Django templates folders

Did you set TEMPLATE_DIRS in your settings.py? Check and make sure it is set up correctly with absolute paths. This is how I make sure it is properly set:

settings.py

PROJECT_ROOT = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))

TEMPLATE_DIRS = (
    # Put strings here, like "/home/html/django_templates" or "C:/www/django/templates".
    # Always use forward slashes, even on Windows.
    # Don't forget to use absolute paths, not relative paths.
    os.path.join(PROJECT_ROOT, 'templates').replace('\\','/'),
)

# List of callables that know how to import templates from various sources.
TEMPLATE_LOADERS = (
    'django.template.loaders.filesystem.Loader',
    'django.template.loaders.app_directories.Loader',
#     'django.template.loaders.eggs.Loader',
)

This way, I have a templates folder in my project root that is used for non-app templates and each app has a templates/appname folder inside the app itself.

If you want to use a template from the root template folder, you just give the name of the template like 'base.html' and if you want to use an app template, you use 'appname/base.html'

Folder structure:

project/
  appname/
    templates/ 
      appname/  <-- another folder with app name so 'appname/base.html' is from here
        base.html
    views.py
    ...

  templates/    <-- root template folder so 'base.html' is from here
    base.html

  settings.py
  views.py
  ...

from django.conf.urls import patterns, include, url

# Uncomment the next two lines to enable the admin:
from django.contrib import admin
admin.autodiscover()


urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url(r'^blog/', include('hellodjango.blog.urls')),
    url(r'^admin/doc/', include('django.contrib.admindocs.urls')),
    url(r'^admin/', include(admin.site.urls)),
    url(r'^tinymce/', include('tinymce.urls')),
)

urlpatterns += patterns(
    'django.views.generic.simple',
    (r'^', 'direct_to_template', {"template": "base.html"}),
)

I would re-organize the urls as such:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^admin/doc/', include('django.contrib.admindocs.urls')),
    (r'^admin/', include(admin.site.urls)),
    (r'^tinymce/', include('tinymce.urls')),
    (r'^blog/', include('hellodjango.blog.urls')),
    (r'^$', direct_to_template, {"template": "base.html"}),
)

Patterns are matched by their specificity, so I tend to put the more specific patterns first. Otherwise you might see some unexpected behavior. Give that a try, and if it's still loading a template from your blog on a request to /, we'll dig deeper.