How to publish/deploy Django website in Cpanel

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As a web developer, I have always done every project using Django because it provides rich features that ensure your web application is flexible, customizable, and performs well in a production environment.

Hosting your Django application on a VPS such as on Digital Ocean works great for a web application that handles huge traffic.

But, if you want to deploy a website that handles relatively medium traffic, shared hosting is a great choice:

  • It is economical
  • You can host an unlimited amount of websites depending on the hosting provider.
  • It is easier to set up.

To host a Django project on a shared hosting account, you must log in to your cPanel and have your Terminal access.

If you cannot locate the Terminal app on your Dashboard, you can contact your web hosting company to activate it for you.

However, you should be cautious when using the Terminal.

You can quickly delete files that are essential for your server to run.

You can find a detailed introduction to the basic bash commands here.

Let’s get started.

Setup a working Django project

To get started, let’s set up a simple Django project that we can use for hosting. You are free to use your own Django project that you may have created before.

Skip to this step if you already have a project.

A simple Django project that displays colorful text on a webpage should get us started.

However, you can always check this article that shows you a detailed guide to setting up a portfolio website using Django.

Follow these steps:

Step #1: Create and activate an environment

Open the Terminal and create a new folder that you will use for your Django project.

Create a new environment in your preferred location. I prefer to keep all the environments in one location.

To do that, copy and paste the following command on your Terminal.

python3 -m venv ~/.virtualenvs/my-django-project-env

Replace .virtualenvs/my-django-project-env with your preferred project name and location.

After creating the environment, activate it by typing the command below in your Terminal.

└─$ source ~/.virtualenvs/my-django-project-env/bin/activate

Remember to replace the Django location that you had specified earlier.

Step #2: Install Django in your environment

You are now ready to install Django on your activated environment.

Type the following command to install the latest Django in your environment.

└─$ pip3 install django

After you have successfully installed Django, go ahead and create a new Django project.

Type the following command to set up a new Django project.

django-admin startproject simple_django_project .

To open your new Django web app in your web browser, type:

python runserver

Open your browser and type in your web browser’s address bar.

Your new project is ready to be customized to suit your design, functionality, and performance needs.

But, we can do a couple of things like displaying a custom message on the home page of our website.

To do that, you create a new application and register it in the main app file.

As per your new app, create a new file and register it to the main project Follow these steps to complete the tasks above.

Task #1: Create a new app by typing:

python startapp home

Task #2: Register your app

Open the project folder with your preferred editor, such as Visual Studio Code.

If you have VS code, type the following command in your terminal in the directory where you have your Django project.

code . 

Navigate into the project’s main folder.

Within the folder, locate the file and open it.

Locate the line starting with “INSTALLED APPS” and insert the following line at the end of the list to register your app.


Replace the name “home” with the name you specified for your new app.

Task #3: Create a new file for your app and register it in the main project file

Create a new file named in the app directory. In this case, the home directory.

Add the following code to your new file.

from django.urls import path

urlpatterns = []

Open your main project and add the following line inside the list with the variable name, urlpatterns.

Also, import include from django.urls

path(' ', include('home.urls')),

Your final file should look like this:

from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path, include

urlpatterns = [
    path('', include('home.urls')),

Task #4: Display the current time on your home page

Open of your home app, delete everything, and type the following:

from django.shortcuts import render
from django.http import HttpResponse
import datetime

def homepage(request):
    time_now =
    html_to_display = f"""
                <h2>It is now {time_now}</h2>
    return HttpResponse(html_to_display)

The code above displays the current time upon opening the home page of our Django website.

Add the following line to your app file.

from .views import homepage

Then add this line in the urlpatterns list:

path("", homepage, name="home"),

Open your browser. You should see the current date and time.

Let’s set up our new application and host it on cPanel.

How to host Django project on cPanel

Login to your cPanel account.

Make sure your hosting provider support hosting of Python apps.

If you do not have one, consider getting a Shared Hosting plan on Namecheap. They are very affordable, support Django apps and their service is perfect.

You can use this link to sign up with them and you will get a discounted price while you check out.

Step 1: Set up a domain name for your Django application

Once you have logged in, locate the Domain tool on the home page of your cPanel account

Adding a domain name on cPanel

Go ahead, locate the Domains link, and click on it. Probably, they will be under the Domains tab.

Add domain name on cPanel

Create a new domain name that you will use for your Django project.

However, you will need to purchase a new domain name from your hosting company.

After buying the domain name, create a new domain using the same name.

If you purchased a domain name called as an example, fill it under the Domain field. Here’s an example:

Creating a new Domain on cPanel

Fill in the Document Root (File System Location) with the location where you want your Django project files to be stored.

Preferably, choose the directory as /home/username/

For our example, enter the Document Root as /home/username/

Press submit to create a new domain for your Django project.

You should get a success message popup indicating that the domain has been successfully created with the document root of your new domain.

After creating a domain, it is time to create a new Python application that we’ll use for our Django project.

Go back to the home page of your cPanel account.

Step 2: Create a new Python endpoint

Under the Software tab, locate the “Setup Python App” link and click on it.

set up a Python app on cPanel

You will be redirected to a page that may be similar to the screenshot below.


Create a new application by filling in the information as prompted.

Select the Python version and use the latest recommended Python version.

Select Python version on Cpanel

Fill in the Application root by specifying the folder that has your domain name files.

Use the document root you created when creating a new domain name.

If your domain name is, the Application root will be:


Filling in Application Root for a Python app on cPanel

The Application URL field should have the same domain name you created earlier.

Leave everything as it is and press the Create button.

Creating a Python Django app on cPanel
Virtual environment on cPanel

Upload your Django to cPanel

After you have created the app, open a new cPanel tab.

Upload the Django project files from your local machine into the folder where your domain name resides.

Follow these steps to do that:

Prepare your Django project files

Prepare your Django project so that you can upload it into your account file system.

To do that, navigate into the folder you have your Django project on a local machine.

Compress all the files into one zip file.

Compressing files on LInux

Upload the compressed file into your cPanel Python app application root.

Open the new cPanel account tab and open the file manager tool.

Locate the name of the directory with the name of your domain name.

For example, the directory will be if you used the document root as

Locate a directory on cPanel using File Manager tool

Navigate into the folder. Click on the upload button and upload the zip file you created for your project.

Drag and drop the zip file or click on the select button.

Go back to the directory when the upload completes.

Click on the zip file you uploaded and press the Extract button at the top to extract the Django project files.

Extract files on cPanel using File Manager tool

Extract the files in the current directory and delete the compressed file.

Extracting files on cPanel

Now you are ready to deploy your Django project.

Deploy your Django project

Open another cPanel tab and navigate to the home page of your account.

On the cPanel Dashboard, look for the Terminal tool under the Advanced tab and click on it.

You can also search for the tool by typing the keyword ‘terminal’

Open a Terminal on cPanel

It should open a new SSH Terminal window where you can execute bash commands.

Although we created a new Python application, we need to install Django in the virtual environment created for our application.

The path where your app’s virtual environment resides should be displayed after creating your app.

Head back to the window where we successfully created a new Python app.

At the top, you should see the virtual environment for the Python app.

Copy the path and paste it into your Terminal window.

Virtual environment on cPanel

Copy the path and paste it into the cPanel Terminal window.

Press Enter to activate the virtual environment so that you may install Django.

Virtual environment on cPanel for Python apps

Install Django by typing the following command on cPanel:

pip install django

If you have a requirements.txt file, type

pip install -r requirements.txt

Wait for the installation to complete.

Run python makemigrations and python migrate on the Terminal to make database changes persist in the database.

If you are using environment variables, you may get an error when you run python command on the Terminal.

Here’s how to add environment variables for Python apps on cPanel

Navigate to the Python setup page where you successfully created your Python app.

Scroll to the bottom, and you should see the Environment Variables section.

Setting up environment variables on cPanel for Python apps

Press ADD VARIABLE button to add a new environment variable

Enter the name of the environment variable and the value.

Press DONE to create the new environment variable.

Use environment variable names similar to the variable names used on your Django project.

Filling in environment variable names and values on cPanel

Create all the environment variables required by your Django application.

It is a good practice to enter the ALLOWED_HOSTS variable name and value here.

Be sure to add to your Django ALLOWED_HOSTS variable.

After creating all the environment variables, press the SAVE button at the top to make the new changes reflect for your app.

Go back to the Terminal tab and run the necessary python commands. This time, the commands should run successfully.

How to connect the Django project to the default cPanel web server, WSGI

After installing Django and the packages required for your Django project, there’s another thing that you need to do for your application to use the project’s files.

Connect your Django application to the default WSGI web server interface for Python apps on cPanel.

Open the File Manager of your hosting account and locate your domain name’s folder or the directory with the Django project files.

Inside the file, you will find a file with the name

Right-click the file and press the edit button to edit it.

Edit a file on cPanel using the File Manager

Paste the following code after deleting every line inside the file.

import os
import sys

# sys.path.insert(0, os.path.dirname(__file__))

# def application(environ, start_response):
#     start_response('200 OK', [('Content-Type', 'text/plain')])
#     message = 'It works!\n'
#     version = 'Python %s\n' % sys.version.split()[0]
#     response = '\n'.join([message, version])
#     return [response.encode()]

from simple_django_project.wsgi import application

Replace ‘simple_django_project.wsgi’ with the name of your Django project.

Connecting Django project to the cPanel web server

Save the file and close the window.

Go back to the Python apps Dashboard and restart your Python app.

Go ahead and type in the domain name in your browser’s address bar.

Aaaaand voila!

Your new application is ready for the world to see it.

Share it with your friends and family about the progress that you have achieved.

I hope the tutorial was helpful to you and that you can deploy new Django applications on Shared hosting.

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See you in my next article.

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Badi here, creator of— A website dedicated to providing helpful information and how-to's of web development and hosting. Inspired by a fascination to write the most efficient code to make a computer laugh, & humans, Steve has a passion for organizing characters to create code and informative content.
What makes me happy?
Well, nothing like the feeling of finally figuring out that one pesky bug that's been driving me crazy.

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