Deploy Django on Shared Hosting

In this post, I will present a step by step procedure to deploy a Django project to shared hosting. This is one of the options that you can avail to deploy your Django project. The advantage of shared hosting is that it is cheap. The disadvantage is that you might not be able to deploy some advanced projects because you can not install a software on your shared host. You can only install python modules via pip and some modules might not function correctly on a shared hosting. If your project is a basic website or a blog, it should work just fine. I have also used shared hosting to deploy APIs made in Django using the Django Rest Framework.

I have the Stellar Plus Plan of the NameCheap Shared Hosting which I will be using in this post. The basic Stellar plan provides you MySQL databases using which you can use the version 2.1 of Django because we will be using the pymysql module for the database drivers and the driver provided by pymysql works until Django 2.1. The Stellar Plus plan which I have provides you PostgreSQL databases in addition to the MySQL databases. If you use psycopg2 for PostgreSQL driver, you can use the latest version of Django. I have a separate post about that here. For this tutorial, I will be using the MySQL database with django 2.1.

I quickly created a Django project for giving this demo. The app has quotes in the database and it just displays them. You can download the project from github. I recommend you to download this project and practice deploying it before you deploy your actual project.

Note: You do not have to delete the migrations of your project to deploy it using Cpanel unless there is a problem with the migrations.

Create a Python App

Log in to CPanel and open Setup Python App.

Click on Create Application

  • Select Python Version 3.7.3
  • Application Root is the directory where you will place the code files of your Django project. Make sure that it is a different folder than your domain root.
  • Application URL is the domain or subdomain where your app will run
  • In the Application Startup File, type passenger_wsgi.py
  • In the Application Entry Point, type application
  • The Passenger log file is the file where logs will be stored. Set a file for this so that we can see the logs later if there is an error.

After setting all these, click on the Create button.

Setup the Database

Open MySQL Databases in Cpanel

Create a new Database and note the database name. We will need it later.

Create a new MySQL user and note the username and password. We will need it later.

Add the new user to the new Database

Grant all the permissions to the user and select Make Changes

Upload your project

Open the File Manager and go to the Application root you specified in the part 1

Zip your project. Upload it in this folder and extract the zip file. Your project files should be in the same folder as the passenger_wsgi.py file. Make sure that manage.py and passenger_wsgi.py are in the same folder.

Edit the passenger_wsgi.py file.

Add the following code to the file:

from base.wsgi import application

Where base is your project folder. It is the same folder that contains your settings.py file. It will be different if you are not using the test project that I provided. You can locate your wsgi.py file and import application from it.

Now edit your settings.py

Add your domain to the ALLOWED_HOSTS list. If there is a www version of your domain, add that too. Do not use http:// to https://

ALLOWED_HOSTS = ['django.umer.link']

In the DATABASES dictionary, modify the default database.

 'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
        'NAME': 'databasename',
        'USER': 'databaseusername',
        'PASSWORD': 'databasepassword',
        'HOST': 'localhost',
        'PORT': '3306',
    }

Make sure to replace databasename with the database name, databaseusername with the database username and databasepassword with the database password.

Now go to the end of the file, modify STATIC_URL and change the STATIC_ROOT

STATIC_URL = '/static/'
STATIC_ROOT = '/home/username/domainroot/static'

Replace the username with your CPanel username. The domainroot will be public_html if you are deploying on the main domain of your hosting account. If you are deploying on a subdomain or an add on domain, it will be name of the addon domain or the subdomain.

Now edit the __init__.py file

Add the following code

import pymysql

pymysql.install_as_MySQLdb()

Complete configuration from the Terminal

Open the Terminal in your CPanel. If you can not find the terminal, go to Manage Shell and Enable SSH Access. You can also do these steps using SSH but using the terminal is easy.

Copy the command to enter the virtual environment from your python app.

Run the copied command in the terminal and press enter to enter the virtual environment,

Install Django 2.1 by running the following command.

pip install django==2.1

Note: Do not install the latest version of Django. Django 2.1 is the maximum that you can use with a MySQL database on Shared hosting.

pymysql is required for using the MySQL database. Install it using pip. Here you will install any other modules required by your Django app.

pip install pymysql

If your migrations are not complete, then make migrations.

python manage.py makemigrations

Run migrate to create tables in the database.

python manage.py migrate

Run collectstatic to move the static files to the static root folder specified in settings.

python manage.py collectstatic

Run createsuperuser to ass a user to the Django admin panel

python manage.py createsuperuser

Finally, restart the python app.

Your Django app is deployed successfully. Open the url of your app to see if it is working fine. If you see the phusion passenger error page, you can find the error in the logs file you have set in the part 1.

Transfer your Database (Optional)

This part of the tutorial will be helpful if you have the app running locally or somewhere else and you want to transfer the data from the database to the one in your shared hosting. Here I will assume that you have the Django app on your computer and you want to transfer the data from the local database to the database on your shared hosting.

Run the following command on your computer to export all the data from the database to a json file.

python manage.py dumpdata>data.json

Now upload this file to the app folder in your shared hosting.

Open the terminal in the CPanel and enter the virtual environment (steps are mentioned in the previous part of the tutorial).

First, you will clear the database by running the following command:

python manage.py flush

Then run the following command to load the data from the data.json file into the database.

python manage.py loaddata data.json

Now if you open the url, you will see that the data has been added to the database.

FAQs

Saving an imagefield gives a 404 page

See this stack overflow for solution https://stackoverflow.com/questions/63328969/cannot-upload-media-files-on-cpanel-using-django

35 thoughts on “Deploy Django on Shared Hosting”

  1. i did the entire process as explained but i am not able to see my application it is showing site not found. I am using Dreamhost shared server. can you please help me out on ths.

    Reply
    • /home/username must not be the right directory for the subdomain. This is the root of your hosting account. The correct folder might be /home/username/subdomain. If it’s not, delete your subdomain and create it again with the right folder that I have mentioned. Actually, you have to provide the path of the folder in the STATIC_ROOT in settings.py.

      Reply
  2. First of all thank you for making deploying django app on shared hosting easy.

    I followed the steps you mentioned, however, at restarting the resulted in “We’re sorry, but something went wrong.” and I have no clue where to locate Error ID: fe669953 or how to fix it.

    Perhaps you can comment?

    Thankk

    Reply
  3. I am not sure where I can locate the logs. However, I have deleted the previous app, and am presently recreating follow the steps outlined above.

    In Namecheap when creating python app, there is no selection to Select Python Version 3.7.3.

    In my local machine, I have python 3.9 installed. Would this make a difference?

    Reply
      • App 1344889 output: /opt/passenger-5.3.7-9.el6.cloudlinux/src/helper-scripts/wsgi-loader.py:26: DeprecationWarning: the imp module is deprecated in favour of importlib; see the module’s documentation for alternative uses
        App 1344889 output: import sys, os, io, re, imp, threading, signal, traceback, socket, select, struct, logging, errno
        App 1388505 output: /opt/passenger-5.3.7-9.el6.cloudlinux/src/helper-scripts/wsgi-loader.py:26: DeprecationWarning: the imp module is deprecated in favour of importlib; see the module’s documentation for alternative uses
        App 1388505 output: import sys, os, io, re, imp, threading, signal, traceback, socket, select, struct, logging, errno

        Reply
  4. please i really need your help cant get my connect my static files to my project
    no styling and i recevice 404 with som link on my project

    Reply
    • First, try with the sample project that I have provided so that you get a practice of deploying. Then deploy your own project. This will help you identify the issue.

      Reply
  5. bro i did all steps but is show this error in passenger_wsgi.py file

    File “/home/techmjiu/techpediaa/passenger_wsgi.py”, line 1, in
    from blog_app.wsgi import application
    ModuleNotFoundError:
    No module named ‘blog_app.wsgi’

    how to fix it

    Reply
    • Instead of blog_app, you have to use the name of the folder that contains the wsgi.py file. It is the same folder that contains your settings.py.

      Reply

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