Building a Real-time Chat App with Django Channels


Real-time chat applications are essential for modern web and mobile experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore how to build a real-time chat app using Django Channels. Django Channels extends Django to handle WebSockets and other asynchronous protocols, making it possible to create interactive and real-time features in your Django project. You'll learn how to set up Django Channels, create chat rooms, and implement real-time messaging.


Before you begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • Django Project: You should have an existing Django project where you want to implement real-time chat.
  • Python Knowledge: Basic knowledge of Python programming is essential.
  • Django Knowledge: Familiarity with Django views, templates, and models is recommended.

Step 1: Setting Up Django Channels

First, you need to install and configure Django Channels in your Django project.

Sample Installation and Configuration

Install Django Channels and configure it in your Django project's settings:

# Install Django Channels
pip install channels
# Example configuration
# ...
# Routing configuration in
from channels.routing import ProtocolTypeRouter, URLRouter
application = ProtocolTypeRouter({
"websocket": AuthMiddlewareStack(

Step 2: Creating Chat Rooms

Define chat rooms and create views, templates, and consumers to handle real-time messaging.

Sample Consumer Definition

Create a Django Channels consumer to handle WebSocket connections and chat messages:

from channels.generic.websocket import AsyncWebsocketConsumer
import json
class ChatRoomConsumer(AsyncWebsocketConsumer):
async def connect(self):
# Handle WebSocket connection
await self.accept()
async def disconnect(self, close_code):
# Handle WebSocket disconnection
async def receive(self, text_data):
# Handle WebSocket message
text_data_json = json.loads(text_data)
message = text_data_json['message']
await self.send(text_data=json.dumps({
'message': message


Building a real-time chat app with Django Channels can greatly enhance user interaction in your web application. This guide has introduced you to the basics, but there's much more to explore as you create advanced chat features and scale your real-time application.