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Django app for managing localised email templates.

Project description


Django app for managing transactional email templates


This project now requires Django1.11+ and Python3. If you require python2 support you will have to refer to the python2 branch.


This project arose out of a project to integrate a large transactional Django application with Mandrill, and the lessons learned. It also owes a minor h/t to this project from 2011 (

The core requirement is to provide an easy way to add / edit email templates to a Django project, in such a way that it doesn’t require a developer to make changes. The easiest way to use templated emails in Django is to rely on the in-built template structure, but that means that the templates are held in files, under version control, which makes it very hard for non-developers to edit.

This is not a WYSIWYG HTML editor, and it doesn’t do anything clever. It doesn’t handle the sending of the emails - it simply provides a convenient mechanism for storing and rendering email content.

from appmail.models import EmailTemplate

def send_order_confirmation(order_id):
    order = Orders.objects.get(id=order_id)
    template = EmailTemplate.objects.current('order_confirmation')
    context = { "order": order }
    # create_message accepts EmailMultiAlternatives constructor kwargs
    # and returns a standard Django email object which can be updated / sent.
    message = template.create_message(context, to=[])

The core requirements are:

  1. List / preview existing templates
  2. Edit subject line, plain text and HTML content
  3. Use standard Django template syntax
  4. Support base templates
  5. Template versioning
  6. Language support
  7. Send test emails

Template properties

Individual templates are stored as model objects in the database. The standard Django admin site is used to view / filter templates. The templates are ordered by name, language and version. This combination is unique. The language and version properties have sensible defaults ( version=settings.LANGUAGE_CODE and version=0) so don’t need to set if you don’t require it. There is no inheritance or relationship between different languages and versions - they are stored as independent objects.

# get the default order_summary email (language = settings.LANGUAGE_CODE)
template = EmailTemplate.objects.current('order_summary')
# get the french version
template = EmailTemplate.objects.current('order_summary', language='fr')
# get a specific version
template = EmailTemplate.objects.version('order_summary', 1)

Template syntax

The templates themselves use standard Django template syntax, including the use of tags, filters. There is nothing special about them, however there is one caveat - template inheritance.

Template inheritance

Although the template content is not stored on disk, without re-engineering the template rendering methods any parent templates must be. This is annoying, but there is a valid assumption behind it - if you are changing your base templates you are probably involving designers and developers already, so having to rely on a developer to make the changes is acceptable.

Sending test emails

You can send test emails to an email address through the admin list view.

EmailTemplate admin change form

The custom admin action ‘Send test emails’ will redirect to an intermediate page where you can enter the recipient email address and send the email:


There is also a linkon individual template admin pages (top-right, next to the history link):

EmailTemplate admin change form


There is a test suite for the app, which is best run through tox.




Usual rules apply:

  1. Fork to your own account
  2. Create a branch, fix the issue / add the feature
  3. Submit PR

Please take care to follow the coding style - and PEP8.


If you have found yourself in the situation of having to release a new version, and assuming you already have the necessary PyPi permissions, here are the next steps you need to take:

1. Update `` with the bumped version. Push it to master
  • PATCH version for backwards-compatible hotfixes
  • MINOR version for backwards-compatible features
  • MAJOR version for incompatible features
2. Tag this new version by running the following commands
  • git tag -a v1.0.x -m v.1.0.x
  • git push –tags

Now, if you go to github and take a look at the tags, you should be able to see your version among them.

3. Build the wheel
  • python3 sdist bdist_wheel
4. Upload it on PyPi using twine
  • twine upload dist/*
  • you will be asked to provide your PyPi username and password

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