Get a Free Consultation

    Search for:

    Magento Plugins vs Observers: What is good for you?

    Last Updated | July 4, 2023

    Magento Plugins vs Observers

    The two eCommerce development tools of Magento 2 that existed for the longest period are Magento Plugins and Observers. Both are available for a long time; but unfortunately there are many developers who are still not aware of the differences between them. They are also unaware of where to use one in which situations Magento pulg-ins and observers are used.

    Folio3 Experts

    Over the period of two decades, Folio3 and our experts have worked relentlessly on the optimization of a good number of third-party extensions and customization to overcome the mistakes of inexperienced developers who had utilized poor development methodologies instead of using the right ones after conducting any type of research. To know whether one should use plugins or observers for what their Magento 2 eCommerce store needs for its construction is really important.

    So, we have decided in this blog, to give you a perspective over what Magento plugins, observers, and preferences are. And also compare them to show you how these development tools perform for in real-world eStores and their scenarios.

    Magento development

    Magento Plugins Or Observers

    Magento plugins or observers is a matter of simple preference of the Magento 2 users. A lot of freelancing developers do not pay much heed to user preferences. Nevertheless, the way Magento 2 treats user preferences stops us from considering the preferences as viable entities.

    Magento integration does not treat preferences as reliable enough entity. For example, you have used preferences for two different extensions that have the same value as set. Magento will replace the first value by using the preference of the value loaded later because this is how Magento integration works when it loads extensions with same value set.

    Simply put, the two extensions that utilize similar preference for changing something, the preference that gets loaded in the last will eventually supersede the modification  that are made by the previous extensions. These disagreements will resultantly lead you in the violent and uncontrollable defects in the extensions that you loaded first, hence automatically bring to undesirable results.

    You can’t even use redefining more frequently, because if you do so be prepared to expect extensive compatibility testing in the next upgrading session that you need to run for a newer Magento version. It happens because when you add something to the constructor, the class that gets the impact of the changes will require you to add the same preferences and values code to your own class too.

    The changes in the construction are not the only reason for Magento to act up; the addition of new idiosyncratic features in the store layout is another thing you need to bring into your consideration. The slow speed experience here occurs, in this case, because of the new features Magento receives.

    When Magento receives new features it is necessary that you also port these new feature codes to your rewritten code. And this is why even the slightest change in the redefined class causes a failure in your code.

    Read More: Shopify Versus Shopify Plus

    The Run The Bin Or Magento Setup Command

    For examining your code for addressing the issue you need to use di:compile. But remember even running bin command will not bring relieve to you from the responsibility where you still need to determine the sources of the changes and adapting the new code according to new modifications in the redefined file.

    In case you are the sole responsible of the customization of the Magento store and knows that they won’t bring in conflict you then only might want to utilize preferences to customize your Magento store. It is a best advice from Folio3 experts that you avoid utilizing preferences for customization’s in any other circumstance.

    Will The Role Of Event Observers Still Important?

    The removal of the preferences from the equation of Magento integration, you are left with the observers and plugins. Observers are the oldest techniques that were used to be one of the most common ways for making changes in to the logic of the code. However, the current development tools widely used are dependency injections and plugins and they take care of the code logic now.

    The role of the event observers are legacy elements from the Magento 1 period. These observers in many different ways were and still are severely limited.

    If you look at the experiences of many Magento expert developers, the employment of the event observers in their extensions also fails and they were couldn’t correctly implement them. These event observers are used as an extension to speed up Checkout, for example.

    Read Also Shopify vs Stripe – Which One Is The Best Top E-Commerce Platform

    The entire store’s performance can get affected by a poorly constructed observer. For example, you connect the observer to the model load once the event is done with a badly written optimized function there, the store can become painfully slow. For maximum speed optimization Folio3 always proposes to delete unnecessary plugins and event watchers in a complete guide to Magento 2 speed optimization.

    Nevertheless, these event watchers aren’t that useless just because the golden finest years of their life span are over, they can be applied to a number places. You can create different extension points within private or protected Magento methods for a good store performance experiences.

    Magento integration

    Where Do Observers Come Handy

    Observers come handy when you are trying to log something very specific to your Magento store. You just need to empty the cache or let a piece of data to communicate with another system and the observers will do what they do best. Observers are considered as an ideal tool for tracking changes to, creation of, removal of, and initialization of specific models derived from Magento Frame work Model Abstract Model.

    But there is an important factor you also to need to consider while using the observers. For example, let’s imagine you need to keep track of every new model ID in a log file. You are bound to write a plugin for all the models in the system that supports Abstract Model inheritance, only if you wish to use one.

    Read Also Shopify Plus vs Shopify Advanced

    On the other hand, because the AbstractModel contains a regular save function you will not be able to attach the required plugin to it directly. It works very when the function of any model that fires the model save after the event. It means they are used for tracking changes in every inheritance that uses it.


    If you are still keen to know which one is better to use, you should know that plugins are more versatile than observers. Plugins have the capability to alter the functionality of any public methods of the Magento 2. These alterations are exempted for virtual and final classes, final, static and non-public methods, constructors, and objects instantiated before bootstrapping Magento\Framework\Interception.

    Unlike event watchers or observers, Plugins have the capability to operate anywhere and everywhere in the Magento system. They allow you to use them for modifying or overriding any Magento public method. They are the most important part of customized development. Any new Magento updates would make no affect these plugins.

    Read Also Shopify Plus vs Shopify Advanced

    The Magento certified professional developers developers gets the liberty to design plugin-based code for resistanting to new Magento updates while they can offer all three methods; before, after, and around to precedence the original Magento 2 behavior when they are used in conjunction with a stable public API – an API that carries the @api mark with it.

    Since the plugins can intercept all three functionalities of the methods –before, during, and after the call, they are also called as interceptors. So now you see that with a simple plugin or interceptor how you can change functions, practically any function at all.

    The developers can;

    • Easily get the right to edit input arguments with Before plugins
    • Easily get to change the function’s result with After plugins
    • Totally get to change the logic of the function with Around plugins.

    To make it more simple to understand, it means that the plugins don’t interfere with each other. these plugins are called one by one and  in a pre-determined order to help and to avoid mutual disputes.

    You can use these plugins throughout the Magento 2 platform and also implement on any of your store’s public function.They are very useful and come in handy when used for extensions that are intercepted for changing public method behavior of any Magento 2 store. However, be careful with the amount of plugins you are using around a single call, it can cause stack traces to grow which will lead a site’s performance make it suffer.


    Magento 1 failed because it never provided a lot of opportunities for developers. If they wanted to change a simple thing as the behavior of the original code, they were forced to either construct observers to listen for certain events or they had to deal with a mountain of preferences which most probably would end up messing with each other’s values, if the developer fail to take necessary caution or wasn’t expert enough.

    Having said such good things about event observers, we can deny the fact that they are getting old and outdated with every passing day. Their era has passed. All the observers are now trapped in the Magento 1 period. In Magento 2 development, the only implement of observers is to be employed as part of old code or with small apps.

    Just to give you more insight, there are some drawbacks of being a spectator at an event. Since Magento 2 creates minimum of three objects in response to the trigger event, observers are very slow to in comparison to plugins. Observers also do not provide flexibility, as much as plugins would do naturally, when they get ar used for introducing platform-wide functionality. The key limit almost all the observers have is they are functioned for modifying any of the objects they impact.

    Bare this in your mind; even Magento 2 development event observers does have value that is why they are still around here. When you set up observers, as you would have done in Magento 1, turn out to be very useful when you are wishing to implement store-wide features such reward system or bonus points during sales period.

    But still despite being important, you should relying more on plugins for completing your tasks. You can use observers as separate events for the frontend and adminhtml only. You can utilize them with events.xml file designating their field of application.


    As experts of Magento Web Development Company, the most important thing while integrating Magento 2, which to use and what to use between plugins and observers. Because there are many different locations in Magento 2’s core, event observers play an important role in modifying the application’s behavior. The huge number of areas where these observers are needed to work inside Magento makes it really difficult to get rid of them anytime in the future and equally tough for the developers to work without them.

    Without a doubt, observers eventually get outdated and fall out of favor in the developer community at some point. However, for the being it is nearly impossible unless Magento 2 systems completely abandon inheritance to favor the composition, which probably is not going to happen for a few decades to come.

    Here is a quick little guide for you to help out in picking the best tools for the job. They are placed in a descending order, obviously ordered from best to worst;

    • You should always prefer Plugins using @api methods over the simple plugins. The Magento core dev team does not update @api methods very frequently, which makes them more reliable and future freindly.
    • The scond best option after @api for you are event watchers, you know what they are if you are working since Magento 1 period, especially.
    • You should always utilize the simple Plugins –plugins without an @api, as you last option. Reason using them as last option is they are not as reliable as the event observers. They also lack the benefits of @api plugins as well.

    Why Choose Folio3 to integrate Magento Plugins and Observers?

    Folio3 stand among the leading Magento web development services and extension providers around the world. With experienced and certified Magento developers, we commit to bringing high-quality products and services to optimize your business effectively. Additionally, we offer free installation consultation throughout the year for every Magento extension.

    Magento Migration


    The blog has discussed all most all the issues that you may have been come across regarding third-party extensions Magento integration and find yourself unable to convert your online store’s third-party extensions from observers to plugins.

    If you still have any queries on how you can increase the pace of your store or how to make it more reliable? You can visit Folio3 now to know everything you need with the best possible solutions and extremely affordable Magento 2 pricing.

    Our hope is that you loved our blog and which wish you a good luck!


    What is a Plugin?

    Magento 2 Plugin is a technical plugin with which you can write you codes even better. Interception Plugin is referred to a little magento 2 extension that allows editing the behavior of any public class or method by intercepting a function call and running code either before or after or around the function call.

    What is a Observer?

    Observers are a certain type of Magento class. These observers are used to influence general behavior, performance, or any changes in the business logic. Observers are executed when the events they were configured to look after are released by the manager of the events.

    Is there any benefit of using an Observer?

    Observers are incredibly beneficial, when you are trying to find a way around plugins limitations. It will automatically refuse to function, in case where you have attached a plugin to the parent class where a huge number of additional classes are inherited. However, if the parent class decides to generate an event, all the entities attached as inheritance from that particular event will be able to take the same actions.


    Folio3, a Software Powerhouse established in 2005, is one of the leading eCommerce solution providers for SMBs and Fortune 500. The Company has expertise in diverse industries such as Animal Care, Retail, Automotive, Food and Agriculture, and Health care. From ecommerce store design and development to full-scale ERP deployment and integration, Folio3 has done it all.