Efficient Django Project Settings with Split Settings Library

Django is a popular web framework that allows developers to quickly and easily create complex web applications. However, as projects grow in size, managing settings for different environments can become challenging. This is where the Django Split Settings library comes in.

In this blog post, we will explore the Django Split Settings library and discuss how it can help manage your Django project’s settings efficiently. We will also cover how to use the library at a professional level.

What is Django Split Settings?

Django Split Settings is a library that allows you to organize your Django project settings into multiple files based on environment. With this library, you can split your settings into different files based on development, staging, and production environments, for example.

Using Django Split Settings makes it easy to manage and organize your project’s settings, especially when dealing with complex projects. You can also use the library to store sensitive information like passwords and secret keys securely.

How to Use Django Split Settings

Using Django Split Settings is relatively simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Install the Library

The first step is to install the Django Split Settings library using pip. Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command:

pip install django-split-settings

Step 2: Create the Settings Files

Create separate settings files for each environment that you want to configure. For example, you can create three files: base.py, development.py, and production.py.

In the base.py file, add the common settings for all environments. This could include database settings, middleware, installed apps, and other settings that are common across all environments.

In the development.py file, add settings specific to the development environment, such as DEBUG mode, development database settings, and so on. Similarly, in the production.py file, add settings for the production environment, such as production database settings, static files configuration, and so on.

Step 3: Create the Split Settings File

Create a split_settings.py file in your Django project’s root directory. This file will combine the settings from the base.py, development.py, and production.py files based on the environment.

Here’s an example of what the split_settings.py file could look like:

from split_settings.tools import include

# Include the base settings file

# Include the environment-specific settings file based on the environment
if 'development' in os.environ.get('DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE', ''):
elif 'production' in os.environ.get('DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE', ''):

The include() function is used to include the settings files. In this example, we include the base.py file first, followed by the environment-specific file based on the environment.

Step 4: Update the manage.py File

Update the manage.py file to use the split_settings.py file as the Django settings module.

Here’s an example of what the updated manage.py file could look like:

import os
import sys

if __name__ == "__main__":
    os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "split_settings.settings")
    from django.core.management import execute_from_command_line

Make sure to replace split_settings.settings with the name of your split_settings.py file.

Step 5: Test the Settings

Test your settings by running your Django project in the desired environment. For example, if you want to run your project in development mode, set the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable to split_settings.settings.development and run your project using the manage.py file.

Create custom setting file

To create a custom file and add it to your Django project’s settings, follow these steps:

  • Create the Custom File
    Create a new Python file in your Django project’s root directory. You can name this file anything you like, but it’s best to use a descriptive name that reflects its purpose.

For example, if you’re creating a file to store email settings, you could name it email_settings.py.

  • Define the Settings
    In the custom file, define the settings you want to add to your project. For example, if you’re creating an email settings file, you might include settings like the SMTP host, port, username, and password.

Here’s an example of what the email_settings.py file might look like:

EMAIL_HOST = 'smtp.example.com'
EMAIL_HOST_USER = 'username'
  • Add the Custom File to Settings
    To add the custom file to your project’s settings, you need to include it in your split_settings.py file.

Add the following line to your split_settings.py file, replacing path/to/custom/file.py with the path to your custom file:

from django.conf import settings

email_host = settings.EMAIL_HOST

That’s it! You’ve created a custom file and added it to your Django project’s settings.

Note that you should be careful when adding custom settings to your project, especially if they contain sensitive information like passwords or secret keys. Make sure to keep these settings secure and not include them in version control.

Best practices

Here are some additional tips and best practices to help you use the Django Split Settings library at a professional level:

  • Use Environment Variables
    Using environment variables to specify the environment is a best practice. This makes it easier to switch between different environments without changing any code. You can set the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable to the desired settings file, as shown in Step 5 above.

  • Keep Sensitive Information in Separate Files
    Sensitive information like passwords and secret keys should be kept in separate files that are not version controlled. You can then include these files in your settings files using the include() function.

For example, you could create a secrets.py file that contains sensitive information and add the following line to your split_settings.py file:


Make sure to add the secrets.py file to your .gitignore file or equivalent to prevent it from being version controlled.

  • Use Configuration Management Tools
    Using configuration management tools like Ansible, Chef, or Puppet can help automate the deployment process and ensure that the correct settings are used for each environment. These tools can also help manage sensitive information securely.

  • Keep the Settings Files Organized
    Organize your settings files in a way that makes sense for your project. For example, you could create a separate folder for each environment and store the settings files in those folders.

  • Document Your Settings
    Make sure to document your settings files to make it easier for other developers to understand how the project is configured. You can use comments in the settings files or create separate documentation files.


In conclusion, the Django Split Settings library is a powerful tool for managing Django project settings efficiently. By following best practices like using environment variables, keeping sensitive information in separate files, and using configuration management tools, you can use the library at a professional level to make your Django project development process smoother and more organized.

Django Split Settings

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