CakePHP vs Laravel: Which Framework to Choose for Web Development?

Which PHP framework should you choose between Laravel vs CakePHP?

If you are looking to find the answer to the above question, you are landed on the right blog post.

So whether you are a business owner or a web developer, choosing the best between two powerful PHP frameworks is confusing especially when the top 1 million websites use PHP technology globally.

In this article, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two popular PHP frameworks – CakePHP vs Laravel. By the end of this blog, you will get clear on which framework is right for your web application development.

Let’s get started.

8 Key Differences: Laravel vs CakePHP Web Framework

Get a quick brief about both Laravel and CakePHP frameworks by checking the following table.

ArchitectureLaravel uses Model-View-Controller(MVC) architecture where requests are processed by a ‘controller’ and a ‘view’ is displayed using the data or ‘model’.CakePHP uses a subgroup of MVC called Hierarchical-Model-View-Controller architecture(HMVC) where one controller can contact other controllers directly which is not possible in MVC without an external custom library. HMVC is a collection of typical MVC trifecta leading to more reusability of code.
Database ModelLaravel employs the object-oriented model where data is present as persistent objects like they would be in the database which makes it easier to access. A single object has all properties attached to it.CakePHP works on the document-oriented model where data is compressed like a document and within a document, data is represented as structured key-value pairs. Retrieval is slightly more sophisticated than just calling an object.
Suitability and scalabilityLaravel is suitable for larger or enterprise-level projects. With large chunks of data, Laravel allows one to retrieve it in bulk and access it bit by bit without memory issues which makes large computations relatively easy leading to better scalability of an application.CakePHP is more suitable for smaller projects. Large applications require a large amount of data manipulation which CakePHP is not equipped for.
DocumentationLaravel has good documentation but is slightly more complex for many beginners to follow as it assumes you have knowledge of MVC architecture and OOPS concepts.CakePHP has great documentation that is brief yet comprehensive. All relevant concepts including the MVC structure are explained concisely.
SecurityLaravel provides security features, such as encryption, and password protection. But as larger systems can be built using Laravel, security issues can become more apparent for example using raw SQL can open up the database to easier SQL injection attacks(developers will have to take extra measures when writing queries to prevent hacking).CakePHP has more powerful security potential than Laravel applications as it offers features like data validation, data sanitation, prevention from SQL injection attacks, XSS prevention, auth component, validation of input, and protection of form data.
Development speedLaravel supports rapid development of applications due to many factors and one of them is the presence of frontend preprocessors for JS and CSS(called Laravel Elixir) saves time as no Webpack configuration is required as Elixir handles it.The fast development of CakePHP applications is possible due to the reusability of components.
GitHub stars70.1k8.5k
Search URL supportSearch engine-friendly URLs can be set up in Laravel.CakePHP only allows for basic URLs.

What is Laravel PHP Framework?

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP framework mainly used to build web applications. It follows the model-view-controller architecture pattern.

This framework comes with an easy version control system which helps in migrations’ simplified management. Laravel framework uses model view controller architecture pattern that helps developers to write code in a structured way and execute rapid web development.

Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks and has skyrocketed in the last decade since its inception in 2011. Since then, it has quickly risen to become one of the top choices of PHP frameworks in the arena of web development.

laravel software frameworks


As visible from the chart, the market share held by Laravel is good enough. Some of the popular organizations in the world choose a Laravel development services provider to create dynamic for both in-house and their clients. Companies like Pfizer, 9GAG, Crowdcube, and BBC use Laravel to build multiple web applications in various niches.

Furthermore, a few popular websites built using Laravel are Alison, Barchart, and Invoice Ninja. Using Laravel, we designed and developed an event management web solution from scratch. Here is our portfolio to know more about our work.

Here are features of the Laravel framework that set it apart from other frameworks.

  • Structured programming due to reusability of components
  • Rich functionality and scalability
  • Elegant syntax for full-scale and feature-rich web applications
  • Large community of Laravel developers
  • Abundant support with in-built libraries

Now that you have got a solid idea of Laravel’s capabilities, let’s move on to CakePHP and its features.

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What is CakePHP Framework?

CakePHP is an open-source framework that allows developers to create web applications quickly. The key features of CakePHP are easy CRUD Database interactions, its connectivity and complete control over database queries.

CakePHP applications also follow conventional naming standards and features such as built-in validation methods, making it one of the most robust web app frameworks.

cakephp software frameworks


Compared to other non-PHP-based software frameworks, the market share of CakePHP is meagre. Regardless, CakePHP has several useful features that help to convert your web development project idea into reality. Here’s the list of CakePHP framework features.

  • Uses the Hierarchical MVC architecture
  • Best framework in security when compared to other frameworks due to techniques such as encryption, hashing, secure form data, CSRF(or cross-site attacks) prevention
  • Better routing functionality
  • Offers fast performance with caching operations
  • CakePHP frameworks operate on the document-oriented database model

If you are looking to develop a PHP solution using a CakePHP framework, hire dedicated PHP developers from a top web development company to develop solutions as per your requirements. So, now you have got a basic understanding of each framework, now we have compared each framework in detail on the different parameters.

Detailed Comparison Between Laravel vs CakePHP Framework

  1. Laravel vs CakePHP: Performance

  2. Is Laravel framework better at performance?

    Laravel, as a PHP framework, is much preferred for larger projects. With enterprise-level web apps, the datasets are massive and tough to manage. But, Laravel is developed in such a way that makes it easy to manage complex databases and performs well. Additionally, Laravel applications are also easily scalable compared to CakePHP due to speed, flexibility, automation, and security.

    For instance, Laravel applications perform better when using pagination than other frameworks, even when working with higher volumes of data. Its fast pagination can be credited to the Eloquent ORM that works alongside the Query Builder, which quickly retrieves data. Not only it is easy to use but also known to enhance the application’s performance.

    Is CakePHP better at performance?

    CakePHP is quick and effective in smaller projects dealing with fewer datasets. The framework’s performance declines when dealing with enormous databases.

    Winner: Laravel

    Laravel is the winner as projects must perform better even when scaled to an enterprise-level application.

  3. CakePHP vs Laravel: Templates

  4. Does the Laravel framework have better support for templates?

    Laravel is built-in with the Blade Template engine. This engine supports custom and lightweight HTML templates that developers use to build elegant web pages. Its lightweight template language is used to create dynamic and hierarchical structures.

    Does CakePHP have better support for templates?

    CakePHP also offers templates, but they are complicated and bulky, which limits their capabilities. Furthermore, CakePHP uses Underscore templates which comparatively lack features compared to Laravel.

    Winner: Laravel

    Laravel is the winner as the lightweight templates in Laravel enhance coding efficiency and allow the Laravel developer to get the job done quicker and with less hassle.

  5. Laravel vs CakePHP: Testing

  6. Is CakePHP better at testing?

    CakePHP framework uses the PHPUnit test framework. Supporting this testing framework makes CakePHP framework powerful due to its various features. In CakePHP, there are two types of testing methods available. First, unit testing; second, web testing. The custom-test methods in CakePHP also make testing a simpler task for developers.

    Is Laravel better at testing?

    Laravel, on the other hand, offers feature-rich performance testing like unit testing. This allows developers to ensure that the application works as intended without any breaks or bugs. It also takes away the burden of manual testing as rigorous unit testing is done automatically.

    Winner: Tie

    Both frameworks offer the required amount of features to test the applications. For instance, both frameworks offer unit testing and use the PHPUnit library to test the entire application.

  7. Laravel vs CakePHP: Support Libraries

  8. Does Laravel have better support libraries?

    Owing to a larger market share and community due to its popularity, Laravel has an extensive collection of well-documented support libraries. Laravel also has up to 20 inbuilt libraries that accommodate functions such as modularity.

    Yet another reason why a plethora of support libraries exists is that Laravel is more preferred in developing PHP-based web applications, which in turn means more complex problem-solving.

    Does CakePHP have better support libraries?

    CakePHP also supports several in-built libraries like Components and Helpers that make reusability easier and dispose of redundant code. But unlike Laravel, the extent of support libraries is limited in quantity.

    Winner: Laravel

    Laravel is the winner as many large-scale, useful applications can be created when there are plenty of support functions to take advantage of in the form of libraries.

  9. Laravel vs CakePHP: Advanced Functionalities

  10. Does Laravel have more advanced functionalities?

    Laravel has many advanced functionalities under its umbrella in comparison to CakePHP. For instance, Laravel –

    • Uses Eloquent ORM (similar to CakePHP) coupled with the Query Builder
    • Uses BCrypt for security, causing minimal SQL injection attacks
    • Laravel owns a command-line interface (CLI) called Artisan
    • Laravel has many new tools like Socialite, Mix, for authentication, and CSS styling

    Does CakePHP have more advanced functionalities?

    CakePHP boasts a few advanced functionalities that are absent in Laravel, like code scaffolding which is a huge advantage for CakePHP developers. Code scaffolding helps developers duplicate and reuse entire project development codes, improving web development efficiency.

    Winner: Laravel

    Laravel is the winner as CakePHP’s functionalities are limited compared to Laravel and that becomes a lacking point in CakePHP and an advantage for Laravel. The advanced functionalities help developers in several ways like testing, method chaining, and reuse of HTML code.

  11. CakePHP vs Laravel: Plugins

  12. Does CakePHP have better plugins?

    CakePHP has a wide variety of plugins to keep the application readable and compact. Plugins help to keep the code clean, efficient, and organized. CakePHP has plugins that support vital functions like authentication, security, asset management, debugging, and migration.

    Does Laravel have better plugins?

    Compared to CakePHP, Laravel does not provide the same assortment of plugins. This leads to poorer reusability within the code.

    Winner: CakePHP

    CakePHP is the winner as plugins offer the means to build more feature-inclusive applications.

What is Common Between Laravel vs CakePHP?

Check the following points to know some similarities between both frameworks.

  • Both are open-source frameworks of PHP
  • Laravel and CakePHP follow the MVC pattern of architecture
  • Laravel and CakePHP both support rapid and easier development
  • Both frameworks have an ample amount of documentation for reference
  • Laravel and CakePHP both support component reuse or code reusability

Laravel vs. CakePHP: When to Choose?

When to Choose Laravel Framework?

Select Laravel as your framework in the following conditions.

  • You have a complex project that will require extensive scaling in the future
  • You need to perform numerous database querying, and your application heavily depends on OOPs functions
  • You need a website that is quick, stable, and secure
  • You want to utilize extensive library functions to carry out complicated functionalities
  • You plan to conduct a rapid but thorough web app development
  • You want to create a larger application and that requires two-way data binding process

When to Choose CakePHP Framework?

Select the CakePHP framework in the following conditions.

  • You want to save your cost and rapidly enter the market with your application
  • You are building a side project that is a small-scale project with limited chances of scaling
  • You want a more secure PHP framework to build your application
  • You want a systematic and easy-to-understand document to build a web app rapidly

Develop a Custom Web Application for Your Business

Let’s talk and discuss your requirements. Get a consultation from our experienced web developers for your project requirements.

Still, have questions regarding Laravel vs CakePHP? Check our frequently asked questions to get the answers.

FAQ About CakePHP vs Laravel

  1. Where to find and hire Laravel developers to create a web application?

  2. Laravel developers with great experience, app development knowledge, and expertise in software development services can be found on the following platforms:

    • Space-O Canada
    • Toptal
    • Upwork
    • PeoplePerHour

    Ideally, you must consult a web development agency that has proven expertise in custom web development services.

  3. What are the other web app development frameworks based on PHP?

  4. Here is a list of some other popular frameworks of PHP.

    • CodeIgniter
    • Symfony
    • Laminas (previously known as Zend)
    • Yii
    • Phalcon
  5. Is CakePHP easy to learn?

  6. CakePHP is an excellent beginner-friendly framework, making it easy to pick up and work with. It is also much more suitable for smaller-scale projects. This framework offers plenty of helpful features that are helpful to developers while creating a PHP-based application.

Choose Wisely Between Laravel and CakePHP for Your Project

In this blog, you have learned about the differences and similarities between both CakePHP and Laraval frameworks. As you got an idea, both the frameworks have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing between Laravel and CakePHP totally depends on your business requirements, goals, and features you want in your project. Still, if you are confused about whether to choose Laravel or CakePHP, reach us to let our professional web developers help you. We have a team of experienced PHP web developers who have expertise in developing small-scale projects and enterprise-level applications.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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