Looking at the list of sites created using django, it seems there are no major web sites that are written using the framework.

Why is this? Is django not suited to scalable web sites, or is it in fact that Python loses out to PHP because more developers know it or there are more OSS components available while enterprise favours .NET or Java?

How suitable is Python compared to PHP for instance? I saw some benchmarks recently that put Python way faster than PHP.

I'm looking for answers a little more in-depth than "anything can be made to work/use what you know" etc please.


-- edit --

Thanks for the answers everyone.

  • From Wikipedia "It was originally developed to manage several news-oriented sites for The World Company". Google is making heavy investments into Python (especially the speed of it code.google.com/p/unladen-swallow) but apart from cursory inclusion in App Engine there would appear to be nothing concrete documented in public.
    – Metalshark
    Jul 20, 2010 at 21:20
  • I'd say that you'd have better luck asking this on Stack Overflow, but you probably wouldn't. This question is very subjective .. and not quite on topic for this site. Please consider revising it so that a single (technically) correct answer can be provided, and bring it into the realm of managing web sites, instead of picking a development framework.
    – Tim Post
    Jul 20, 2010 at 23:41
  • Vote to close as off-topic.
    – delete
    Jul 22, 2010 at 4:18
  • YouTube uses Python I believe.
    – William
    Oct 11, 2014 at 7:23

8 Answers 8


Yes, The Onion uses Django for the A/V Club part of their site. Apparently they are gradually migrating the whole site towards Django. They answered a whole bunch of question on reddit.

Also, reddit.com which serves millions of page views each day, is written in python, but not Django. I believe they use Pylons but I could be wrong.

  • 1
    The Onion has switched to ASP.net recently.
    – wassimans
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:07

washingtonpost is a large website that runs on Django according to http://www.djangoproject.com/.


NASA and PBS use Django all over the place.

  • While there is centralization taking place, NASA has thousands of websites which were originally developed independent of one another and thus the technology used for these sites is all over the place.
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 14, 2012 at 4:21

Might want to have a look at this link. Talks about a large Russian site and the problems they had with launching a large Django project.

  • 1
    The author made a lot of very very poor decisions, like having a 4-table JOIN (that included the largest table in the database) on the index page, which every user sees. And using hashes for keys instead of simple integer auto-increments. This article has very little to do with the performance of Django and very much to do with the author's very poor development.
    – Bryson
    Jul 22, 2010 at 23:16
  • using hashes as keys for a session table is standard practice - you couldn't use auto-incrementing keys, or you'd leave the app susceptible to trivial session hijacking attacks. I agree that they aren't necessarily django problems though - although maybe it slightly is if there isn't a way to specify the engine to use for the session table.
    – ralphy
    Jul 24, 2010 at 10:51

... in short:

Google uses Python virtually everywhere and Django in Appengine.

Visit djangosites.org for mode ...


instagr.am & pinterest are fairly large... apparently they use Django.


I'm not sure "largeness" matters. Django is a well-respected and impressive framework which has managed some great sites, particularly lawrence.com. You can look at djangosites.com for other sites running django.

If you're looking for a "case study" of how and why django is great and can scale, check out Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian’s (spectacular) expenses-scandal experiment.


Yes. There are some pretty large sites written with Django. You can see a list of sites using django here, some get significant traffic.

It can be done if you design and configure Django correctly. In particular caching must be set up properly. Django has recently come out with several improvments designed to improve scalability in particular the ability to easily use multiple databases, you can read about the scalability improvemnts in Django 1.2 here.

Django is a lot younger than PHP (1995 vs 2005). A lot of the improvments made in Django scalability are very recent, I think we'll see larger Django sites as time goes on and the project matures.

This topic is discussed in great detail with lots of good links on StackOverflow.

  • thanks for the links - thought this'd be off-topic for stack overflow
    – ralphy
    Jul 24, 2010 at 10:53