Debugging is an essential skill for every Django developer. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer, you’ll inevitably encounter bugs and errors in your Django applications. Knowing how to effectively debug your code can save you countless hours of frustration and help you deliver high-quality software. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various techniques, tools, and best practices for debugging Django applications. By the end of this article, you’ll have a robust toolkit to tackle any debugging challenge that comes your way.

Understanding the debugging process

Before diving into specific debugging techniques, let’s take a moment to understand the general debugging process:

  1. Reproduce the bug: The first step is to consistently reproduce the bug. Identify the steps or conditions that trigger the issue.
  2. Isolate the problem: Narrow down the scope of the problem by isolating the relevant code snippets or modules.
  3. Gather information: Collect as much information as possible about the bug, including error messages, stack traces, and relevant data.
  4. Form a hypothesis: Based on the gathered information, form a hypothesis about the potential cause of the bug.
  5. Test and iterate: Test your hypothesis by making changes to the code or environment. Iterate until you find the root cause of the bug.
  6. Fix and verify: Once you’ve identified the issue, implement a fix and verify that it resolves the bug without introducing new problems.

Debugging techniques for Django

Now, let’s explore some specific debugging techniques that are particularly useful in the context of Django applications:

Print debugging

One of the simplest and most common debugging techniques is print debugging. It involves adding print statements at strategic points in your code to output relevant information. Here’s an example:

def my_view(request):
    print(f"Request method: {request.method}")
    print(f"Request parameters: {request.GET}")
    # Rest of the view code

By adding print statements, you can inspect the values of variables, trace the flow of execution, and identify where the bug might be occurring.

Django Debug Toolbar

The Django Debug Toolbar is a powerful tool that provides a wealth of information about your application’s performance and behavior. It displays a toolbar in your browser with real-time statistics and insights. Here’s how to set it up:

Install the package:

pip install django-debug-toolbar

Add ‘debug_toolbar’ to your INSTALLED_APPS in


Update your project’s to include the Debug Toolbar URLs:

from django.urls import include, path

urlpatterns = [
    path('__debug__/', include('debug_toolbar.urls')),

Add the Debug Toolbar middleware to your MIDDLEWARE in


Set INTERNAL_IPS in to enable the toolbar for your local development environment:


With the Django Debug Toolbar set up, you can access valuable information such as SQL queries, templates, HTTP headers, and more, helping you identify performance bottlenecks and potential issues.

Django logging

Django provides a robust logging framework that allows you to capture and store log messages at different severity levels. Logging can be incredibly useful for debugging and monitoring your application. Here’s how to set up logging in your Django project:

Configure logging in your file:

    'version': 1,
    'disable_existing_loggers': False,
    'handlers': {
        'console': {
            'class': 'logging.StreamHandler',
    'loggers': {
        'django': {
            'handlers': ['console'],
            'level': 'INFO',
        'myapp': {
            'handlers': ['console'],
            'level': 'DEBUG',

In this example, we define a console handler that outputs log messages to the console. We also configure loggers for the ‘django’ and ‘myapp’ modules, setting their log levels to ‘INFO’ and ‘DEBUG’, respectively.

To log messages in your code, you can use the logging module:

import logging

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

def my_view(request):
    logger.debug("This is a debug message")"This is an info message")
    logger.warning("This is a warning message")
    logger.error("This is an error message")
    # Rest of the view code

By strategically placing log statements throughout your code, you can track the flow of execution, capture relevant data, and identify issues more easily.

Django shell

The Django shell is an interactive Python shell that loads your Django project’s settings and allows you to interact with your models and other project components. It’s a valuable tool for debugging and testing snippets of code. To start the Django shell, run the following command:

python shell

Once in the shell, you can import your models, execute queries, and test out code snippets:

from myapp.models import MyModel

# Execute other queries or test code snippets

The Django shell provides a quick and convenient way to test and debug small pieces of code without the need to set up a full request-response cycle.

Python debugging tools

In addition to Django-specific debugging tools, you can leverage Python’s built-in debugging utilities:

  • pdb: The Python Debugger (pdb) is a built-in module that allows you to interactively debug your code. You can set breakpoints, step through code line by line, inspect variables, and more. To use pdb, import the module and add breakpoints in your code:

import pdb

def my_view(request):
    # Some code
    # Rest of the code

When the execution reaches the pdb.set_trace() line, it will pause, and you can use pdb commands to debug your code interactively.

  • IDE Debuggers: Most modern IDEs, such as PyCharm, Visual Studio Code, and Eclipse, come with built-in debuggers. These debuggers provide a graphical interface to set breakpoints, step through code, and inspect variables. Familiarize yourself with your IDE’s debugging features to streamline your debugging process.

debugging with PyCharm

Best practices for debugging Django applications

In addition to the specific debugging techniques mentioned above, here are some best practices to keep in mind when debugging Django applications:

  1. Enable Django’s debug mode: During development, make sure to set DEBUG = True in your file. Debug mode provides detailed error pages and additional debugging information.
  2. Use version control: Use a version control system like Git to track changes to your code. This allows you to easily revert to a previous working state if needed and helps in collaborating with others.
  3. Write tests: Writing unit tests and integration tests for your Django application can help catch bugs early and ensure the correctness of your code. Django provides a testing framework that integrates seamlessly with your project.
  4. Use assertions: Use assertions to verify assumptions and catch potential issues early in the development process. Assertions can help detect invalid states or unexpected conditions.
  5. Isolate the problem: When debugging, try to isolate the problem by minimizing the scope of the code you’re examining. Focus on the relevant modules, views, or templates related to the bug.
  6. Take breaks: Debugging can be challenging and frustrating at times. If you find yourself stuck, take a break, step away from the code, and come back with a fresh perspective. Often, the solution becomes clearer after a brief mental reset.


Debugging is an integral part of the Django development process. By understanding the debugging process, leveraging Django’s debugging tools, and following best practices, you can effectively identify and resolve bugs in your applications. Remember to use print debugging, the Django Debug Toolbar, logging, the Django shell, and Python debugging tools to gain insights into your code’s behavior.

Debugging is a skill that improves with practice. Embrace the challenges, learn from your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. With persistence and the right techniques, you’ll become a proficient Django debugger.

Last Update: 18/06/2024