How to deploy static files¶
For an introduction to the use of
Serving static files in production¶
The basic outline of putting static files into production consists of two
steps: run the
collectstatic command when static files change, then
arrange for the collected static files directory (
STATIC_ROOT) to be
moved to the static file server and served. Depending on
STATICFILES_STORAGE, files may need to be moved to a new location
manually or the
post_process method of
Storage class might take care of that.
As with all deployment tasks, the devil’s in the details. Every production setup will be a bit different, so you’ll need to adapt the basic outline to fit your needs. Below are a few common patterns that might help.
Serving the site and your static files from the same server¶
If you want to serve your static files from the same server that’s already serving your site, the process may look something like:
- Push your code up to the deployment server.
- On the server, run
collectstaticto copy all the static files into
- Configure your web server to serve the files in
STATIC_ROOTunder the URL
STATIC_URL. For example, here’s how to do this with Apache and mod_wsgi.
You’ll probably want to automate this process, especially if you’ve got multiple web servers.
Serving static files from a dedicated server¶
Most larger Django sites use a separate web server – i.e., one that’s not also running Django – for serving static files. This server often runs a different type of web server – faster but less full-featured. Some common choices are:
Configuring these servers is out of scope of this document; check each server’s respective documentation for instructions.
Since your static file server won’t be running Django, you’ll need to modify the deployment strategy to look something like:
Serving static files from a cloud service or CDN¶
Another common tactic is to serve static files from a cloud storage provider like Amazon’s S3 and/or a CDN (content delivery network). This lets you ignore the problems of serving static files and can often make for faster-loading web pages (especially when using a CDN).
When using these services, the basic workflow would look a bit like the above,
except that instead of using
rsync to transfer your static files to the
server you’d need to transfer the static files to the storage provider or CDN.
There’s any number of ways you might do this, but if the provider has an API,
you can use a custom file storage backend
to integrate the CDN with your Django project. If you’ve written or are using a
3rd party custom storage backend, you can tell
collectstatic to use
it by setting
STATICFILES_STORAGE to the storage engine.
For example, if you’ve written an S3 storage backend in
myproject.storage.S3Storage you could use it with:
STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'myproject.storage.S3Storage'
Once that’s done, all you have to do is run
collectstatic and your
static files would be pushed through your storage package up to S3. If you
later needed to switch to a different storage provider, you may only have to
For details on how you’d write one of these backends, see How to write a custom storage class. There are 3rd party apps available that provide storage backends for many common file storage APIs. A good starting point is the overview at djangopackages.org.