Setting up a Django project from scratch can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the process. I am going to share my experience on how I set up my Django projects to help you overcome some of the common issues that may arise. This guide is intended for beginners and assumes you already know how to start a Django application and create an app.

Create Project

I assume that all those reading this project already knows how to start a Django application and how to create an app. So I will be skipping over these topics in details. The commands to do those are:

python startproject <project_name>
 python startapp <app_name>

Changing Variables

You will need to change variables in:

Within settings you will need to change

ROOT_URLCONF = 'config.urls'
WSGI_APPLICATION = 'config.wsgi.application'

Project Structure

To keep my root folder clutter-free, I prefer to use the following structure for my project: config/ for settings and other configurations and a folder named after the project name for the apps. So, for instance, if my project is called “my_project” and I have apps named “accounts,” “dashboard,” and “payments,” my project structure would look like this:



Now that we have our project structure set up, let’s move on to the most important aspect of any project: user authentication. Always create a custom user model in your project to have complete control over user authentication. You can do this by creating an “accounts” app and adding a model named “CustomUser” to its file. You can then customize the user model to fit your project’s needs.

To make Django use your custom user model, add the following line to your file:

Always add custom user to your project. You can do this by creating an accounts app and inside the file write

from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractUser

class CustomUser(AbstractUser):

You can customize the user however you want.

Inside the of the same module, write

from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin as BaseUserAdmin
from django.contrib import admin
from armandokan.accounts.models import CustomUser
class UserAdmin(BaseUserAdmin):
    pass, UserAdmin)

Once again you are free to customize it however you like.

With this done, now go to file and modify this variable

AUTH_USER_MODEL = "accounts.CustomUser"

With this we now have a custom user.

Now run this

python makemigrations accounts

Django Jazzmin

Next up is the Django admin interface. While the default admin interface is functional, I prefer to use the Jazzmin theme for a more modern and aesthetically pleasing interface.

Here is the link to it’s documentation:

To install Jazzmin, run the following command:

pip install -U django-jazzmin

Add jazzmin to your INSTALLED_APPS before django.contrib.admin, and Voila!


See configuration for optional customization of the theme

See development for notes on setting up for development

Customizing Jazzmin

Here is the customization that I use for jazzmin.

    "site_title": "OrgBea",
    "site_header": "OrgBea",
    "site_brand": "OrgBea",
    "site_logo": "img/logo_sm.png",
    "login_logo": "",
    "login_logo_dark": "",
    "site_logo_classes": "",
    "site_icon": "",
    "welcome_sign": "OrgBea: The caffeine for your organization.",
    "copyright": "Org Bea",
    "search_model": "accounts.CustomUser",
    "user_avatar": None,
    "topmenu_links": [
        {"name": "Home", "url": "admin:index", "permissions": ["auth.view_user"]},
        {"name": "Support", "url": "mailto://", "new_window": True},
        # {"model": "auth.User"},
    "usermenu_links": [
        # {"model": "auth.user"}
    "show_sidebar": True,
    "navigation_expanded": True,
    "hide_apps": [],
    "hide_models": [],
    # "order_with_respect_to": [],
    "icons": {
        "auth": "fas fa-users-cog",
        "auth.user": "fas fa-user",
        "auth.Group": "fas fa-users",
    "default_icon_parents": "fas fa-chevron-circle-right",
    "default_icon_children": "fas fa-circle",
    "related_modal_active": True,
    "custom_css": "css/admin_custom.css",
    "custom_js": "smart-selects/admin/js/chainedfk.js",
    "show_ui_builder": False,
    "changeform_format": "horizontal_tabs",
    "changeform_format_overrides": {"auth.user": "collapsible", "": "vertical_tabs"},
    "navbar_small_text": False,
    "footer_small_text": False,
    "body_small_text": False,
    "brand_small_text": False,
    "brand_colour": False,
    "accent": "accent-primary",
    "navbar": "navbar-white navbar-light",
    "no_navbar_border": False,
    "navbar_fixed": True,
    "layout_boxed": False,
    "footer_fixed": False,
    "sidebar_fixed": True,
    "sidebar": "sidebar-dark-primary",
    "sidebar_nav_small_text": False,
    "sidebar_disable_expand": False,
    "sidebar_nav_child_indent": False,
    "sidebar_nav_compact_style": False,
    "sidebar_nav_legacy_style": False,
    "sidebar_nav_flat_style": False,
    "theme": "default",
    "dark_mode_theme": None,
    "button_classes": {
        "primary": "btn-outline-primary",
        "secondary": "btn-outline-secondary",
        "info": "btn-outline-info",
        "warning": "btn-outline-warning",
        "danger": "btn-outline-danger",
        "success": "btn-outline-success"

Oviously rename the variable values and change the logo urls and so on.