Creating a custom user model in Django using AbstractBaseUser is a common practice when building Django Rest Framework (DRF) applications. This approach allows you to have full control over the user model and tailor it to your project’s specific needs. Here are some best practices for creating a custom user model with AbstractBaseUser in DRF:

  1. Use Case Analysis: Before diving into creating a custom user model, analyze your project’s requirements and understand the user attributes and features you need. Consider if you need fields like username, email, first name, last name, user roles, etc., and whether you need to support authentication via email, username, or both.
  2. Create a Custom User Model: Subclass AbstractBaseUser and PermissionsMixin to create your custom user model. Here’s an example:
   from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractBaseUser, BaseUserManager, PermissionsMixin
   from django.db import models
   from django.utils import timezone

   class CustomUserManager(BaseUserManager):
       def create_user(self, email, password=None, **extra_fields):
           if not email:
               raise ValueError('The Email field must be set')
           email = self.normalize_email(email)
           user = self.model(email=email, **extra_fields)
           return user

       def create_superuser(self, email, password=None, **extra_fields):
           extra_fields.setdefault('is_staff', True)
           extra_fields.setdefault('is_superuser', True)
           return self.create_user(email, password, **extra_fields)

   class CustomUser(AbstractBaseUser, PermissionsMixin):
       email = models.EmailField(unique=True)
       first_name = models.CharField(max_length=30)
       last_name = models.CharField(max_length=30)
       is_active = models.BooleanField(default=True)
       is_staff = models.BooleanField(default=False)
       date_joined = models.DateTimeField(

       objects = CustomUserManager()

       USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'
       REQUIRED_FIELDS = ['first_name', 'last_name']

       def __str__(self):
  1. Configuring Authentication Backends: In your DRF settings (, specify the custom user model and the authentication backend:
   AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'your_app.CustomUser'
  1. Token-Based Authentication: Consider using token-based authentication for your API. You can use Django Rest Framework’s TokenAuthentication or SimpleJWT for token-based authentication.
  2. Serializers and Views: Create serializers and views for user registration, authentication, and other user-related operations. Use serializers to validate user input and views to handle user-related API endpoints.
  3. User Registration: Implement a user registration endpoint that allows users to create accounts. Ensure that it validates user input, checks for unique email addresses, and securely hashes passwords.
  4. Password Reset: Implement a password reset mechanism using Django’s built-in PasswordResetView or a custom view if needed.
  5. Testing: Write comprehensive unit tests for your custom user model, serializers, views, and authentication to ensure that user-related features work as expected.
  6. Documentation: Document your authentication endpoints and user-related API features using tools like Django Rest Swagger, drf-yasg, or Django Rest Framework’s built-in documentation.
  7. Security: Pay attention to security best practices, including user authentication, authorization, input validation, and password storage.
  8. Internationalization: If your application may be used by speakers of multiple languages, consider using Django’s internationalization features for user-facing messages.
  9. Deployment and Maintenance: Deploy your DRF application following best practices for security and scalability. Regularly update Django and DRF to benefit from security patches and improvements.

By following these best practices, you can create a robust custom user model in Django Rest Framework that meets your project’s requirements and maintains high security standards.

By admin