Frequently-asked questions

The following are miscellaneous common questions and answers related to installing/using django-registration, culled from bug reports, emails and other sources.


What license is django-registration under?
django-registration is offered under a three-clause BSD-style license; this is an OSI-approved open-source license, and allows you a large degree of freedom in modifiying and redistributing the code. For the full terms, see the file LICENSE which came with your copy of django-registration; if you did not receive a copy of this file, you can view it online at <>.
Why are the forms and models for the default backend not in the default backend?

The model and manager used by the default backend are in registration.models, and the default form class (and various subclasses) are in registration.forms; logically, they might be expected to exist in registration.backends.default, but there are several reasons why that’s not such a good idea:

  1. Older versions of django-registration made use of the model and form classes, and moving them would create an unnecessary backwards incompatibility: import statements would need to be changed, and some database updates would be needed to reflect the new location of the RegistrationProfile model.
  2. Due to the design of Django’s ORM, the RegistrationProfile model would end up with an app_label of default, which isn’t particularly descriptive and may conflict with other applications. By keeping it in registration.models, it retains an app_label of registration, which more accurately reflects what it does and is less likely to cause problems.
  3. Although the RegistrationProfile model and the various form classes are used by the default backend, they can and are meant to be reused as needed by other backends. Any backend which uses an activation step should feel free to reuse the RegistrationProfile model, for example, and the registration form classes are in no way tied to a specific backend (and cover a number of common use cases which will crop up regardless of the specific backend logic in use).

Installation and setup

How do I install django-registration?
Full instructions are available in the quick start guide.
Do I need to put a copy of django-registration in every project I use it in?
No; putting applications in your project directory is a very bad habit, and you should stop doing it. If you followed the instructions mentioned above, django-registration was installed into a location that’s on your Python import path, so you’ll only ever need to add registration to your INSTALLED_APPS setting (in any project, or in any number of projects), and it will work.
Does django-registration come with any sample templates I can use right away?

No, for two reasons:

  1. Providing default templates with an application is generally hard to impossible, because different sites can have such wildly different design and template structure. Any attempt to provide templates which would work with all the possibilities would probably end up working with none of them.
  2. A number of things in django-registration depend on the specific registration backend you use, including the variables which end up in template contexts. Since django-registration has no way of knowing in advance what backend you’re going to be using, it also has no way of knowing what your templates will need to look like.

Fortunately, however, django-registration has good documentation which explains what context variables will be available to templates, and so it should be easy for anyone who knows Django’s template system to create templates which integrate with their own site.


Do I need to rewrite the views to change the way they behave?

Not always. Any behavior controlled by an attribute on a class-based view can be changed by passing a different value for that attribute in the URLConf. See Django’s class-based view documentation for examples of this.

For more complex or fine-grained control, you will likely want to subclass RegistrationView or ActivationView, or both, add your custom logic to your subclasses, and then create a URLConf which makes use of your subclasses.

I don’t want to write my own URLconf because I don’t want to write patterns for all the auth views!
You’re in luck, then; django-registration provides a URLconf which only contains the patterns for the auth views, and which you can include in your own URLconf anywhere you’d like; it lives at registration.auth_urls.
I don’t like the names you’ve given to the URL patterns!
In that case, you should feel free to set up your own URLconf which uses the names you want.
I’m using Django 1.5 and a custom user model; how do I make that work?
Although the two built-in backends supplied with django-registration both assume Django’s default User model, the base view classes are deliberately user-model-agnostic. Simply subclass them, and implement logic for your custom user model.


I’ve got functions listening for the registration/activation signals, but they’re not getting called!

The most common cause of this is placing django-registration in a sub-directory that’s on your Python import path, rather than installing it directly onto the import path as normal. Importing from django-registration in that case can cause various issues, including incorrectly connecting signal handlers. For example, if you were to place django-registration inside a directory named django_apps, and refer to it in that manner, you would end up with a situation where your code does this:

from django_apps.registration.signals import user_registered

But django-registration will be doing:

from registration.signals import user_registered

From Python’s point of view, these import statements refer to two different objects in two different modules, and so signal handlers connected to the signal from the first import will not be called when the signal is sent using the second import.

To avoid this problem, follow the standard practice of installing django-registration directly on your import path and always referring to it by its own module name: registration (and in general, it is always a good idea to follow normal Python practices for installing and using Django applications).

Tips and tricks

How do I log a user in immediately after registration or activation?
Take a look at the implementation of the simple backend, which logs a user in immediately after registration.
How do I re-send an activation email?
Assuming you’re using the default backend, a custom admin action is provided for this; in the admin for the RegistrationProfile model, simply click the checkbox for the user(s) you’d like to re-send the email for, then select the “Re-send activation emails” action.
How do I manually activate a user?
In the default backend, a custom admin action is provided for this. In the admin for the RegistrationProfile model, click the checkbox for the user(s) you’d like to activate, then select the “Activate users” action.