Python is a popular multi-purpose or general-purpose programming language that can be used to develop almost any computer program, including applications and websites. Python is a great choice for making dynamic websites. If you’re new to Python and web development, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a pro to get started.
This article will show you step-by-step how to use Python to make a website, along with the tools and libraries you’ll need to get started.
- Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for various applications, from web development to data science to machine learning.
- Python code is easy to read and understand, making it more accessible to beginners and easier to maintain for experienced programmers
- Also, Python has a large and active community of developers, which has led to creating of a vast ecosystem of packages, libraries, and frameworks that can be used to build complex applications quickly
- Python is a portable language, meaning code written on one platform (e.g., Windows) can be efficiently run on another platform (e.g., Linux) without modification
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Setting Up the Environment
When developing a website, you must begin by setting up the environment, which involves starting with small steps. For example, to set up Python, you need to follow a series of steps to prepare your computer and development environment for building a web application using Python programming language. The steps include:
- Installing Python
- Choosing a web framework
- Setting up a virtual environment
- Installing the required packages and libraries.
Installing Python involves downloading the appropriate version of Python for your operating system and installing it on your computer. While it is said that codes developed with Python can function on any operating system without modifications, it’s essential that you first develop them on the right operating system before they can function correctly.
To correctly run a Python-developed website, you must ensure that your system is updated to the latest version of Python. In addition, if you’re operating your server via a hosting provider, the version of your Python-based website must be similar to that of your hosting provider. When there is a misalignment in the version used, it can cause your website to load incorrectly.
Choosing a Web Framework and Set Virtual Environment
Another vital step required when creating your website via Python is choosing your framework. Choosing a web framework that fits your site project requirements and setting up a virtual environment, an isolated environment for your Python code that allows you to install specific versions of packages and dependencies without affecting other Python projects on your computer.
Many popular frameworks are available on the internet today, making it very straightforward and faster for you to create a website. Some of the popular frameworks include Django, Flask, Web2Py, and AIOHTTP. At Host Advice, we select the best frameworks that are compatible with your operating system and can improve the functionalities of your website while allowing you to install the right packages and libraries that are best for your needs.
Installing Required Packages and Libraries
The next step is to install any necessary packages and dependencies that your web application requires, such as database drivers, libraries for data visualization, or authentication modules. If you want the embedded code for your website to be well organized, ensure you install packages that possess the right functions, classes, and variables required for your website.
Conversely, you need to consider selecting the correct libraries during installation. Python libraries help contain a collection of related packages and modules that allows the reuse of codes. Hence, you can create websites that follow similar structures to a previously designed website.
Designing the Website
Designing a website involves planning and creating visual and functional components. The graphics, content, navigation tools, and overall interface. Some basic Python design patterns and factors to consider when designing your website, such as the website wireframes, structure, layout, and more. We will extend more on this in the below subheadings:
Understanding Website Structure and Design
Understanding your website structure and design stems from identifying the website’s purpose and target audience and stating a well-defined goal and objective. This enables you to determine how the pages and content on your website are structured in tandem with other pages on your site.
There are many benefits to having a good website structure and design. Significant benefits include having a website with improved user experience, establishing easier content management, and also improves search engine rankings and crawlability. The primary types of website structures are:
- Hierarchical website structure (Tree model)
- Linear website structure (Sequential model)
- Webbed website structure (Network model), and
- Database website structure
Select the website structure that best fits your proposed website and business goals and visions.
Creating Website Wireframes
Website wireframes are created to define the website’s layout, structure, information hierarchy, and user flow. It is a rough draft of your website’s possible outlook, and it involves sketching out the website’s essential design elements, such as headers, footers, and sidebars. The goal of creating a website wireframe is to determine each page’s layout, functions, and relationship before the designs are made or a developer begins coding with Python.
Once you understand how to create a website wireframe, it reduces the time required to design your website. Wireframing doesn’t involve curating in-depth design choices, color, or content. Instead, it focuses on functionality and user experience and will require much testing and mockups. You can use specialized tools to create your wireframes or sketch on paper or whiteboards.
Building Website Layout and Navigation
This process involves translating the wireframes into a high-fidelity design and creating an intuitive and easy-to-use navigation structure. Your website’s navigation structure significantly affects bounce rates, conversions, and sales. If your website visitors find it difficult to locate what they want on your site, it invariably involves how long they stay there.
It’s essential to ensure that the website’s layout and navigation are consistent across all pages to maintain a cohesive user experience. The general rule of thumb is that your website navigation structure should be less comprehensive, so visitors can find what they need on your site with three clicks. Without a website layout and navigation structure, visitors can’t seamlessly find your product listing, pricing details, blogs, email signup page, etc.
Adding Dynamic Content to the Website
This step involves creating and implementing code for website features, such as search functionality, user accounts, and data visualization. Inserting dynamic content into your website helps you to curate content that automatically adapts to changes in user behavior, preference, or signal.
Dynamic content on your website changes based on how they are coded and may display differently for different users in some cases. This is because dynamic content helps you design a website that can individually adapt to distinct visitors. With these, you can curate relevant content that fits your audiences at various periods.
Building the Website
Once you have established your website structure and design, the next phase is to develop the website. To incorporate the important elements that can create an appropriate and excellent website, it’s important to keep in mind the purpose and audience of the website. It’s also essential to ensure that the design and functionality of the website align with the goals you have established.
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It’s also important to test your website regularly after building it to ensure that it’s functioning properly and meeting the needs of its users. Here are the essential factors to consider while building your website:
Creating the Necessary Files and Folders
In addition, ensure that you keep all the files related to your website in a single folder. This makes the files easily accessible whenever needed and can serve as a mirror to the published file structure of your website.
The elements, text, pictures, color, header, fonts, and animation displayed on a website all come from the instructions or codes input in a way the computer can understand and ensure that these codes are input in the correct order or syntax. The kind of code written when creating your website defines the structure, style, and behavior of the website.
Connecting the Web Framework to the Website
Frameworks are what manages the browser settings and file structures, and outlines the templates for your website. So when connecting the web framework to the website, you’re simply creating routes that map to specific URLs and handling user input. With frameworks, you can simplify complex navigation menus and consistently apply them across your website.
Adding functionality to your website using Python ensures that each programming function or code input is compatible with your web server. For example, you may have to develop your MySQL tables for your database by running programs encompassing all data structures required for your site. Moreover, measures should be taken to prevent SQL injection attacks or other types of malicious input. Here are the primary ways to add functionality to your website:
Using Python to Create Dynamic Web Pages
You can create tools and libraries for building dynamic web applications by using a Python-enabled web framework, such as Flask or Django. For example, Django’s Venv module offers support for creating small virtual environments that can be selectively segregated from system site directories and have their site directories.
Each web page environment has a unique Python binary corresponding to the binary version used to build the environment. In addition, each virtual environment can also have a unique independent set of installed Python packages within its site folders.
Adding a Database
Python can connect to a database, such as SQLite or MySQL, and retrieve or update data as needed. This involves creating database tables by running a program after defining all the data structures we require in the models, defining relationships between them, and writing SQL queries to retrieve or modify data.
Creating Forms and Handling User Input
Python can handle form submissions, validate user input, store data in a database or send it to an external API. For example, it’s simple to input and assign a user input to a variable name. Just assign input() to a variable name; when it runs, it will prompt the user to enter text in a little box. Python can also help you create forms that can accept multiple entries and responses in a data frame.
Testing and Debugging
Debugging and testing are critical steps in the website development process to ensure that the website functions as expected and provides a positive user experience. Debugging helps you identify and fix bugs in your code, while testing enables you to evaluate the components in your code or system to determine if it meets the needed requirements. Here are a few things you can do to debug and test the codes embedded in your website:
Checking for Errors and Bugs
Here, all that’s required is to conduct a functional text on the commands on your website to ensure that all the links, buttons, and forms are working properly. Even the best programmer or developer may have errors and bugs in their codes when writing; hence checking for these errors and bugs is essential. It’s best to understand the error message, know the error location, and the type and description of the error.
Testing the user experience and understanding the errors in the website will ensure that the site is easy to navigate and the content is accessible and understandable. Another important thing to note is that these errors may be unavoidable in some instances; however, being able to efficiently and quickly resolve them before they pose a bigger issue is very significant.
Using Debugging Tools to Fix Issues
Debugging tools, such as browser developer tools, Python debuggers, or logging tools, help track down the issue’s source. Once the issue has been identified, the developer can fix it by modifying the code or configuration of the website. For example, the common means of debugging Python code is utilizing the print() function. This function helps you identify locations where the error occurs and allows you to output the variables.
Another debugging tool used to fix Python issues is the built-in pdp library. The pdp library is a command-line debugging tool that inspects variables and controls the execution of commands embedded in your code. To quickly discover the error source, the pdp library has the set_trace() function that allows you to examine a specific program at given points.
Continuous testing and debugging are necessary to ensure that the website remains functional as new features are added, or changes are made to the code. Developers can use unit tests to test and debug code on the website continually.
Unittest is a testing mechanism imputed in the Python standard library that offers a comprehensive set of tools for developing and executing automated tests, including the capacity to build test cases and test suites and to declare that particular criteria are met on your website.
Website deployment emanates from the process that stems from developing the site, testing to make sure it works, and being ready to push it to a live web server. Before deployment, ensuring the website is optimized for performance, security, and search engine visibility is important. Here are a few steps to deploy your website after its development.
Choosing a Web Hosting Provider
Deciding on the best web hosting service to set up your website is an essential factor to consider when deploying your website. A web host is a service provider that provides space on a server to host the website. Web hosters usually have a website server that conveniently serves the requirement of your designed website.
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Deploying the Website to a Server
Your website files need to be uploaded to the server. Depending on your website’s configurations and requirements, you can use an FTP client or a web-based file manager provided by the web host to upload your website files. However, you must choose between a static or dynamic web server to publish a website.
A dynamic web server combines the function of a static web server with other application servers and databases and updates your website files before extending their content to your browser. A static web server, on the other hand, consists of a hardware and HTTP server that directly sends your website files to your browser.
Configuring Server Settings and Security
Configuring server settings and security involves setting up the domain name, configuring SSL (if needed), and configuring the web server software (e.g., Apache or Nginx) to handle incoming requests. A domain name can be set up directly on your server or the host server.
However, setting a subdomain on a host server that is different from where you have your main domain will create a new directory. So if you are using a particular host provider, it’s important that you set up the website in the same place you have your main domain. This helps you to configure the settings and security on your website easily.
Launching the Website
Once every element in the building of your website looks good and your goals are reached, the next step is to launch the website. During this stage, it’s good to check that the live site is functional and all internal and outbound links are redirected to the right page. Most importantly, ensure that after deployment, the website is maintained regularly.
One of the greatest languages for creating a website is undoubtedly Python. It’s easy to learn, logical, and capable of creating safe, scalable, and affordable websites. You can develop your website with Python if you know. However, you can always hire a qualified Python developer to build your website if you don’t have the required knowledge. This frees you up to concentrate on your primary business operations.