What’s the best way to extend the User model in Django?

Django, a robust Python web framework, comes with built-in User model for managing user authentication. However in many applications, you’ll need to extend the User model to store additional user-related information or add custom functionality. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best practices for extending the User model in Django.

Check our blogs on for better Understanding on Extedning User Model:

1. Subclassing AbstractBaseUser

One of the easiest and most common ways to extend User model in Django is by creating a custom user model that subclasses AbstractUser. This approach allows you to add extra fields to user model while retaining the built-in authentication features.

   from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractUser

   class CustomUser(AbstractUser):
       # Add custom fields here
       profile_picture = models.ImageField(upload_to='profile_pictures/')
       date_of_birth = models.DateField(null=True, blank=True)


  • Inherits built-in authentication features.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Can be swapped in later if needed. Cons:
  • Not suitable for highly customized authentication logic.

2. Subclassing AbstractBaseUser

When you need complete control over the user model and authentication logic, you can create custom user model that subclasses AbstractBaseUser. This approach is more complex but allows for extensive customization.

   from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractBaseUser, BaseUserManager

   class CustomUserManager(BaseUserManager):
       # Implement custom user creation logic here

   class CustomUser(AbstractBaseUser):
       # Define custom fields and authentication methods here


  • Full control over user model and authentication.
  • Suitable for complex authentication requirements. Cons:
  • Requires more effort to implement.
  • Can be error-prone if not done correctly.

3. Using Third-Party Packages

Django offers various third-party packages like django-allauth and django-rest-auth that provide pre-built solutions for extending the User model. These packages often come with features like email confirmation, social authentication and more.

   # Example using django-allauth


  • Rapid development with pre-built solutions.
  • Handles complex authentication features.


  • May introduce unnecessary complexity for simple projects.


The best way to extend the User model in Django depends on your projects specific requirements. For most projects, subclassing AbstractUser offers a good balance between ease of use and flexibility. If you need highly customized authentication logic or want to build everything from scratch, subclassing AbstractBaseUser provides complete control

Before making a decision carefully analyze your project’s needs and consider factors such as authentication complexity, development time, and long-term maintainability. Additionally if you require advanced features like social authentication consider using trusted third-party packages to streamline your development process.

Find our Projects on Various Extending Model for Django on Github.