After you’ve downloaded the CakePHP application skeleton, there are a few top level folders you should see:
The bin folder holds the Cake console executables.
The config folder holds the Configuration files CakePHP uses. Database connection details, bootstrapping, core configuration files and more should be stored here.
The plugins folder is where the Plugins your application uses are stored.
The logs folder normally contains your log files, depending on your log configuration.
The src folder will be where your application’s source files will be placed.
The templates folder has presentational files placed here: elements, error pages, layouts, and view template files.
The resources folder has sub folder for various types of resource files. The locales sub folder stores language files for internationalization.
The tests folder will be where you put the test cases for your application.
The tmp folder is where CakePHP stores temporary data. The actual data it stores depends on how you have CakePHP configured, but this folder is usually used to store translation messages, model descriptions and sometimes session information.
The vendor folder is where CakePHP and other application dependencies will be installed by Composer. Editing these files is not advised, as Composer will overwrite your changes next time you update.
The webroot directory is the public document root of your application. It contains all the files you want to be publicly reachable.
Make sure that the tmp and logs folders exist and are writable, otherwise the performance of your application will be severely impacted. In debug mode, CakePHP will warn you, if these directories are not writable.
CakePHP’s src folder is where you will do most of your application development. Let’s look a little closer at the folders inside src.
Contains your application’s console commands. See Command Objects to learn more.
Contains the installation script executed by Composer.
Contains your application’s Controllers and their components.
Stores any Middleware for your application.
Contains your application’s tables, entities and behaviors.
Presentational classes are placed here: views, cells, helpers.
Shell is not present by default.
You can add it when you need it.