When comparing CakePHP vs Zend Framework, the Slant community recommends CakePHP for most people. In the question“What are the best PHP frameworks?” CakePHP is ranked 11th while Zend Framework is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose CakePHP is:
Developing in CakePHP is very fast and flexible. CakePHP is about fast and reliable development, it achieves this by following the [convention over configuration](http://www.toptal.com/cakephp/cakephp-still-fresh-still-hot) principle as it's heavily inspired by Rails (which follows the same programming paradigm). Convention over configuration is all about making it easier for the developer to start immediately writing code without worrying on what's going on "under the hood".
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fast development
Developing in CakePHP is very fast and flexible.
CakePHP is about fast and reliable development, it achieves this by following the convention over configuration principle as it's heavily inspired by Rails (which follows the same programming paradigm).
Convention over configuration is all about making it easier for the developer to start immediately writing code without worrying on what's going on "under the hood".
Pro Built-in ORM that's easy to use
Cake has a built-in ORM which is pretty easy to use and learn. Building queries can also be done very easily and fetching entire columns can be done in one or two lines of code.
Pro Large library of helper classes
CakePHP has a large library of helper classes with features such as:
Pro Exhaustive list of resources to learn CakePHP
Cake's great community has thrown together an exhaustive and amazing list of resources to get started with CakePHP. It's open source and can be found on GitHub.
Pro Open Source
CakePHP open source and is licensed under the MIT license.
Pro Enterprise ready
Zend is the most used PHP framework by big businesses. Zend is widely used and tested by a large number of banks, as well as companies, such as Allied Beverage, BBC, Shaklee, CarinBridge, BNP Paribas and more.
Pro Corporate backing
Partnered with Google, IBM, Adobe, Microsoft
Pro Extended predefined classes
Zend has a large library of predefined classes with which developers can create maintainable and stable web applications. This is done if the developer works within the constraints and with the components of these different predefined classes, which makes the application more maintainable.
Pro Wide database support
Zend supports almost all kinds of databases out there. From MySQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server to PostgreSQL.
Pro Allows customization
For developpers not used to Zend, they can use a predefined structure and use preloaded components and classes to build and maintain their application. But for advanced developpers, they can customize the structure to stick to their needs (or their likings) and extend primary Zend components for fine-tuned apps or replace the initial predefined Zend components by third parties components such as Doctrine ORM or another logging or templating framework.
Pro Easy to build an API with Apigility
Apigility is a collection of Zend Framework modules. It's useful for building the API architecture of a web app quickly and painlessly by providing a flexible engine.
Apigility also has a web-based UI that allows developers to quickly create and modify API services, configure authentication, set authorization rules, set up validation and write new documents.
Pro Well architected
Because of legacy code, old concepts and prioritizing development speed over everything else, CakePHP is bloated and slow.
Con Loose documentation
Since Zend has a loosely-coupled architecture, it means that the documentation will be quite loose as well. Even though there's a lot of documentation for the framework, it's still hard to use it as a guideline to create a completed project. Although this can be less of a problem considering all the tutorials and guides out there.