Building a Website with Python and Pyramid

The internet has become an integral part of our lives and building a website has never been more accessible. Python is a popular language for web development due to its ease of use, vast libraries and powerful frameworks. Pyramid is one such framework that provides a flexible and scalable approach to building web applications. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of building a website with Python and Pyramid. Whether you are new to web development or a seasoned developer, this guide will help you create a dynamic and responsive website that meets your needs. So let’s dive in and start building!

Introduction to Pyramid

Pyramid is a Python web framework that makes it easy to build web applications quickly and efficiently. It is designed to be flexible and scalable, allowing you to develop applications ranging from simple single-page sites to complex web applications with millions of users. Pyramid’s core features include an easy-to-use routing system, a powerful templating engine and support for a wide range of databases and storage backends.

Pyramid is part of the Pylons Project, which is a collection of web development technologies built on top of the Python programming language. This project also includes other popular frameworks like Pyramid, TurboGears and Pylons itself.

One of the key benefits of using a Pyramid is its flexibility. You can use it to build applications that are as simple or as complex as you need and it can be easily extended to support new features and functionality. This makes Pyramid an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced web developers.

Setting Up the Environment

Before you can start using Pyramid, you need to have Python installed on your machine. If you don’t have Python, download it from the official Python website.

Once Python is installed, you can install Pyramid and its dependencies using pip, Python’s package manager. Open a terminal and run the following command:

pip install pyramid

This command installs Pyramid and its dependencies, such as the Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) server and the templating engine. After the installation is complete, you are ready to create your first Pyramid project.

Creating a Pyramid Project

To create a new Pyramid project, you can use the pcreate command-line tool that comes with Pyramid. First, open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you want to create your project. Then, run the following command, replacing myproject with the desired project name:

pcreate -s starter myproject

This command generates a new directory named myproject with the necessary files and directories for a Pyramid project. The generated directory structure looks like this:


Each file and directory in the project has a specific purpose:

  • development.ini: The configuration file for the development environment.
  • myproject/: The Python package containing the project’s code.
  • Contains the view functions for the application.
  • templates/: Holds the template files for the application.
  • A sample template file using the Chameleon templating engine.
  • The setup script for the project.
  • README.txt: A readme file that contains information about the project.

Next, navigate to the myproject directory and run the following command to install the project’s dependencies:

pip install -e .

Now you are ready to start building your Pyramid web application.

URL Routing

Routing is the process of mapping URLs to specific views or view functions in your application. Pyramid uses a simple and flexible routing system that allows you to define routes using patterns and variables.

To define a route, open the file in the myproject directory and use the config.add_route method. For example, to define a route for the homepage, you might add the following line:

config.add_route('home', '/')

This line defines a route named ‘home’ that maps to the root URL (‘/’) of the application. You can use variables in your route patterns to capture values from the URL. For example, to define a route that captures a username from the URL, you might add the following line:

config.add_route('user_profile', '/users/{username}')

This line defines a route named ‘user_profile’ that maps to the URL pattern ‘/users/{username}’, where ‘{username}’ is a variable that captures the username from the URL.

Views and View Callables

Views in Pyramid are simply Python functions that are responsible for handling a specific request and returning a response. These functions are also known as view callables. To create a view callable, define a Python function in your file and decorate it with the @view_config decorator, which tells Pyramid to associate the function with a specific route.

For example, to create a view callable for the ‘home’ route, add the following code to your file:

from pyramid.view import view_config

@view_config(route_name='home', renderer='templates/')
def home_view(request):
    return {'message': 'Welcome to the homepage!'}

In this code, we have defined a view callable named home_view that is associated with the ‘home’ route. The renderer parameter of the @view_config decorator specifies the template file to be used for rendering the response.

Templates and Template Rendering

Pyramid supports various templating engines like Chameleon, Jinja2 and Mako. In this example, we will use the Chameleon templating engine. Templates in Chameleon use an XML-based syntax and allow you to separate your application’s logic from its presentation.

To create a template, add an XML file with the .pt extension to your templates directory. For example, to create a template for the homepage, you might create a file named with the following content:

<!DOCTYPE html>

In this template, we have used the ${message} expression to insert the value of the ‘message’ key from the view’s return dictionary. When the view is called, Pyramid will render the template with the provided data and return the resulting HTML as the response.

Static Assets and CSS

Static assets like images, stylesheets and JavaScript files can be served from a directory in your project. To serve static assets, add a static directory to your project and configure Pyramid to serve it using the config.add_static_view method in your file:

config.add_static_view(name='static', path='myproject:static')

This line tells Pyramid to serve the static directory under the /static URL path. To reference static assets in your templates, use the request.static_url method:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="${request.static_url('myproject:static/css/style.css')}" />

Forms and Form Handling

To handle form submissions in Pyramid, you can use the request.POST dictionary to access submitted form data. First, create an HTML form in your template file:

<form method="post" action="${request.route_url('submit_form')}">
  <label for="name">Name:</label>
  <input type="text" name="name" id="name" required />
  <input type="submit" value="Submit" />

Next, define a route and a view callable to handle the form submission in your and files, respectively:

config.add_route('submit_form', '/submit_form')
@view_config(route_name='submit_form', request_method='POST')
def submit_form_view(request):
    name = request.POST['name']
    # Process the form data and return a response

Database Integration

Pyramid supports various databases through external libraries, such as SQLAlchemy for relational databases and PyMongo for MongoDB. To integrate a database, you need to install the corresponding library using pip and configure your application to use it.

For example, to integrate SQLAlchemy, you would install the library and its Pyramid extension:

pip install sqlalchemy pyramid_sqlalchemy

Then, you would configure your application to use SQLAlchemy in your file and define your models in a separate file.

Testing and Deployment

Pyramid includes built-in support for unit testing and functional testing, allowing you to test your application’s components in isolation and as a whole. To deploy your application, you can use popular web servers like Apache, Nginx, or Gunicorn, along with a WSGI server like uWSGI or mod_wsgi.


In conclusion, Pyramid is a powerful and flexible web framework that allows you to create web applications of varying complexity with ease. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can build a website using Python and Pyramid and take advantage of its many features such as advanced routing, template engines and extensibility. The clear separation of concerns in Pyramid’s architecture allows for easy testing and maintenance, making it an excellent choice for large-scale web projects.

Moreover, Python’s rich libraries and easy-to-learn syntax make it an ideal language for web development, allowing developers to create sophisticated web applications with minimal effort. By leveraging the strengths of both Python and Pyramid, you can create a powerful and scalable web application that meets the needs of your users.

In conclusion, building a website with Python and Pyramid is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both novice and experienced developers. With the right tools and a clear understanding of the framework’s architecture, you can create web applications that are both robust and efficient and help take your web development skills to the next level.