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How to perform URL routing in Django

Shubham Singh Kshatriya

A web application consists of multiple pages and each page has its own route. A route can be defined as a URLUniform Resource Locator that displays a particular web page on the browser. For example, if we want to visit the Educative website, we would head over to https://www.educative.io.

Django lets us route URLs however we want and with no framework limitations. In this shot, we will see how we can create our own URL in Django.

URL routing flow

As we can see, the user enters a URL in the search bar of the web browser. Then, that URL is passed to the url.py file where it tries to find a matching URL pattern. If a matching URL is found, the corresponding view function attached with that URL is invoked. Otherwise, it returns 404.

How to create a new route

The routes are defined in the url.py file that can be either at the project or application level. We will focus on creating our route at the project level.

To create a route in Django, we will use the path() function that accepts two parameters: a URL and a View function.

  • Initially, the url.py file looks like this:
from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path

urlpatterns = [
    path('admin/', admin.site.urls),
]
  • All the routes are created inside the urlpatterns list.

  • Simply add a new path as below and a new route will be created.

from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path
from . import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('admin/', admin.site.urls),
    path('about/', views.about),
]
  • With this, the about path will become a possible extension to the website’s URL. Assuming we’re using localhost and a port of 8000, it would be 127.0.0.1:8000/about/ to access this new URL.

  • When this new URL is entered in the browser, it will check for a matching route. In this case, it will invoke the about method from views.py.

  • The views.py file may look something like this:

from django.shortcuts import render        
from django.http import HttpResponse
        
def about(request):    
    return HttpResponse('<h1>This is about me!.</h1>')  

Note: We can also create nested routes or even hundreds of routes all into this single urlpatterns list.

Conclusion

The steps above give a brief explanation of how URL routing works in Django. It is quite easy, provided that we know its structure and the flow of events that occur when a specific URL is to be accessed.

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