Sending POST Requests in Python: request() vs post()

Feb 3, 2024 ยท 2 min read

When sending POST requests in Python, you'll commonly use the requests library. The requests module provides two main ways to send POST requests:

  • requests.request()
  • requests.post()
  • At first glance, these two methods seem very similar. However, there are some key differences in how they function that are good to understand.

    The request() Method

    The request() method is the lowest-level method in requests for preparing and sending HTTP requests. With request(), you manually specify the method, URL, and data for the request:

    data = {'key1': 'value1', 'key2': 'value2'}
    
    response = requests.request('POST', 'https://example.com/api', data=data)

    This allows complete control over the request. But it also means manually specifying the POST method each time.

    The post() Method

    The post() method is a convenience method in requests specifically for sending POST requests. It automatically sets the method to POST:

    data = {'key1': 'value1', 'key2': 'value2'}
    
    response = requests.post('https://example.com/api', data=data)

    So post() saves you from having to explicitly set the method to 'POST' each time.

    When to Use Each

    In most cases, requests.post() provides the simplest way to send a POST request. But requests.request() allows more flexibility - you can set any HTTP method, headers, or other advanced options.

    So in summary:

  • requests.post() - best for basic POST requests
  • requests.request() - more advanced control and customization
  • Using the right method for the job leads to simpler and easy to maintain code.

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