Anatomy of a Divio Cloud project



For each addon in your project, a directory will be created in addons, containing:

  • addon.json: basic metadata for the addon (generally, there is no need ever to edit this file)
  • optional; manages settings for the addon (see explanation and how to create an file)
  • settings.json: any settings that were applied via the Control Panel, so that they can be used locally


For local development use only. An addon can be placed here for development purposes. addons-dev contains a little magic; any packages within directories in addons-dev will automatically be placed on the Python path for convenience.

Running divio project develop <addon> for an addon in addons-dev will add it to the project’s and settings.INSTALLED_ADDONS, then attempt to build the project.


For local development use only. In data, a media directory functions as the local analogue of Cloud project’s S3 storage bucket (see How to interact with your project’s media storage).


Project-level Django templates.

Templates at the project level will override templates at the application level if they are on similar paths. This is standard Django behaviour, allowing application developers to provide templates that can easily be customised.

On initial project creation

For your convenience, when you first create a project, any templates in addons are copied to the project level so you have them right at hand (if the addon’s package name and inner application name match.)

For example, templates from Aldryn News & Blog will be copied to templates/aldryn_newsblog/ in your project.

If a template does not exist in the project’s templates directory, Django will simply fall back to the one in the addon itself.

Subsequent addon updates

After templates have been copied to the project’s templates directory, they will not be copied again, so as not to overwrite any changes the project developer may have made. However, this does mean that if an addon is subsequently updated and its templates change, those changes will not appear in your project.

In this case:

  • if you have made changes to the templates in your project, you will need to obtain any updated templates and merge them with your own versions
  • if you have not made any changes, you can simply delete your local versions and Django will use the updated application templates.

The project build process

Local builds

  1. The Divio CLI clones (downloads) the project’s files from the Divio Cloud Git server.
  2. The project’s docker-compose.yml file is invoked, telling Docker what containers need to be created, starting with the web container, which is built using…
  3. …the project’s Dockerfile. This tells Docker how to build the the project’s containers - Docker begins executing the commands contained in the file.
  4. If necessary, Docker downloads the layers from which the container image is built.
  5. Docker continues executing the commands, which will include copying files, installing packages using Pip, and running Django management commands.
  6. Docker returns to the docker-compose.yml, which sets up filesystem, port and database access for the container, and the database container itself.
  7. The docker-compose.yml file contains a default command that starts up the Django server.
  8. The Divio CLI opens a web browser window with a login page for the locally running site.