Why Isn't CakePHP Popular Despite Being One of the Earliest PHP Frameworks?
Why Isn't CakePHP Popular Despite Being One of the Earliest PHP Frameworks?

CakePHP is a mature and well-established PHP framework that has been around for over a decade. It is known for its ease of use, flexibility, and extensive feature set. However, despite its many advantages, CakePHP is not as popular as some other PHP frameworks, such as Laravel and Symfony.

Why Isn’t CakePHP Popular

There are a number of reasons why CakePHP may not be as popular as other frameworks. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Steep learning curve: CakePHP has a reputation for having a steep learning curve. This can be a barrier for some developers, who may prefer to use a framework with a simpler syntax.
  • Large codebase: CakePHP has a large codebase, which can be daunting for new developers. This can also make it difficult to keep up with the latest changes to the framework.
  • Lack of active community: The CakePHP community is not as active as some other PHP framework communities. This can make it difficult to find help when you need it.
  • Perception of being outdated: CakePHP is one of the oldest PHP frameworks, and some developers may perceive it as being outdated. This perception may be unfair, as CakePHP is still actively developed and maintained.

Despite these challenges, CakePHP remains a popular choice for many developers. It is a powerful and flexible framework that can be used to build a wide variety of web applications.

Reasons for CakePHP’s Decline in Popularity

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, I don’t have real-time data, so I can’t provide the most current trends. However, I can mention some factors that might have contributed to CakePHP’s decline in popularity around that time. Keep in mind that the situation may have changed, and it’s always a good idea to check for the latest information:

Competition from other frameworks

CakePHP faced increasing competition from other PHP frameworks such as Laravel and Symfony. These frameworks gained popularity for their modern features, flexibility, and developer-friendly interfaces, which may have overshadowed CakePHP.

Learning curve

Some developers found CakePHP’s learning curve to be steeper compared to other frameworks. As new and more accessible frameworks emerged, developers may have preferred options that were quicker to pick up and implement.

Community and ecosystem

The strength of a framework often lies in its community and ecosystem. If the community support and the availability of plugins, extensions, and resources decline, developers might be less inclined to choose that framework. Other PHP frameworks may have attracted more attention and contributors.

Perceived performance issues

At times, there were concerns about CakePHP’s performance, particularly in comparison to other frameworks. Developers might have chosen alternatives that offered better performance for their specific use cases.

Updates and releases

If there were delays or issues with updates and new releases, it could have affected CakePHP’s appeal. Developers often look for frameworks that are actively maintained, regularly updated, and stay current with the latest industry standards.

Community preferences

Developer communities can be influenced by trends and preferences. If influential developers or companies started favoring other frameworks, it could have contributed to CakePHP’s decline in popularity.

Evolution of PHP

PHP itself underwent significant changes and improvements in terms of language features and performance. Developers might have been drawn to frameworks that took advantage of these advancements more effectively.

It’s important to note that the above points are not exhaustive, and the landscape of web development can change rapidly. As of my last update, CakePHP still had a user base, and it’s possible that developments have occurred since then. If you’re considering a framework for a new project, it’s recommended to evaluate the current state of various frameworks based on your project’s requirements and the latest community feedback.

CakePHP’s Strengths and Weaknesses

CakePHP, like any framework, has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to consider these factors when deciding whether CakePHP is the right choice for a particular project. Keep in mind that the information provided here is based on my last update in January 2022, and there may have been changes or improvements since then.


Convention over Configuration

    • Strength: CakePHP follows the convention over configuration (CoC) paradigm, which means that developers can follow conventions to avoid the need for extensive configuration. This can lead to quicker development and less boilerplate code.

Rapid Development

      • Strength: CakePHP is known for its ability to facilitate rapid development. The framework provides features like scaffolding, code generation, and a set of conventions that allow developers to quickly build applications.

Built-in ORM (Object-Relational Mapping)

    • Strength: CakePHP includes a powerful ORM that simplifies database interactions. It allows developers to work with databases using an object-oriented approach, making it easier to manage and manipulate data.

CRUD Operations

    • Strength: CakePHP simplifies CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations. Basic CRUD functionality can be achieved with minimal code, which is beneficial for standard database interactions.

MVC Architecture

    • Strength: CakePHP follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, promoting a clear separation of concerns. This helps in maintaining code readability, organization, and scalability.

Community and Documentation

    • Strength: CakePHP has an active community and provides comprehensive documentation. This can be valuable for developers seeking support, tutorials, and resources when working with the framework.


Learning Curve

    • Weakness: Some developers find CakePHP’s learning curve to be steeper compared to other PHP frameworks. The conventions and structure may take time to grasp for those new to the framework.


    • Weakness: While the conventions in CakePHP can speed up development, they might limit flexibility for developers who prefer more control over configurations. Projects with unconventional requirements may find it challenging to fit within the framework’s conventions.

Performance Concerns

    • Weakness: In the past, there were concerns about CakePHP’s performance compared to some other PHP frameworks. While improvements have been made over time, developers working on performance-sensitive projects may opt for frameworks known for their high performance.

Less Trendy

    • Weakness: CakePHP has faced competition from trendier frameworks like Laravel and Symfony. Developers might choose frameworks that are more aligned with the latest industry trends and practices.

Limited Ecosystem

    • Weakness: While CakePHP has a variety of plugins and extensions, its ecosystem may not be as extensive as some other frameworks. Projects requiring specific integrations or third-party packages may find a more robust ecosystem in other frameworks.

Dependency on Convention

    • Weakness: The reliance on conventions might become a limitation for projects that need more customization. Deviating significantly from CakePHP conventions might result in additional configuration and complexity.

Ultimately, the decision to use CakePHP should be based on the specific requirements of the project, the preferences of the development team, and the current state of the framework. Developers should carefully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses to determine if CakePHP aligns with their goals and project needs.


CakePHP is a mature and well-established PHP framework that has a number of strengths. However, it also has a number of weaknesses, and it has seen a decline in popularity in recent years. Despite this, CakePHP is still a popular choice for many developers, and it is a powerful and flexible framework that can be used to build a wide variety of web applications.

© 2013 - 2024 Foreignerds. All Rights Reserved