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Django app that builds `template` and `elements` components from the Government Digital Services style guide

Project description

This library has not yet been updated to use the new Design system

It should be easy to make a Django-based service that follows Government Digital Services’ style guide and reference materials. But is not kept updated and is not readily usable in Django and cannot be installed directly into a Django project without complex build steps.

This package takes components published by GDS and creates an app in a Django project which can then be used as normal. This process downloads a release from and the contents of Node.js packages and

NB: Until version 1.0, there is likely going to be a lot of variation in the api, so it’s a good idea to pin a specific minor version.


Install with pip, i.e. pip install django-govuk-template. There are 3 optional extras that can also be installed:

  • forms: also installs django-govuk-forms which outputs Django forms using the correct HTML structures for GOV.UK standard styles

  • scss: allows building SCSS assets with a management command

  • watch: use in combination with the scss extra to automatically build SCSS assets while developing locally

Django project setup

  • Setup a Django project using startproject or other means

  • Install django-govuk-template (along with desired extras) and add govuk_template_base to INSTALLED_APPS

  • Call startgovukapp [[app name, e.g. govuk_template]]
    • Add this app to INSTALLED_APPS

    • Ensure that this app is included in source control as the intention is that it’s only rebuilt as needed

    • If an update is needed in the future, delete the app created in previous step and run this command again

  • Add govuk_template_base.context_processors.govuk_template_base to the template context processors

  • Use [[app name, e.g. govuk_template]].html as the template to extend from and overrive the inner_content block

See the demo folder in this repository on GitHub, it is not included in distributions.

Another demo [1] shows the process of converting the Django tutorial polls app – see the commit history.

Service settings

The service’s title, phase and header/footer links can be configured through service settings objects.

Typically, these are stored in the ServiceSettings model and initial configuration could be a data migration or a fixture. However if the GOVUK_SERVICE_SETTINGS setting is defined, it will take precedence. This is useful in cases where no database is set up.

    'name': 'Service name',
    'phase': 'beta',
    'header_link_view_name': 'service_app:home',
    'header_links': [
        {'name': 'Home', 'link': 'service_app:home', 'link_is_view_name': True},

Service settings stored in models allow for localisation into different languages. Set localise_name to True and provide translations in your project’s localised messages.


Please report bugs and open pull requests on GitHub.

Use python test to run all tests.

This repository does not need to be updated for every release of GDS’s packages, only breaking changes for overridden components may need fixes.

If any localisable strings change, run python makemessages compilemessages.

Distribute a new version to PyPi by updating the VERSION tuple in govuk_template_base and run python compilemessages sdist bdist_wheel upload.

To do

  • Add browser-sync/equivalent for easier local development

  • Add javascript building options

  • Add additional GOV.UK patterns

  • Improve service setting configuration

  • Perhaps improve SCSS building mechanism (e.g. command line fallback) and print styles

  • Perhaps improve app naming or documentation regarding govuk_template_base and govuk_template

  • It would be nice to require as few external tools as possible (e.g. docker/node/ruby) to make building simpler

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