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    10 popular sites and web apps powered by Python/Django 

    Django is one of the most popular open source Python web frameworks in the world. It’s well known for its simplicity, speed, reliability and flexibility. According to SimilarTech, about 89,025 websites use Django, and that number continues to grow.

    Our company specializes in Python / Django development services. The Django framework allows us to build fast, scalable and dynamic websites and applications. In this article, we will explain why Django is so popular and what popular major sites and applications keep it under the hood. 

    Some history

    Django was created in the fall of 2003. The first version was written by two programmers from The Lawrence Journal-World — Adrian Golovaty and Simon Willison. Django became available under a BSD license to the general public in 2005. One of the creators, Adrian Golovaty, really likes the jazz guitar and the music of Django Reinhardt, after whom the framework is named. 

    Django was originally written in Python 2. Python 3 appeared in 2008, and Django added Python 3 support in 2013. In 2018, the framework abandoned Python 2 and completely switched to the third version.   

    Django’s main purpose is to help developers take application from ideas/concepts to completion as quickly as possible. Why is Django the best choice for web development? 

    • Speed: You can create a small web application or MVP in a matter of hours.
    • Out-of-the-box tools: Many features are available out of the box, such as user authentication, sitemap, RSS feeds, etc.   
    • Security: the framework makes sure that the site is protected from network attacks. However, don’t forget to update the Django versions in your projects so you don’t get hacked.    
    • Scalability: Django adapts well to high traffic. 
    • Versatility: the framework allows you to implement any projects: from content management systems to scientific computing platforms. 

    Let’s move on to projects powered by Django. Information about the technologies is taken from open sources, as well as from official company blogs.   

    1. Instagram

    The fastest growing photo and video sharing app was created by entrepreneurs Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. From 2010 to 2012, the developers attracted investments totaling about $60 million. On April 9, 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion.

    By 2018, Instagram’s audience had passed the one billion user mark, with traffic reaching over 500 million people per day.

    From the very beginning, Instagram has been completely and entirely powered by Django. The Django framework helped scale the application, making it possible to process huge amounts of data and manage a greater number of interactions between users every single second.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React, Redux
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: PostgreSQL, Redis, Memcached

    2. Mozilla

    Mozilla is primarily known for its browser, Firefox, although the company is involved in other projects. In particular, with the help of Django, Mozilla developed the MDN Web Docs service and the Mozilla support site (support.mozilla.org). 

    Mozilla has been on the market since 1998, making it one of the oldest Internet companies. As of 2020, Mozilla products were used by over 500 million people, and by the end of 2019, the company’s revenue totaled $826.6 million.   

    Technologies used (taking MDN as an example):

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: PostgreSQL, MySQL

    3. Pinterest

    Pinterest is very similar to Instagram. Here, users can also share photos and search for photos and images that meet their interests.

    Pinterest was launched in 2010, and at first, a request or an invitation was required to register on the site. Pinterest quickly grew in popularity, and on August 10, 2011, Time magazine listed it in its “50 Best Websites of 2011”.

    As of 2021, Pinterest had 478 million users every month. In 2020, the company’s advertising revenue reached $1.7 billion.

    Django is popular among social networking platforms as it processes huge amounts of data and simultaneously handles thousands of user requests. Django allows Pinterest to deliver excellent performance and scalability, and handle a growing number of new users.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: MySQL, Memcached, Redis, Hadoop

    4. Disqus

    Disqus is one of the most significant projects developed with Django. It allows you to manage a comment block on your website, analyze audience activity and customize ad serving.

    Disqus was launched in 2007 and raised $10 million by early 2011. As of 2020, the community had about 500 million unique visitors per month, and more than 750,000 websites use the Disqus comment service.

    The Disqus team uses Django for almost all of their web traffic and actively leverages the framework’s features to improve performance. 

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: PostgreSQL, Memcached, Redis

    5. Spotify

    Spotify is a huge worldwide music library that is available on any device.

    Spotyify was founded in 2006 by Swedish entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. The name is a combination of two words: “spot” and “identify”.

    From 2018 to 2020, Spotify won the International Dance Music Awards in the Best Streaming Service category.

    As of Q4 2021, Spotify had 406 million active users per month, up from 345 million in 2020. Spotify has over 4 billion playlists and over 70 million tracks in its catalogue.

    The Spotify team uses Python extensively in their projects, mainly for backend services and data analysis. Spotify doesn’t use Django as its main backend, but uses it for other services.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React, Next.js
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: PostgreSQL, Hadoop

    6. Bitbucket

    Launched back in 2008, this Git repository has attracted millions of developers. Bitbucket was originally an independent startup founded by Jesper Noehr in 2008. In 2010, Bitbucket was acquired by Atlassian. Programmers actively use the service, creating about 6 million repositories a year.

    The Bitbucket team chose Django because “it’s a great tool that offers a lot of ready-to-implement solutions like URL pattern matching, web form creation/validation.” Another reason is support for the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself).   

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: jQuery
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: PostgreSQL, Redis

    7. National Geographic

    National Geographic is a popular TV channel and monthly magazine with educational content about science, culture and history.

    National Geographic Partners is a major joint venture between the Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Company has six magazines, seven television channels, and National Geographic Travel. According to SimilarWeb, the National Geographic website has an average of 11.9 million visitors per month.

    Django powers the main National Geographic website. Django also has its own content management system (CMS) — Django CMS, which was used to build the National Geographic educational website.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django

    8. Udemy

    Udemy is a massive open online course platform aimed at professional adults and students. Udemy was founded in May 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani and Oktay Chaglar. At the end of 2020, the company was valued at $3.25 billion.

    As of April 2021, more than 40 million students used Udemy. The platform offers 155,000 courses with 70,000 instructors. Since the beginning, over 480 million people have enrolled in different courses.

    Django helps the platform to handle huge amounts of content as quickly as possible so that information is instantly available to students at any time.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: MySQL, Redis, Memcached

    9. Coursera

    Coursera is an online educational platform founded in 2012 by Stanford University professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. In March 2021, Coursera filed for an IPO and raised $520 million, after which it was estimated at $4.3 billion.

    As of 2020, the platform offered 3,800 courses, which were accessed by 70 million students. Coursera has more than 200 strategic partners worldwide: universities, colleges, corporations and governments. 

    Coursera uses Django, because the framework provides fast user interaction, security and has the ability to adapt to a growing number of courses and students (scalability).

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: MySQL

    10. Indeed

    Indeed is an employment website launched by Paul Forster and Ronny Kahan in November 2004. Today, Indeed is available in 28 languages and in more than 60 countries.

    As of June 2021, the Indeed site was visited by more than 250 unique visitors per month. It contains close to 175 million resumes, and 10 new job offers are added to the portal every second. 

    Django allows Indeed to easily handle the huge flow of job inquiries, vacancies, and responses from job seekers and employers.

    Technologies used:

    • Frontend: React
    • Backend: Django
    • Database technologies: MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Memcached

    Conclusion

    The Django framework is used by major IT companies for various purposes: some use it to create sub-projects, others use Django to build the entire main website. Thus, Django can be easily adapted to any project and can be used to build high-load websites with huge traffic.

    The SECL Group offers quick solutions for web development projects using the Django framework. Our qualified developers have created a number of large and diverse web projects. If you aim to quickly launch a web service that may eventually turn into a resource with millions of visitors, then you should definitely think about using Django for you next project!

    Author
    Mykyta Semenov
    CEO, SECL Group
    The CEO of a software development company called «SECL Group». Extensive experience in web development since 2002. An author of numerous studies and articles, a speaker at industry conferences, and an independent consultant for commercial companies and government agencies.

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