Tutorial: Building a simple blog#

In this tutorial we will build a simple blog with entries stored in a database. We’ll then render these posts on the server and serve the HTML directly to the user.

This tutorial is meant to serve as an introduction to building server rendered websites in Quart. If you want to skip to the end the code is on Github.

1: Creating the project#

We need to create a project for our blog server, I like to use Poetry to do this. Poetry is installed via pip (or via Brew):

pip install poetry

We can then use Poetry to create a new blog project:

poetry new --src blog

Our project can now be developed in the blog directory, and all subsequent commands should be in run the blog directory.

2: Adding the dependencies#

To start we only need Quart to build the blog server, which we can install as a dependency of the project by running the following:

poetry add quart

Poetry will ensure that this dependency is present and the paths are correct by running:

poetry install

3: Creating the app#

We need a Quart app to be our web server, which is created by the following addition to src/blog/__init__.py:

from quart import Quart

app = Quart(__name__)

def run() -> None:

To make the app easy to run we can call the run method from a poetry script, by adding the following to pyproject.toml:

start = "blog:run"

Which allows the following command to start the app:

poetry run start

4: Creating the database#

There are many database management systems to choose from depending upon the needs and requirements. In this case we need only the simplest system, and Python’s standard library includes SQLite making it the easiest.

To initialise the database we need the following SQL to create the correct table, as added to src/blog/schema.sql:

  title TEXT NOT NULL,
  'text' TEXT NOT NULL

Next we need to be able to create the database on command, which we can do by adding the command code to src/blog/__init__.py:

from pathlib import Path
from sqlite3 import dbapi2 as sqlite3

  "DATABASE": app.root_path / "blog.db",

def _connect_db():
    engine = sqlite3.connect(app.config["DATABASE"])
    engine.row_factory = sqlite3.Row
    return engine

def init_db():
    db = _connect_db()
    with open(app.root_path / "schema.sql", mode="r") as file_:

Next we need to update the poetry scripts in pyproject.toml to be:

init_db = "blog:init_db"
start = "blog:run"

Now we can run the following to create and update the database:

poetry run init_db


Running this command will wipe any existing data.

5: Displaying posts in the database#

With can now display the posts present in the database. To do so we first need a template to render the posts as HTML. This is as follows and should be added to src/blog/templates/posts.html:

  {% for post in posts %}
      <h2>{{ post.title }}</h2>
      <p>{{ post.text|safe }}</p>
  {% else %}
    <p>No posts available</p>
  {% endfor %}

Now we need a route to query the database, retrieve the messages, and render the template. As done with the following code which should be added to src/blog/__init__.py:

from quart import render_template, g

def _get_db():
    if not hasattr(g, "sqlite_db"):
        g.sqlite_db = _connect_db()
    return g.sqlite_db

async def posts():
    db = _get_db()
    cur = db.execute(
        """SELECT title, text
             FROM post
         ORDER BY id DESC""",
    posts = cur.fetchall()
    return await render_template("posts.html", posts=posts)

6: Creating a new post#

To create blog posts we first need a form into which a user can enter the post details. This is done via the following template code that should be added to src/blog/templates/create.html:

<form method="POST" style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; gap: 8px; max-width:400px">
  <label>Title: <input type="text" size="30" name="title" /></label>
  <label>Text: <textarea name="text" rows="5" cols="40"></textarea></label>
  <button type="submit">Create</button>

The styling ensures that the elements of the form are arranged verically with a gap and sensible maximum width.

To allow a visitor to create a blog post we need to accept the POST request generated by this form in the browser. To do so the following should be added to src/blog/__init__.py:

from quart import redirect, request, url_for

@app.route("/create/", methods=["GET", "POST"])
async def create():
    if request.method == "POST":
        db = _get_db()
        form = await request.form
            "INSERT INTO post (title, text) VALUES (?, ?)",
            [form["title"], form["text"]],
        return redirect(url_for("posts"))
        return await render_template("create.html")

This route handler will render the creation form in response to a GET request e.g. via navigation in the browser. However, for a POST request it will extract the form data to create a blog post before redirecting the user to the page with the posts.

7: Testing#

To test our app we need to check that a blog post can be created, and once done so shows on the posts page. Firstly we need to create a temporary database for testing, which we can do using a pytest fixture placed in tests/conftest.py:

import pytest

from blog import app, init_db

def configure_db(tmpdir):
    app.config['DATABASE'] = str(tmpdir.join('blog.db'))

This fixture will run automatically before our tests, thereby setting up a database we can use in the tests.

To test the creation and display we can add the following to tests/test_blog.py:

from blog import app

async def test_create_post():
    test_client = app.test_client()
    response = await test_client.post("/create/", form={"title": "Post", "text": "Text"})
    assert response.status_code == 302
    response = await test_client.get("/")
    text = await response.get_data()
    assert b"<h2>Post</h2>" in text
    assert b"<p>Text</p>" in text

As the test is an async function we need to install pytest-asyncio by running the following:

poetry add --dev pytest-asyncio

Once installed it needs to be configured by adding the following to pyproject.toml:

asyncio_mode = "auto"

Finally we can run the tests via this command:

poetry run pytest tests/

If you are running this in the Quart example folder you’ll need to add a -c pyproject.toml option to prevent pytest from using the Quart pytest configuration.

8: Summary#

We’ve built a simple database backed blog server. This should be a good starting point to building any type of server rendered app.