered by Python/Django.
Each task has its own perfect set of tools. You will not chop wood with a knife or cut butter with an ax.
The same principle works in the software world. Every project needs a specific toolkit.
And we are certain of our own toolkit since 2014: we’ve been using Python and Django web framework.
After working on 150+ software products, we found that the Django web framework can easily empower social networks, news outlets, marketplaces, business tools, marketing automation instruments, SaaS-es of different kinds, CRMs, ERPs, entertainment platforms, and many more.
Startups and big companies choose Django because it is:
- super fast
Besides, Django web framework is the best fit if you aim to deliver a valuable product with a quick turnaround and at an efficient cost.
The only question left for you is to pick a proper team to leverage this technology stack in the best possible way.
So, if you’re looking to develop Django-based software, we’d be happy to demonstrate our expertise and showcase our Django projects.
Don’t hesitate to message us or book a free consultation right now.