When I run my dev server offline for Django, I can just restart the Django server after I make changes to test. I then upload changed files to Digital Ocean. I’m finding out I need to restart my server on the droplet for changes to take full effect for my Django apps. Should I just restart Nginx instead? I’m also running Gunicorn. Or should I activate my virtual environment and restart the Django server?
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Yes, when you make changes to config and familiar files you need to restart the service you are making these changes on. For instance, if you are updating the Nginx config for your Domain then most certainly afterwards you need to restart Nginx.
There is no need to reboot the whole droplet, just a simple restart/reload should be enough.
To restart nginx: