Django React Boilerplate Save

Django 3, React, Bootstrap 4 with Python 3 and webpack project boilerplate

Project README

Django React Boilerplate

Contributor Covenant License: MIT


A Django project boilerplate/template with lots of state of the art libraries and tools like:

For continuous integration, a Github Action configuration .github/workflows/main.yml is included.

Also, includes a Heroku app.json and a working Django settings, enabling easy deployments with 'Deploy to Heroku' button. Those Heroku plugins are included in app.json:

  • PostgreSQL, for DB
  • Redis, for Celery
  • Sendgrid, for e-mail sending
  • Papertrail, for logs and platform errors alerts (must set them manually)

This is a good starting point for modern Python/JavaScript web projects.

Project bootstrap main Greenkeeper badge

  • Make sure you have Python 3.8 installed
  • Install Django with pip install django, to have the django-admin command available.
  • Open the command line and go to the directory you want to start your project in.
  • Start your project using:
    django-admin startproject theprojectname --extension py,yml,json --name Procfile,Dockerfile,,.env.example,.gitignore,Makefile --template=
    Alternatively, you may start the project in the current directory by placing a . right after the project name, using the following command:
    django-admin startproject theprojectname . --extension py,yml,json --name Procfile,Dockerfile,,.env.example,.gitignore,Makefile --template=

In the next steps, always remember to replace theprojectname with your project's name

  • Above: don't forget the --extension and --name params!
  • Change the first line of README to the name of the project
  • Add an email address to the ADMINS settings variable in {{project_name}}/backend/{{project_name}}/settings/
  • Change the SERVER_EMAIL to the email address used to send e-mails in {{project_name}}/backend/{{project_name}}/settings/
  • Rename the folder github to .github with the command mv github .github

After completing ALL of the above, remove this Project bootstrap section from the project README. Then follow Running below.




  • Inside the backend folder, do the following:
    • Create a copy of {{project_name}}/settings/
      cp {{project_name}}/settings/ {{project_name}}/settings/
    • Create a copy of .env.example: cp .env.example .env

If you are using Docker:

  • Open the /backend/.env file on a text editor and uncomment the line DATABASE_URL=postgres://{{project_name}}:[email protected]:5432/{{project_name}}
  • Open a new command line window and go to the project's directory
  • Run the initial setup: make docker_setup
  • Create the migrations for users app:
    make docker_makemigrations
  • Run the migrations: make docker_migrate
  • Run the project: make docker_up
  • Access http://localhost:8000 on your browser and the project should be running there
    • When you run make docker_up, some containers are spinned up (frontend, backend, database, etc) and each one will be running on a different port
    • The container with the React app uses port 3000. However, if you try accessing it on your browser, the app won't appear there and you'll probably see a blank page with the "Cannot GET /" error
    • This happens because the container responsible for displaying the whole application is the Django app one (running on port 8000). The frontend container is responsible for providing a bundle with its assets for django-webpack-loader to consume and render them on a Django template
  • To access the logs for each service, run: make docker_logs <service name> (either backend, frontend, etc)
  • To stop the project, run: make docker_down

Adding new dependencies

  • Open a new command line window and go to the project's directory
  • Update the dependencies management files by performing any number of the following steps:
    • To add a new frontend dependency, run npm install <package name> --save

      The above command will update your package.json, but won't make the change effective inside the container yet

    • To add a new backend dependency, update or with the newest requirements
  • After updating the desired file(s), run make docker_update_dependencies to update the containers with the new dependencies

    The above command will stop and re-build the containers in order to make the new dependencies effective

If you are not using Docker:

Setup and run the frontend app

  • Open a new command line window and go to the project's directory
  • npm install
  • npm run start
    • This is used to serve the frontend assets to be consumed by django-webpack-loader and not to run the React application as usual, so don't worry if you try to check what's running on port 3000 and see an error on your browser

Setup the backend app

  • Open the /backend/.env file on a text editor and do one of the following:

    • If you wish to use SQLite locally, uncomment the line DATABASE_URL=sqlite:///backend/db.sqlite3
    • If you wish to use PostgreSQL locally, uncomment and edit the line DATABASE_URL=postgres://{{project_name}}:[email protected]:5432/{{project_name}} in order to make it correctly point to your database URL
    • If you wish to use another database engine locally, add a new DATABASE_URL setting for the database you wish to use
      • Please refer to dj-database-url on how to configure DATABASE_URL for commonly used engines
  • Open a new command line window and go to the project's directory

  • Create a new virtualenv with either virtualenvwrapper or only virtualenv: mkvirtualenv {{project_name}} or python -m venv {{project_name}}-venv

    If you're using Python's virtualenv (the latter option), make sure to create the environment with the suggested name, otherwise it will be added to version control.

  • Make sure the virtualenv is activated workon {{project_name}} or source {{project_name}}-venv/bin/activate

  • Run make compile_install_requirements to install the requirements

    Please make sure you have already setup PostgreSQL on your environment before installing the requirements

    In case you wish to use a Conda virtual environment, please remove the line export PIP_REQUIRE_VIRTUALENV=true; \ from Makefile

Run the backend app

  • With the virtualenv enabled, go to the backend directory
  • Create the migrations for users app: python makemigrations
  • Run the migrations: python migrate
  • Run the project: python runserver
  • Open a browser and go to http://localhost:8000 to see the project running

Setup Celery

  • Open a command line window and go to the project's directory
  • workon {{project_name}} or source {{project_name}}-venv/bin/activate depending on if you are using virtualenvwrapper or just virtualenv.
  • python celery


  • For development, we use Mailhog to test our e-mail workflows, since it allows us to inspect the messages to validate they're correctly built
    • Docker users already have it setup and running once they start the project
    • For non-Docker users, please have a look here for instructions on how to setup Mailhog on specific environments

The project expects Mailhog SMTP server to be running on port 1025, you may alter that by changing EMAIL_PORT on settings


make test

Will run django tests using --keepdb and --parallel. You may pass a path to the desired test module in the make command. E.g.:

make test someapp.tests.test_views

Adding new pypi libs

Add the libname to either or, then either upgrade the libs with make upgrade or manually compile it and then, install. pip-compile > requirements.txt or make upgrade pip install -r requirements.txt



This project comes with an app.json file, which can be used to create an app on Heroku from a GitHub repository.

Before deploying, please make sure you've generated an up-to-date requirements.txt file containing the Python dependencies. This is necessary even if you've used Docker for local runs. Do so by following these instructions.

After setting up the project, you can init a repository and push it on GitHub. If your repository is public, you can use the following button:


If you are in a private repository, access the following link replacing $YOUR_REPOSITORY_LINK$ with your repository link.


Remember to fill the ALLOWED_HOSTS with the URL of your app, the default on heroku is Replace appname with your heroku app name.


Sentry is already set up on the project. For production, add SENTRY_DSN environment variable on Heroku, with your Sentry DSN as the value.

You can test your Sentry configuration by deploying the boilerplate with the sample page and clicking on the corresponding button.

Sentry source maps for JS files

The bin/post_compile script has a step to push Javascript source maps to Sentry, however some environment variables need to be set on Heroku.

You need to enable Heroku dyno metadata on your Heroku App. Use the following command on Heroku CLI:

  • heroku labs:enable runtime-dyno-metadata -a <app name>

The environment variables that need to be set are:

After enabling dyno metadata and setting the environment variables, your next Heroku Deploys will create a release on Sentry where the release name is the commit SHA, and it will push the source maps to it.


  • Manually with prospector and npm run lint on project root.
  • During development with an editor compatible with prospector and ESLint.

Pre-commit hooks

  • Run pre-commit install to enable the hook into your git repo. The hook will run automatically for each commit.
  • Run git commit -m "Your message" -n to skip the hook if you need.

Opinionated Settings

Some settings defaults were decided based on Vinta's experiences. Here's the rationale behind them:


We believe Celery tasks should be idempotent. So for us it's safe to set CELERY_ACKS_LATE = True to ensure tasks will be re-queued after a worker failure. Check Celery docs on "Should I use retry or acks_late?" for more info.

Features Catalogue


  • react for building interactive UIs
  • react-dom for rendering the UI
  • react-router for page navigation
  • webpack for bundling static assets
  • webpack-bundle-tracker for providing the bundled assets to Django
  • Styling
    • bootstrap for providing responsive stylesheets
    • react-bootstrap for providing components built on top of Bootstrap CSS without using plugins
    • node-sass for providing compatibility with SCSS files
  • State management and backend integration
    • axios for performing asynchronous calls
    • cookie for easy integration with Django using the csrftoken cookie
    • redux for easy state management across the application
    • connected-react-router for integrating Redux with React Router
    • history for providing browser history to Connected React Router
    • react-redux for integrating React with Redux
    • redux-devtools-extension for inspecting and debugging Redux via browser
    • redux-thunk for interacting with the Redux store through asynchronous logic
  • Utilities
    • lodash for general utility functions
    • classnames for easy working with complex CSS class names on components
    • prop-types for improving QoL while developing providing basic type-checking for React props
    • react-hot-loader for improving QoL while developing through automatic browser refreshing


  • django for building backend logic using Python
  • djangorestframework for building a REST API on top of Django
  • django-webpack-loader for rendering the bundled frontend assets
  • django-js-reverse for easy handling of Django URLs on JS
  • psycopg2 for using PostgreSQL database
  • sentry-sdk for error monitoring
  • python-decouple for reading environment variables on settings files
  • celery for background worker tasks
  • django-debreach for additional protection against BREACH attack
  • whitenoise and brotlipy for serving static assets


If you wish to contribute to this project, please first discuss the change you wish to make via an issue.

Check our contributing guide to learn more about our development process and how you can test your changes to the boilerplate.

Commercial Support

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This project is maintained by Vinta Software and is used in products of Vinta's clients. We are always looking for exciting work, so if you need any commercial support, feel free to get in touch: [email protected]

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Django React Boilerplate" Project. README Source: vintasoftware/django-react-boilerplate
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