Magento Extensions Vs Magento Modules: What’s The Difference?

3 min readFeb 14, 2022


Many Magento users or even tech enthusiasts may still ask the question, what’s the difference between the Magento extensions and Magento modules? The question may seem very basic or even childish for many, but it still stands like a mystery in the minds of Magento developers.

Let’s try to break them down to know the true meaning here, so yes, both of them are the key factor that makes a Magento platform a better one. Sometimes it extends the ability in terms of features and some of the functionalities of the Magento platform, like the Magento marketplace extension.

What do you get here? Both could actually work to better the Magento site, but the only difference is which improves the features and functionalities.

Have any points to deliver? Nope? Then keep reading and know the differences between them.

Magento Extensions:

Magento extensions are the simplest package of modules. The set of modules fed inside the Magento as the packet is meant to extend the Magento 1 or 2 version features and functionality.

On can find the extensions in Magento packed up in the following: System > Magento Marketplace> Package Extensions).

Magento Modules:

Magento modules are clubbed to form or develop the extensions Magento, as these module packages are the vital packets to create an extension. The purpose can be for the community or enterprise users.

Once developed, these packed modules of Magento were published on the Magento marketplace.

Still, want more about the difference between Extensions in Magento and Modules? Then got the deep here.

Magento Extensions and Magento Modules: Technically, How They Differ Each Other?

Developers who are used to using Magento 1.x usually think that one extension/module/plugin is the same. In Magento 1.x there is no definition of plugin, although plugin should mean extension/module. This idea came from popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, and others.

Magento Extensions and Modules

In Magento 2 this has changed.

The modules we know about can be anything that introduces a completely new feature in Magento or rewrites some core Magento 2 features because we need a slight difference in functionality. At the same time, plugins can do something before, after, or around it (before/after together). We can say that the Plugin in Magento 2 is a modified version of Observer in Magento 1.x.

Plugins are also called interceptors in Magento 2. The definition according to the Magento 2 devdocs is:

Plugins or interceptors are classes that modify the behavior of public class functions by intercepting function calls and executing code before, after, or around that function call. This allows you to override or extend the behavior of native public methods for any class or interface.

So can we say that modules and plugins are completely separate things? Although the two work differently, plugins cannot exist separately. So let’s say we need to create a module and write a plugin in the module to make the plugin work.

So all plugins are modules, but not all modules are plugins. However, there are some limitations to the plugin. Cannot be used everywhere.

The plugin cannot be used with any of the following:
Object instantiated before loading Magento\Framework\Interception
— Final Method
— Final classes
— Any class that contains at least one last public method
— Non-public method
— Static Method
— __Construct
— Virtual Types
So why use Magento plugins? The answer is; We use Observer in Magento 1.x for the same reason. Overriding class settings in a module can cause conflicts when multiple classes extend the same original class.

The plugin does not modify the class itself, nor does it rewrite the class settings, so there are no conflicts when using external modules that extend the same native class.

In Magento 1.x we have to rely on events for observers to work, but in plugins, we can extend any feature.

Have a different opinion about using anti-plugin and Magento 2 modules? Give your opinion in the comments.

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To know more information on Magento Extensions and Magento Modules, contact Webnexs Ecommerce Expert team.