Django to PHP

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How to convert from Django to PHP

Transitioning a web application from Django, a high-level Python web framework, to PHP can be a complex task. For Django developers proficient in Python yet relatively new to PHP, grasping how to transfer their project successfully is critical. This guide delves into the essential steps for converting a Django-based web application into PHP, ensuring a smooth transition.

Understanding Django and PHP

Before embarking on the conversion, it’s vital to understand both frameworks' core differences and structures:

  • Django: A high-level Python framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  • PHP: A general-purpose scripting language especially suited for web development.

Project Setup: Initializing the PHP Environment

Start by setting up your PHP environment. Unlike Django, which uses virtual environments, PHP utilizes a more laissez-faire approach.

Recommended Tools:

  • Web Server: Apache or Nginx.
  • PHP Interpreter: PHP 7.x or newer.
  • Database: MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc., as per your Django setup.
  • Framework: Laravel (optional, for structured PHP development).

Converting Django Models to PHP

Django models define the database structure and are written in Python. They need to be converted into PHP-based classes, likely using raw PHP or frameworks such as Laravel's Eloquent ORM.

Example Conversion:

Django Model (Python):

from django.db import models

class Article(models.Model):
    title = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    content = models.TextField()
    published_date = models.DateTimeField()

PHP Equivalent (Laravel Eloquent ORM):

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Article extends Model {
    protected $table = 'articles';

    protected $fillable = [
        'title', 'content', 'published_date'

Migrating Views and Templates

Views in Django manage the logic behind a webpage. In PHP, similar functionality can be mirrored using Controllers or standalone PHP scripts.

Basic Conversion:

Django View:

from django.shortcuts import render
from .models import Article

def article_list(request):
    articles = Article.objects.all()
    return render(request, 'article_list.html', {'articles': articles})

PHP Equivalent (Laravel Controller):

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use App\Models\Article;

class ArticleController {
    public function list() {
        $articles = Article::all();
        return view('article_list', ['articles' => $articles]);


Django uses its templating engine, whereas PHP developers may use Blade (Laravel) or plain PHP templates.

Django Template:

{% for article in articles %}
    <h2>{{ article.title }}</h2>
    <p>{{ article.content }}</p>
{% endfor %}

PHP Template (Blade):

@foreach ($articles as $article)
    <h2>{{ $article->title }}</h2>
    <p>{{ $article->content }}</p>

URL Routing and Mapping

Django uses a clear and straightforward URL dispatcher. This needs to be translated to the PHP routing system.

Django URL Dispatcher:

from django.urls import path
from . import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('articles/', views.article_list, name='article_list'),

PHP Routing (Laravel):

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;
use App\Http\Controllers\ArticleController;

Route::get('articles', [ArticleController::class, 'list'])->name('article_list');

Session Management and Middleware

In Django, session management and middleware are handled elegantly. PHP, particularly through Laravel, also offers robust session management and middleware utilities.

Example Middleware for Authentication:

Django Middleware:

class CustomMiddleware:
    def __init__(self, get_response):
        self.get_response = get_response

    def __call__(self, request):
        # Code executed for each request before the view (and later middleware) are called.
        return self.get_response(request)

PHP Middleware (Laravel):

namespace App\Http\Middleware;

use Closure;

class CustomMiddleware {
    public function handle($request, Closure $next) {
        // Code executed for each request before the view (and later middleware) are called.
        return $next($request);


The transition from Django to PHP involves clear mapping of database models, views, URL routing, and session management into PHP's equivalent constructs. Taking advantage of frameworks like Laravel can significantly streamline this process, providing a structured and powerful alternative to vanilla PHP. It's crucial to meticulously outline and execute these conversions to maintain functionality and integrity in your web application.

With this comprehensive guide, converting from Django to PHP should be more manageable, bridging the gap between Python’s elegance and PHP’s web-centric capabilities. Stay patient and methodical, and your project will transition smoothly.

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