HTTP Responses

Basic Responses

Returning Strings From Routes

The most basic response from a Laravel route is a string:

Route::get('/', function()
{
    return 'Hello World';
});

Creating Custom Responses

However, for most routes and controller actions, you will be returning a full Illuminate\Http\Response instance or a view. Returning a full Response instance allows you to customize the response's HTTP status code and headers. A Response instance inherits from the Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response class, providing a variety of methods for building HTTP responses:

use Illuminate\Http\Response;

return (new Response($content, $status))
              ->header('Content-Type', $value);

For convenience, you may also use the response helper:

return response($content, $status)
              ->header('Content-Type', $value);

Note: For a full list of available Response methods, check out its API documentation and the Symfony API documentation.

Sending A View In A Response

If you need access to the Response class methods, but want to return a view as the response content, you may use the view method for convenience:

return response()->view('hello')->header('Content-Type', $type);

Attaching Cookies To Responses

return response($content)->withCookie(cookie('name', 'value'));

Method Chaining

Keep in mind that most Response methods are chainable, allowing for the fluent building of responses:

return response()->view('hello')->header('Content-Type', $type)
                 ->withCookie(cookie('name', 'value'));

Redirects

Redirect responses are typically instances of the Illuminate\Http\RedirectResponse class, and contain the proper headers needed to redirect the user to another URL.

Returning A Redirect

There are several ways to generate a RedirectResponse instance. The simplest method is to use the redirect helper method. When testing, it is not common to mock the creation of a redirect response, so using the helper method is almost always acceptable:

return redirect('user/login');

Returning A Redirect With Flash Data

Redirecting to a new URL and flashing data to the session are typically done at the same time. So, for convenience, you may create a RedirectResponse instance and flash data to the session in a single method chain:

return redirect('user/login')->with('message', 'Login Failed');

Redirecting To The Previous URL

You may wish to redirect the user to their previous location, for example, after a form submission. You can do so by using the back method:

return redirect()->back();

return redirect()->back()->withInput();

Returning A Redirect To A Named Route

When you call the redirect helper with no parameters, an instance of Illuminate\Routing\Redirector is returned, allowing you to call any method on the Redirector instance. For example, to generate a RedirectResponse to a named route, you may use the route method:

return redirect()->route('login');

Returning A Redirect To A Named Route With Parameters

If your route has parameters, you may pass them as the second argument to the route method.

// For a route with the following URI: profile/{id}

return redirect()->route('profile', [1]);

If you are redirecting to a route with an "ID" parameter that is being populated from an Eloquent model, you may simply pass the model itself. The ID will be extracted automatically:

return redirect()->route('profile', [$user]);

Returning A Redirect To A Named Route Using Named Parameters

// For a route with the following URI: profile/{user}

return redirect()->route('profile', ['user' => 1]);

Returning A Redirect To A Controller Action

Similarly to generating RedirectResponse instances to named routes, you may also generate redirects to controller actions:

return redirect()->action('App\Http\Controllers\HomeController@index');

Note: You do not need to specify the full namespace to the controller if you have registered a root controller namespace via URL::setRootControllerNamespace.

Returning A Redirect To A Controller Action With Parameters

return redirect()->action('App\Http\Controllers\UserController@profile', [1]);

Returning A Redirect To A Controller Action Using Named Parameters

return redirect()->action('App\Http\Controllers\UserController@profile', ['user' => 1]);

Other Responses

The response helper may be used to conveniently generate other types of response instances. When the response helper is called without arguments, an implementation of the Illuminate\Contracts\Routing\ResponseFactory contract is returned. This contract provides several helpful methods for generating responses.

Creating A JSON Response

The json method will automatically set the Content-Type header to application/json:

return response()->json(['name' => 'Abigail', 'state' => 'CA']);

Creating A JSONP Response

return response()->json(['name' => 'Abigail', 'state' => 'CA'])
                 ->setCallback($request->input('callback'));

Creating A File Download Response

return response()->download($pathToFile);

return response()->download($pathToFile, $name, $headers);

Note: Symfony HttpFoundation, which manages file downloads, requires the file being downloaded to have an ASCII file name.

Response Macros

If you would like to define a custom response that you can re-use in a variety of your routes and controllers, you may use the macro method on an implementation of Illuminate\Contracts\Routing\ResponseFactory.

For example, from a service provider's boot method:

<?php namespace App\Providers;

use Response;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;

class ResponseMacroServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider {

    /**
     * Perform post-registration booting of services.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function boot()
    {
        Response::macro('caps', function($value)
        {
            return Response::make(strtoupper($value));
        });
    }

}

The macro function accepts a name as its first argument, and a Closure as its second. The macro's Closure will be executed when calling the macro name from a ResponseFactory implementation or the response helper:

return response()->caps('foo');