Soft Django Theme - How to use it (Free Product)

This article explains how to create a new Django project and later, enhance the UI with a free theme: Soft UI Dashboard

Django Soft Dashboard - Open-Source Theme
Django Soft Dashboard - Open-Source Theme 

Hello! This article explains how to enhance the UI for a newly created Django project by using Soft UI Dashboard, an open-source theme released under the MIT license on GitHub. The theme can be installed using PIP and the activation requires a single line to be added to the configuration. Thanks for reading!

In the end, the default Django UI will have a modern, mobile-friendly UI styled with Bootstrap 5 and Dark-Mode.

Django Soft Theme - Login Page (open-source)
Django Soft Theme - Login Page (open-source)

✨ Create the project

To understand and explain the whole process, a new Django project is started from scratch using the terminal.

πŸ‘‰ Create the directory
$ mkdir my-django-project
$ cd my-django-project
πŸ‘‰ Install the dependencies - only Django for now
$ virtualenv env
$ source env/bin/activate
$ pip install Django
πŸ‘‰ Create the Django project
$ django-admin startproject core . 

This command will create a new folder named core in the current project directory and the usual manage.py, main Django script.

πŸ‘‰ Start the app
$ python manage.py migrate
$ python manage.py runserver

At this point, we can visit the app in the browser and we should see the default splash screen that Django serves on 1st install.

Django - The Default Screen
Django - The Default Screen
πŸ‘‰ Create a superuser

The admin section, the one styled by our new theme, is accessible only to the superusers. Let's create one using this command:

$ python manage.py createsuperuser

At this point, we can access the admin section that uses a minimal style.

Django - The Default Admin UI
Django - The Default Admin UI 

✨ Install Soft UI Design

The product is published on PyPi, the official platform for Python packages.

$ pip install django-admin-soft-dashboard 

After theme installation, we need to inform Django to use it and this requires a minor configuration update.

πŸ‘‰ Configure Django to use the new design

Add admin_soft application to the INSTALLED_APPS settings of your Django project settings.py file (note it should be before django.contrib.admin):

    INSTALLED_APPS = (
        ...
        'admin_soft.apps.AdminSoftDashboardConfig',   # <-- NEW
        'django.contrib.admin',
    )
πŸ‘‰ Start the app and access the new admin design
$ python manage.py runserver
Django Soft Admin - Edit Users Page
Django Soft Admin - Edit Users Page

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the sample source used to create and install the theme can be found on GitHub. Thanks for reading!

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