How To Install Plugins

There are four ways to install a CakePHP plugin:

  • Through Composer

  • Manually

  • As Git Submodule

  • By Git Cloning

But don’t forget to Enable the Plugin afterwards.


To install a plugin manually, you just have to drop the plugin folder into your app/Plugin/ folder. If you’re installing a plugin named ‘ContactManager’ then you should have a folder in app/Plugin/ named ‘ContactManager’ under which are the plugin’s View, Model, Controller, webroot and any other directories.


If you aren’t familiar with the dependency management tool named Composer, take the time to read the Composer documentation.

To install the imaginary plugin ‘ContactManager’ through Composer, add it as dependency to your project’s composer.json:

    "require": {
        "cakephp/contact-manager": "1.2.*"

If a CakePHP plugin is of the type cakephp-plugin, as it should, Composer will install it inside your /Plugin directory, rather than in the usual vendors folder.


Consider using “require-dev” if you only want to include the plugin for your development environment.

Alternatively, you can use the Composer CLI tool to require (and install) plugins:

php composer.phar require cakephp/contact-manager:1.2.*

Git Clone

If the plugin you want to install is hosted as a Git repo, you can also clone it. Let’s assume the imaginary plugin ‘ContactManager’ is hosted on GitHub. You could clone it by executing the following command in your app/Plugin/ folder:

git clone git:// ContactManager

Git Submodule

If the plugin you want to install is hosted as a Git repo, but you prefer not to clone it, you can also integrate it as a Git submodule. Execute the following commands in your app folder:

git submodule add git:// Plugin/ContactManager
git submodule init
git submodule update

Enable the Plugin

Plugins need to be loaded manually in app/Config/bootstrap.php.

You can either load one by one or all of them in a single call:

CakePlugin::loadAll(); // Loads all plugins at once
CakePlugin::load('ContactManager'); // Loads a single plugin

loadAll() loads all plugins available, while allowing you to set certain settings for specific plugins. load() works similarly, but only loads the plugins you explicitly specify.