I’ve seen many threads on the CakePHP Google Group about how to organize files on a CakePHP installation, but many of those threads are very old and I don’t think they’re always all that relevant. Once a project gets involved, or if the project is aimed at recreating an already-complex structure, it is common to have many files of similar function that it only makes sense you would want to organize into subfolders for expedience – not to mention neatness. Recently, I’ve had cause to start trying to organize files and thought I’d share a few observations. If you find any errors in my logic or ambiguity in the way I explain things, please comment below so I can make the corrections as needed.
Controllers and Models
Probably the most convenient in terms of CakePHP’s ability to flexibly handle subdirectories are Models and Controllers. Here you have the ability to just throw files into subdirectories of the /controllers or /models folders at will and CakePHP will automatically find them at run time with no extra configuration. I have not tested folder depth: I have not see whether /controllers/deep/path works as well as /controllers/path, but certainly a single subdirectory works fine, even with files that were already created in the root directory and later moved.
Views (and Elements, and Layouts, and so on..)
With Views and Elements, subdirectories still work, but in this case the subdirectory path must be specified. If you put an element file inside /views/elements/charts/template_1.ctp, then the path relative to the /elements folder must be specified like so:
[php]<?php echo $this->element(‘charts/template_1’, $args); ?>[/php]
So, that’s pretty much all I had to add to the conversation. I hope this relatively simple blog post helps a few of you out there looking for a straight-forward answer to the question, “How do I organize my CakePHP files?”