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Are Magic Methods Best practice in PHP?

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


Are Magic Methods Best practice in PHP?

How to&Answers:

I don’t think magic methods are best or worst practice: depending on what you want to achieve you can use them or not…
What I mean is that you don’t have to tweak your code as possible to use them, but if you have to there is no problem at all.

If you have an object with 3 and only 3 attributes you don’t need to use magic setters/getters, but in some advanced cases they are a great way to do very complex things (ORM systems etc…)

Maybe some of them are deprecated, I don’t know, but most of them are not.



  1. Text searches don’t find the functions

  2. System is harder to understand, especially for newcomers

  3. Refactoring tools might fail more often

Generally, the magic methods do things behind the scenes and the programmer might not realize it’s happening which makes debugging harder.

When searching for the functions (or other symbols) can’t find all the matches it becomes a nightmare to remove old code and this fear can cause dead code to pile up in the codebase. If the dead code is removed, it can cause breakage in unknown places.


At least, some of these magic functions are recommended by Google:

Avoid writing naive setters and getters

When writing classes in PHP, you can save time and speed up your
scripts by working with object properties directly, rather than
writing naive setters and getters. In the following example, the dog
class uses the setName() and getName() methods for accessing the name

class dog {
  public $name = '';

  public function setName($name) {
    $this->name = $name;

  public function getName() {
    return $this->name;

Notice that setName() and getName() do nothing more than store and
return the name property, respectively.

$rover = new dog();
echo $rover->getName();

Setting and calling the name property directly can run
up to 100% faster, as well as cutting down on development time.

$rover = new dog();
$rover->name = 'rover';
echo $rover->name;

Original link: http://code.google.com/speed/articles/optimizing-php.html

Archived version: https://web.archive.org/web/20120208060457/http://code.google.com/speed/articles/optimizing-php.html

Anyway, these methods might not be performant, but they ain’t deprecated at all.


I don’t think so. My IDE is not able to show me “hints” for magic setter and getters. Altough the code is harder to debug sometimes.

I prefer not using them, better generate needed methods (like many setters and getters) by my ide.