Method Overriding in PHP

In the realm of object-oriented programming (OOP), method overriding is a crucial concept that empowers developers to modify and enhance the behaviour of inherited methods from parent classes. PHP, being a versatile and widely used language, fully supports method overriding, providing developers with a powerful tool to create flexible and maintainable code. In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the concept of method overriding in PHP, uncover its benefits, and unleash its potential through engaging examples.

If you don’t know about Inheritance, Please follow our tutorial on Inheritance. Click here to learn about Inheritance.

Understanding Method Overriding:

Method overriding is a fundamental concept in OOP that allows a subclass to provide a specific implementation for a method that is already defined in its parent class. By doing so, the subclass effectively replaces the inherited method’s behaviour, tailoring it to suit its unique requirements. Method overriding plays a pivotal role in achieving the “is-a” relationship in inheritance, where the subclass is considered a specialized version of the parent class.

Implementing Method Overriding in PHP:

Let’s dive into a practical example to grasp the essence of method overriding in PHP. Consider a Shape class with a method calculateArea() that calculates and returns the area of different shapes.

class Shape {
    public function calculateArea() {
        return 0; // Base implementation for an unknown shape

class Circle extends Shape {
    private $radius;

    public function __construct($radius) {
        $this->radius = $radius;

    public function calculateArea() {
        return pi() * pow($this->radius, 2); // Overriding method for circles

class Square extends Shape {
    private $side;

    public function __construct($side) {
        $this->side = $side;

    public function calculateArea() {
        return pow($this->side, 2); // Overriding method for squares

// Create instances of Circle and Square
$circle = new Circle(5);
$square = new Square(4);

// Calculate and display areas
echo "Area of the Circle: " . $circle->calculateArea() . "<br>"; // Output: Area of the Circle: 78.539816339745
echo "Area of the Square: " . $square->calculateArea() . "<br>"; // Output: Area of the Square: 16

In the example above, we have defined a Shape class with a method calculateArea(), which returns the area of a generic shape. The Circle and Square classes extend the Shape class and override the calculateArea() method to provide specific implementations for circles and squares.

Advantages of Method Overriding:

  • Code Reusability: Method overriding allows developers to reuse the existing functionality from the parent class while customizing it for the specific needs of the subclasses.
  • Polymorphism: By providing different implementations of the same method, method overriding enables polymorphism, allowing objects of different classes to be treated uniformly through a common interface.
  • Encapsulation: Method overriding promotes encapsulation, as subclasses can hide the details of their customized method implementation from external code.


Method overriding is a powerful feature in PHP that empowers developers to create flexible and extensible code through inheritance. By understanding and utilizing method overriding, you can craft elegant and maintainable solutions for complex software development challenges. Embrace the potential of method overriding in your PHP projects and embark on a journey towards code excellence and efficiency. Happy coding!

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