Full-stack web applications developer

Adding version numbers to your static files

June 12, 2016Arthur Pemberton0 Comments

When I started with Django, the version at the time was 1.5. Back then, we prepended STATIC_URL to our static assets to reference them in our templates. With recent release, best practice is to you use the static [1]. I often find myself wanting to append a version number to my static files, at least my CSS and JS files to ensure that browser see my new versions when I push an update. In this post, I make use of the `static` tag and its URL building to easily append a version number.

The Code

The static tag uses the active storage engine to generate the URL for the static file, by default this is the StaticFilesStorage engine. So we’re going to want to subclass this engine and override the, url() method to generate our versioned URL.

# django imports
from django.conf import settings
from import StaticFilesStorage
from django.utils.encoding import filepath_to_uri
from django.utils.six.moves.urllib.parse import parse_qs
from django.utils.six.moves.urllib.parse import urlencode


# classes

class VersionedStaticFilesStorage(StaticFilesStorage):

	def url(self, name):
		Generates URL for static file.
		Requires STATICFILES_VERSION setting.
		# if there is a query string already, isolate it
			idx = name.index(u'?')
			qs = name[idx+1:]
			name = name[:idx]
		except ValueError:
			idx = -1
			qs = None
		# build a dictionary
		query = parse_qs(qs) if qs else {}
		# add in our version number
		# get url
		url = super(VersionedStaticFilesStorage, self).url(name)
		# rebuild query string
		qs = urlencode(query.items(), doseq=True)
		# return combined url
		return url + u'?' + qs


Add this code to a module, for example, in your app, and then reference it in the STATICFILES_STORAGE setting.


Be sure to create your version value in


And now you should have static URLs like this:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/static/js/bootstrap.min.js?v=2.0"></script>

Good luck, and happy coding.

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