In web applications, such as Magento, routing is the act of providing data from a URL request to the appropriate class for processing. Magento routing uses the following flow:

index.php -> HTTP application -> FrontController -> Routing -> Controller processing -> etc

FrontController class

The FrontController class class searches through a list of routers, provided by the RouterList class, until it matches one that can process a request. When the FrontController finds a matching router, it dispatches the request to an action class returned by the router.

If the FrontController cannot find a router to process a request, it uses the default router.

Router class

The Router class matches a request to an action class that processes the request.

The following tables show the core routers that come with Magento:

frontend area routers:

Name Sort order Description
robots 10 Matches request to the robots.txt file
urlrewrite 20 Matches requests with URL defined in the database
standard 30 The standard router
cms 60 Matches requests for CMS pages
default 100 The default router

adminhtml area routers:

Name Sort order Description
admin 10 Matches requests in the Magento admin area
default 100 The default router for the admin area

Standard router

A Magento URL that uses the standard router has the following format:



  • <store-url> - specifies the base URL for the Magento instance
  • <store-code> - specifies the store context
  • <front-name> - specifies the frontName of the FrontController to use
  • <controller-name> - specifies the name of the controller
  • <action-name> - specifies the action class to execute on the controller class

The standard router parses this URL format and matches it to the correct controller and action.

Default router

The default router, defined by the DefaultRouter class, is the last router Magento checks during the routing process. Requests that reach this point often contain invalid URLs that previous routers cannot handle.

Magento uses the default NoRouteHandler to process these requests, but you can write your own no-route handler by implementing the NoRouteHandlerInterface.

Custom routers

Create an implementation of RouterInterface to create a custom router, and define the match() function in this class to use your own route matching logic.

If you need route configuration data, use the Route Config class.

To add your custom router to the list of routers for the FrontController, add the following entry in your module’s di.xml file:

<type name="Magento\Framework\App\RouterList">
        <argument name="routerList" xsi:type="array">
            <item name="%name%" xsi:type="array">
                <item name="class" xsi:type="string">%classpath%</item>
                <item name="disable" xsi:type="boolean">false</item>
                <item name="sortOrder" xsi:type="string">%sortorder%</item>


  • %name% - The unique name of your router in Magento.
  • %classpath% - The path to your router class.
    Example: Magento\Robots\Controller\Router
  • %sortorder% - The sort order of this entry in the router list.


The routes.xml file maps which module to use for a URL with a specific frontName and area. The location of the routes.xml file in a module, either etc/frontend or etc/adminhtml, specifies where those routes are active.

The content of this file uses the following format:

<config xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:App/etc/routes.xsd">
    <router id="%routerId%">
        <route id="%routeId%" frontName="%frontName%">
            <module name="%moduleName%"/>


  • %routerId - specifies the name of the router in Magento.
    See the reference tables in the Router class section.
  • %routeId% - specifies the unique node id for this route in Magento.
  • %frontName% - specifies the first segment after the base URL of a request.
  • %moduleName% - specifies the name of your module.

For more details, see routes.xsd.

Before and after parameters

You can add a before or after parameter in the module entry to override or extend routes in existing modules.

Example: routes.xml

<config xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:App/etc/routes.xsd">
    <router id="standard">
        <route id="customer">
            <module name="OrangeCompany_RoutingExample" before="Magento_Customer" />

This configuration tells the FrontController to look for actions in the OrangeCompany_RoutingExample module before searching in the Magento_Customer module. If app/code/OrangeCompany/RoutingExample/Controller/Account/Login.php exists, it will use that file for processing the login route instead of the original class.

Action class

Action classes are extensions of the Action class that a router returns on matched requests. The execute() function in these classes contain the logic for dispatching requests.

If you need to forward a request to another action in your class, use the _forward() function.


$this->_forward('action', 'controller', 'Other_Module')

Use the ActionFactory in your router to create an instance of an Action class.

Action class should return a result object.

Result object

Name Description
json Sets Content-Type:application/json in the header and returns a json encoded representation of an array with data
raw Returns the data as it’s been set. Does not set a Content-Type in the header
redirect Creates an external redirect, which the browser follows and requests a new url
forward Internally calls the execute method of another action class and does not trigger a new request from the browser. The URL stays the same
layout View result. You can use a generic layout response to render any kind of layout. The layout comprises a response body from its layout elements and sets it to the HTTP response
page View result. Encapsulates page type, page configuration, and imposes certain layout handles. page triggers layout.xml to render into HTML