Django File Upload using FileField Tutorial

Uploading files in web development is one of the key functionalities without which web developers can’t really digest their website. This functionality is used in various fields in their own unique ways. It could be used  for simple user registration which involves uploading images  as an avatar, for uploading videos as on youtube, for uploading favourite songs as on saavn and the list goes on. As a conclusion, we can say that it is immensely important for one to learn the uploading of files in order to be a good Django web developer. So here is the post explaining Django File Upload using FileField.

More specifically, in this example of Django File Upload, we’ll be doing a user registration webapp containing just two links which will be as follows

  • Since we just need to focus on upload of file, as an registration process, we’ll take input of user’s name and his/her profile picture which would  be uploaded on the local server.
  • Later the url of uploaded profile picture would be used to show the list of user with each user containing his/her name and profile picture.

Okay, here is the link description:-

  1. The first link would be where the user would input his/her name and profile picture.
  2. The second link would be where the list of registered users would be shown.

Now that you are aquainted with the aim of this Django File Upload example, let’s get started with code.

To accomplish the task of taking inputs in this example, ModelForms have been used which reduce the pain of defining forms. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with  ModelForms. Just go through the post on Modelforms for which the link has been given below.

Django ModelForm Example

Django File Upload Tutorial

Creating a new Project

  • Run your Windows PowerShell in Administrator Mode and run the following command to navigate into the desktop directory :

  • Run the command below to start a project new django project:

  • As you do, you will see a  folder on your desktop containing the django files named website
  • Open the folder in any Django IDE or any text editor will work fine.
  • Run the command below to change the directory of PowerShell to the folder “website”:

Creating a new App inside the Project

  • Run the command below to start a new app into your project.

  • Here, uploadfileapp is the name of your app. As your run the above command, a folder named uploadfileapp will show up in the website folder.

Coding the App

Creating Model

  • We need to  create a model of the data which we are going to work upon i.e. the name and avatar of the user.
  • To do so, look for the file in your app folder and add the code below:-

  • The function get_absolute_url in the above code simply returns the url to which the the user entry page is forwaded once the submit button is hit. In this case, it will return to the home page after the user entry adding the currently registered user  to the list.
  • To generate the form, model forms simply access the the The names of the parameters here become the respective labels in the form followed by a input box.

Registering Model

  • Now we need to register the above model into the file in the users folder. To do so, add the following code to the file present in  your app folder.

  • By now, the model of the database is ready. But we need to  implement this database into the SQLite db. Doing so the SQLite db will create its own model of the same dataset. To do so,  open the Windows PowerShell and the follow the commands  given below.

Making Migrations

  • Make sure that the shell is navigated into the website  folder and run the following command.

  • Next, run the command below to actually implement it into the database.

  • By now, the database is created into the sqlite db.

Configuring the Views

  • This is where modelforms play an important role in form related tasks and data handling.
  • No request handling for forms and no data is to be manually saved into the database as we work with modelforms.

Hence, look for the file in your app folder and then add the following code:-

  • In the above file, the class HomeView generates the list of all the registered user in the form of an arraylist named user_list which is later used in the html files  to display the existing users’ data. Also, the html file to be rendered with this view is  mentioned here in the same.
  • Similarly, in the class UserEntry, the fields have been mentioned according to  which the form is to be created.

That was all we had to do the backend. Now, we gotta take care of the front end.i.e the HTML and the CSS.

Building UI for the app

  • To do so, firstly create a directory named templates into the folder uploadfileapp.
  • Now, in the templates folder, create another directory named uploadfileapp and it should be like /uploadfileapp/templates/uploadfileapp/.
  • In the uploadfileapp folder present in templates directory, create a new HTML file called user_form.html and add the following code:-

  • The above html generates the input panel for the user’s name and  avatar.
  • Now, in the same folder, create another html file named home_page.html and add the following code:-

  • The above html code displays the list of registered users.
  • In the same directory, create one last html file named form-template.html and add the code below .This will serve as a base template for each field in the form. You can see this included in the html of the file user_form.html:-

Setting Up Bootstrap

In this example, we also made use of some of the classes of bootstrap. So to use bootstrap in this project, follow the steps given below:-

  • Go to the link given below and download bootstrap.css file.


  • In your app folder, create a folder named static. Next in static folder, create another folder by the name of this webapp i.e. uploadfileapp and add the downloaded bootstrapp.css file into the same.

And your bootstrap is all set.

  • We’re almost done. The UI and backend both are ready. We just need to link the broken ends by configuring the urls. To do so, create a file named in your app folder and add the code below:-

  • Follow the comments to understand the url patterns in the above code.

Finalizing project-

  • In the folder website, there’s a file called Hop over to the bottom of this file until you spot the line “

  • Now below the line, add another set of lines as shown below:-

  • In the same folder website, look for the url file called and add the following code:-

  • Finally, mention your app into the INSTALLED APPS category in the file in your website folder as shown below:-

  • Thats’ all. We are done coding the app.
  • And your uploadfileapp is all set to undergo a test run.

Running the App

  • Now lets try running the app. Make sure your development server is running. If not you can use the following command in your Windows PowerShell to run your development server.

Django Upload File  Example

  • Now go to the url to see your list of user entries:-

django file upload tutorial

  • Certainly, it was supposed to give the message saying no user found as no entries yet exist.
  • Now, if we click on “Add a new User ” button, its gonna take us to the url given below:-


django file upload tutorial



  • Once you make an entry, it’ll take you to the homepage showing the list of registered user as shown below:-


django file upload tutorial


  • Bingo! The webapp is working perfectly.
  • If you came across certain errors or dificulties in understading, let me know in the comments section.

So thats all for Django File Upload Tutorial friends. Stay tuned and I will post more useful tutorials that will help you in learning Web Development using Django. Meanwhile you can comment if you want a particular topic to be explained in the coming posts. Thank You 🙂

7 thoughts on “Django File Upload using FileField Tutorial”

  1. Thanks for this series of tutorials.

    I just want to add that I’m using Django 1.11 and I’m not able to make migrations unless I first register the app in the INSTALLED_APPS settings.

    Just in case anyone else is reading.

  2. django.core.exceptions.FieldError: Unknown field(s) (user_avatar) specified for User
    [15/Jul/2018 08:18:26] “POST /uploadfileapp/register/ HTTP/1.1” 500 104276
    Performing system checks…

    Getting erroe please help


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