What Does a Host Do?

Learn why you need a hosting service and what they provide

After writing your first Django app, you may be wondering how to put it somewhere public — so others can see it in their web browser.

You actually don't need a hosting service to make your project public. After running:

$ python manage.py runserver
Starting development server at
Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

On your own computer, you can access or http://localhost:8000. Anyone else will need your public IP address — I've included an example screenshot of what you should see. If that were your public IP, others could access your site via http://12.345.678.910:8000.

There are a few downsides to hosting your website on your own laptop though:

That's what a hosting service provides for you! They'll:

A good web host will also provide plenty of documentation and customer support. To find a good host, read the next guide on how to pick a host.