Django HttpResponse

last modified January 9, 2023

Django HttpResponse tutorial shows how to send string data with HttpResponse in Django.


Django is a high-level Python web framework. It encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Django's primary goal is to ease the creation of complex, database-driven websites.

Django is maintained by the Django Software Foundation.

Django HttpResponse

HttpResponse is a response class with string data. While HttpRequest is created by Django, HttpResponse is created by programmer.

HttpResponse has subclasses including JsonResponse, StreamingHttpResponse, and FileResponse.

Django HttpResponse example

In the following example, we create a Django application that sends text data to the client. We send today's datetime.

$ mkdir httpresponse
$ cd httpresponse
$ mkdir src
$ cd src

We create the project and the and src directories. Then we locate to the src directory.

$ django-admin startproject httpresponse .

We create a new Django project in the src directory.

Note: If the optional destination is provided, Django will use that existing directory as the project directory. If it is omitted, Django creates a new directory based on the project name. We use the dot (.) to create a project inside the current working directory.

$ cd ..
$ pwd

We locate to the project directory.

$ tree /f
│   db.sqlite3
│   manage.py

These are the contents of the project directory.

Note: The Django way is to put functionality into apps, which are created with django-admin startapp. In this tutorial, we do not use an app to make the example simpler. We focus on demonstrating how to send HttpResponse.

from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path
from .views import now

urlpatterns = [
    path('admin/', admin.site.urls),
    path('now/', now, name='now'),

We add a new path now/; it calls the now function from the views.py module.

from django.http import HttpResponse
import datetime

def now(request):

    now = datetime.datetime.now() 

    msg = f'Today is {now}'

    return HttpResponse(msg, content_type='text/plain')

Inside now, we determine the current datetime. We build a message and send it to the client in HttpResponse. The content type is set to plain text.

$ python manage.py runserver

We run the server and navigate to

$ curl localhost:8000/now/
Today is 2019-04-17 13:39:46.216899

We use the curl tool to make the GET request.

In this articles, we have demonstrated how to send text data in Django with HttpResponse.