The plugin client and the core plugins are available in the php-http/client-common package:

$ composer require php-http/client-common

New in version 1.1: The plugins were moved to the clients-common package in version 1.1. If you work with version 1.0, you need to require the separate php-http/plugins package and the namespace is Http\Client\Plugin instead of Http\Client\Common

How it works

In the plugin package, you can find the following content:

  • the PluginClient itself which acts as a wrapper around any kind of HTTP client (sync/async);
  • the Plugin interface;
  • a set of core plugins (see the full list in the left side navigation).

The PluginClient accepts an HTTP client implementation and an array of plugins. Let’s see an example:

use Http\Discovery\HttpClientDiscovery;
use Http\Client\Common\PluginClient;
use Http\Client\Common\Plugin\RetryPlugin;
use Http\Client\Common\Plugin\RedirectPlugin;

$retryPlugin = new RetryPlugin();
$redirectPlugin = new RedirectPlugin();

$pluginClient = new PluginClient(

The PluginClient accepts and implements both Http\Client\HttpClient and Http\Client\HttpAsyncClient, so you can use both ways to send a request. In case the passed client implements only one of these interfaces, the PluginClient “emulates” the other behavior as a fallback.

It is important to note that the order of plugins matters. During the request, plugins are executed in the order they have been specified in the constructor, from first to last. Once a response has been received, the plugins are called again in reversed order, from last to first.

For our previous example, the execution chain will look like this:

Request  ---> PluginClient ---> RetryPlugin ---> RedirectPlugin ---> HttpClient ----
                                                                                   | (processing call)
Response <--- PluginClient <--- RetryPlugin <--- RedirectPlugin <--- HttpClient <---

In order to achieve the intended behavior in the global process, you need to pay attention to what each plugin does and define the correct order accordingly.

For example, the RetryPlugin should probably be at the end of the chain to keep the retry process as short as possible. However, if one of the other plugins is doing a fragile operation that might need a retry, place the retry plugin before that.

The recommended way to order plugins is the following:

  1. Plugins that modify the request should be at the beginning (like Authentication or Cookie Plugin);
  2. Plugins which intervene in the workflow should be in the “middle” (like Retry or Redirect Plugin);
  3. Plugins which log information should be last (like Logger or History Plugin).


There can be exceptions to these rules. For example, for security reasons you might not want to log the authentication information (like Authorization header) and choose to put the Authentication Plugin after the Logger Plugin.

Configuration Options

The PluginClient accepts an array of configuration options to tweak its behavior.

max_restarts: int (default 10)

To prevent issues with faulty plugins or endless redirects, the PluginClient injects a security check to the start of the plugin chain. If the same request is restarted more than specified by that value, execution is aborted and an error is raised.

debug_plugins: array of Plugin

The debug plugins are injected between each normal plugin. This can be used to log the changes each plugin does on the request and response objects.

Libraries that Require Plugins

When writing a library based on HTTPlug, you might require specific plugins to be active. The recommended way for doing this is to provide a factory method for the PluginClient that library users should use. This allows them to inject their own plugins or configure a different client. For example:

$myApiClient = new My\Api\Client('', My\Api\HttpClientFactory::create('john', 's3cr3t'));

use Http\Client\HttpClient;
use Http\Client\Common\Plugin;
use Http\Client\Common\Plugin\AuthenticationPlugin;
use Http\Client\Common\Plugin\ErrorPlugin;
use Http\Discovery\HttpClientDiscovery;

class HttpClientFactory
     * Build the HTTP client to talk with the API.
     * @param string     $user    Username for the application on the API
     * @param string     $pass    Password for the application on the API
     * @param Plugin[]   $plugins List of additional plugins to use
     * @param HttpClient $client  Base HTTP client
     * @return HttpClient
    public static function create($user, $pass, array $plugins = [], HttpClient $client = null)
        if (!$client) {
            $client = HttpClientDiscovery::find();
        $plugins[] = new ErrorPlugin();
        $plugins[] = new AuthenticationPlugin(
             // This API has it own authentication algorithm
            new ApiAuthentication(Client::AUTH_OAUTH_TOKEN, $user, $pass)
        return new PluginClient($client, $plugins);