There are two ways by which we can call a static block in a Magento phtml file;


<reference name="footer">   
    <block type="cms/block" name="my_identifier">
        <action method="setBlockId"><block_id>my_identifier</block_id></action>  

Then in the phtml file:

<?php echo $this->getChildHtml('my_identifier') ?>


<?php echo $this->getLayout()->createBlock('cms/block')->setBlockId('my_identifier')->toHtml() ?>

Which approach is better and why?

1 Answer 1


There at least 10 more ways we can do it ;)

In my opinion, the best way is method 1:

  • Templates should, ideally, only contain HTML and echoing of variables, child blocks, or contain very simple display logic
  • You're separating "what" (which CMS block) and "how" (HTML) which makes for easier maintenance
  • Future developers can find more easily what they're looking for. The structure of the page should be defined in layout XML. If I were to change the identifier of the CMS block, layout XML would be the first place I'd look - and many other developers as well.
  • What do you mean by 10 other ways. Can you give some examples?
    – Brats
    Sep 10, 2015 at 10:44
  • In Magento there are many ways to do things, but method 1 is the best, so you don't have to worry about the other ones. It was mostly a joke anyways, but you can, for example, put the create block logic in your own block class (if you have one), or you could call the <action> in custom layout XML through the admin interface, or you can use the registry, or you can use a widget, or widget instance, or you can... etc. etc.
    – Erfan
    Sep 10, 2015 at 13:22

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