10 Python Folder Structure Best Practices

Python is a popular programming language with many different frameworks and libraries. In this article, we'll go over 10 best practices for folder structure in Python projects.

Python is a powerful programming language that is used in a variety of applications. When working with Python, it is important to have a well-structured folder structure to ensure that your code is organized and easy to maintain.

In this article, we will discuss 10 best practices for organizing your Python folder structure. We will cover topics such as naming conventions, file organization, and version control. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your Python projects are well-structured and easy to maintain.

1. Use a virtual environment

A virtual environment is a tool that helps you to keep your project dependencies isolated from other projects. This means that each project can have its own set of packages and versions, without affecting the global Python installation or any other projects.

Using a virtual environment also makes it easier to share your code with others since they will be able to install all the necessary packages in their own virtual environment. It also ensures that everyone is using the same version of the packages, which reduces the chances of compatibility issues.

2. Create a requirements.txt file

This file contains a list of all the packages and modules that your project needs to run. This makes it easier for other developers to install the necessary dependencies when they clone or download your code.

The requirements.txt file should be placed in the root directory of your project, alongside the main Python script. It’s also important to keep this file up-to-date with any new packages you add to your project. That way, anyone who downloads your code will have access to the same versions of the packages as you do.

3. Organize your project files into folders

Organizing your project files into folders helps keep everything organized and easy to find. It also makes it easier for other developers to understand the structure of your codebase, which is especially important if you’re working on a team. Additionally, organizing your project files into folders can help reduce clutter in your main directory, making it easier to navigate.

To get started with folder organization, create a root folder for your project and then create subfolders for each component or feature. For example, if you’re building an e-commerce website, you might have separate folders for products, orders, customers, etc. This will make it much easier to locate specific files when needed.

4. Keep your code in one place

When you have multiple projects, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different files and folders. Keeping your code in one place makes it easier to find what you need when you need it.

It also helps with organization. When everything is stored in one folder, it’s much easier to organize your code into logical subfolders. This way, you can quickly locate specific pieces of code without having to search through a bunch of unrelated files.

Finally, keeping your code in one place allows for better collaboration. If multiple people are working on the same project, they can easily access the same codebase without having to worry about where each person has saved their work.

5. Don’t use relative imports

Relative imports are based on the current working directory, which can change depending on how you launch your program. This means that if you use relative imports, your code may not work as expected when it is run from a different location.

Instead of using relative imports, use absolute imports. Absolute imports specify the exact path to the module or package you want to import, so they will always work regardless of where the program is launched from. This makes them much more reliable and easier to maintain in the long run.

6. Add an to each folder

The file tells Python that the folder is a package, and it should be treated as such. This means that any code in the file will be executed when the package is imported. It also allows you to import modules from other folders within the same package.

For example, if you have two files in your project: and, you can add an file to the root of the project and then use the following syntax to import the utils module into

from .utils import *

Without the file, this would not work. So make sure to include one in each folder for best practices!

7. Avoid circular imports

Circular imports occur when two or more modules import each other. This can lead to errors and unexpected behavior, as the interpreter may not be able to determine which module should be imported first. To avoid this issue, it’s best practice to structure your code in such a way that no circular imports are necessary.

For example, if you have two modules A and B, make sure that neither of them imports the other directly. Instead, create a third module C that both A and B can import from. This will ensure that there is no circular dependency between the two modules.

8. Follow the PEP 8 style guide

PEP 8 is a style guide for Python code that provides guidelines and best practices on how to structure your code. It helps ensure consistency across different projects, making it easier for developers to read and understand each other’s code.

Following the PEP 8 style guide also makes it easier to maintain your project over time. By following the same conventions, you can quickly identify any issues or inconsistencies in your codebase. This will save you time when debugging and refactoring your code.

9. Write docstrings for all public modules, functions, classes and methods

Docstrings are a great way to document your code and make it easier for other developers to understand. They provide an overview of what the code does, as well as any parameters or return values that may be associated with it. This makes it much easier for someone else to use your code without having to read through all of it.

Writing docstrings also helps you keep track of changes in your code over time. If you ever need to go back and look at how something was written before, you can easily refer to the docstring to see what has changed.

10. Include a README file with instructions on how to run your program

A README file is a great way to provide users with an overview of your project, as well as instructions on how to get started. It’s also useful for developers who are new to the project and need help understanding what it does and how to use it.

By including a README file in your Python folder structure, you can ensure that everyone has access to the same information about your program. This will make it easier for people to understand how to run your code and contribute to the project.


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