How to Create Controller in Magento 2

Controller specially is one of the important thing in Module development series, and PHP MVC Framework in general. It functionarity is that received request, process and render page.

In Magento 2 Controller has one or more files in Controller folder of module, it includes actions of class which contain execute() method. There are 2 different controllers, they are frontend controller and backend controller. They are generally similar of workflow, but admin controller is a little different. There is a checking permission method in admin controller, it calls form key.

How controller work?

It receive an request from end-user (browser or comamnd line), for example:
  • route_name is a unique name which is set in routes.xml.
  • controller is the folder inside Controller folder.
  • action is a class with execute method to process request.

One of the important in Magento system is frontController (Magento\Framework\App\FrontController), it alway receives request then route controller, action by route_name Let’s take an example of routing an request:

foreach ($this->_routerList as $router) {
   try {
      $actionInstance = $router->match($request);

If there is an action of controller class found, execute() method will be run.

How to create a controller in Magento 2?

To Create Controller in Magento 2:

To create a controller, we need to create a folder inside Controller folder of module and declare an action class inside it. For example, we create a index controller and a index action for module Mageplaza_HelloWorld:

Step 1: Create routes.xml file.

File: app/code/Mageplaza/HelloWorld/etc/frontend/routes.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<config xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:App/etc/routes.xsd">
    <router id="standard">
        <route frontName="helloworld" id="helloworld">
            <module name="Mageplaza_HelloWorld"/>

In the previous How to Create Module in Magento 2 , we created file routes.xml. If you created it, you can ignore this step.

Step 2: Create controller file

File: app/code/Mageplaza/HelloWorld/Controller/Index/Index.php

namespace Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Controller\Index;

class Index extends \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action
	protected $_pageFactory;

	public function __construct(
		\Magento\Framework\App\Action\Context $context,
		\Magento\Framework\View\Result\PageFactory $pageFactory)
		$this->_pageFactory = $pageFactory;
		return parent::__construct($context);

	public function execute()
		return $this->_pageFactory->create();

As you see, all controllers must be extended \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action class which has dispatch method which will call execute() method in action class. In this execute() method, we will write all of our controller logic and will return response for the request.

Step 3: Create Layout file

File: app/code/Mageplaza/HelloWorld/view/frontend/layout/helloworld_index_index.xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<page xmlns:xsi="" layout="1column" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <referenceContainer name="content">
        <block class="Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Block\Index" name="helloworld_index_index" template="Mageplaza_HelloWorld::index.phtml" />

Step 4: Create Block file

File: app/code/Mageplaza/HelloWorld/Block/Index.php

namespace Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Block;
class Index extends \Magento\Framework\View\Element\Template


Step 5: Create template file

File: app/code/Mageplaza/HelloWorld/view/frontend/templates/index.phtml

<h2>Welcome to</h2>

We can learn more View: Layout, Block, Template in this topic.

Step 6: Flush Magento cache

How to flush Magento cache here

Step 7: Run a test

Let’s open browser and navigate to




welcome to

Permission - ACL

There is a checking permission method in admin controller. Let’s take an example:

protected function _isAllowed()
    return $this->_authorization->isAllowed('Magento_AdminNotification::show_list');

It will check the current user has right to access this action or not, learn more Admin ACL Access Control Lists

Other methods in Magento 2 Controller

_forward() and _redirect() action.

\Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action class provide us 2 important methods: _forward and _redirect.

Forward method

_forward() protected function will edit the request to transfer it to another controller/action class. This will not change the request url. For example, we have 2 actions Forward and Hello World like this:

namespace Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Controller\Test;
class Forward extends \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action
	public function execute()

If you make a request to , here are result will be displied on the screen.

Hello World! Welcome to

You can also change the controller, module and set param for the request when forward. Please check the _forward() function for more information:

protected function _forward($action, $controller = null, $module = null, array $params = null)
    $request = $this->getRequest();


    if (isset($params)) {

    if (isset($controller)) {

        // Module should only be reset if controller has been specified
        if (isset($module)) {


Redirect method

This method will transfer to another controller/action class and also change the response header and the request url. With above example, if we replace _forward() method by this _redirect() method:


Then after access from the url, the url will be change to and show the message Hello World! Welcome to on the screen.

If you got this error message: Exception printing is disabled by default for security reasons, this topic may help.

Now it comes to the end of Create a controller topic, in the next tutorial, I will show you how to create a model in Magento 2.

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