PHP is one of the leading programming languages in the web development world. Its popularity is increasing rapidly every year due to its robust frameworks that make the development of large projects smooth and uncomplicated. Two of such popular PHP frameworks are CakePHP and Symfony. Every framework is different from the other ones even though they are for the same language. As a matter of fact, they have different suitability of specification applications. For example, Symfony is preferred more among enterprise level application whereas CakePHP is perfect for developing web applications that are highly scalable. The followings are the differences between CakePHP and Symfony that will help you decide which PHP framework to choose to develop your project on PHP or post freelance jobs to hire web developers.

Documentation –

Documentation is extremely important from a developer’s perspective because it contains all the required tutorials, code snippets, information that developers need from time to time. Most importantly, when a new version comes out, the documentation is the only place where the developers can get authentic information about the changes made and how they can be implemented for better programming. Symphony has better and detailed documentation in comparison to CakePHP. Developers can search through any information effortlessly whereas CakePHP’s documentation is not well-structured and it is very difficult to locate the required information quickly. One has to rely on CakePHP’s communities

Winner – Symfony for having a detailed and develop-friendly documentation.

Components –

It is always the core components of the frameworks that differentiate one another. When it comes to Symfony, there is a wide range of components that have specific uses and they are very easy to use. In CakePHP, the components are diverse as well and the most interesting part is that there are expandable to such an extent that you can create dynamic applications very conveniently. As a matter of fact, the simplicity and scalability of the CakePHP components help in faster development. Symfony’s components are more suitable for developing enterprise level applications where security and ability to handle complexity has to be higher.

The components are very logical and developers have complete control over configuration when it comes to Symfony. The same can be used to develop innovative web apps that are sustainable and well-equipment to handle all the required load and threats. On the other hand, CakePHP has automated configurational setup which enhances the development time to be the least and the reusability of modules, plugins, and codes from various components make it smooth for developers.

Winner – No clear winner as both of these are very different from one another when you compare the core features.


Apart from core components, it is the features the frameworks have to offer to the developers that help the clients to choose the framework and hire freelancers accordingly. CakePHP is developer-friendly due to its Rails-inspired underlying feature of convention over configuration which means a developer can start coding immediately without carrying about what is happening inside. It comes with an ORM that helps to write complex queries effortlessly. You can perform various database operations in the end very easily. There are various library features available that help to implement complicate processes conveniently like integrating AJAX, having better authentication system, internationalization and much more.

On the other hand, Symfony has a debug toolbar that helps in easy debugging. The support of plugins and their availability is huge which will reduce development time and complicated coding. There is also an event system with which you can integrate application seamlessly. Symfony helps you to become a better and discipline programmer as it is the more preferred skill in the development of large applications. That is why most of the clients with enterprise level projects hire freelancers who have knowledge and expertise in Symfony.

Winner – CakePHP is good for new PHP developers but Symfony has better features for advanced developers.

Community Support

Even though detailed documentation is a great thing to have to understand all the features and usages of different components of a framework, no programming language or framework can be complete without community support. Community support means forums where developers can find the easy solution of the issues they are facing, different tutorial sites where they can get detailed explanation and code snippets that may not be available in so lucid form in the documentation. It has been found that Symfony has a better and larger community than CakePHP. There are so many active experienced developers available to help out the new Symfony developers. There are major forums available to clarify doubts. On the other hand, CakePHP’s community is fast growing and in a few years, it could well be as big as Symfony’s community.

Winner – Symfony due to the availability of a larger community with active experienced developers.

Final Words –

Both these PHP frameworks are open source. There is no clear winner on the basis of the parameters discussed above as both have different sets of strong points. While CakePHP is best for fast and scalable web development, Symfony is best for enterprise level web development that can handle complicated scenarios perfectly. Depending on the type of development you want, you can post freelance jobs to hire web developers accordingly.