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Your CakePHP application's Homepage

Posted on 12/12/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Rob Wilkerson and I just talked about what the best place is to put your homepage in CakePHP. My answer was the following:

If your homepage is static, just use your PagesController to render a home.ctp view.

If your homepage is dynamic, add a homepage method to your PagesController:

class PagesController extends AppController {
    public function view() {
        // Your normal pages

    public function homepage() {
        $posts = ClassRegistry::init('Post')->find('all');

Don't forget to update your routes. Some apps may also simply point their home route to the index function of another controller. How do you handle homepages in your app?

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


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Rob Wilkerson said on Dec 12, 2008:

Just thought I'd jump in with a little context...

I was using all of the defaults - routes, home.ctp, etc. - and I realized that I wanted my homepage to pull a little data. This is data I needed for the homepage only, so an element seemed unnecessary. I also didn't want to modify PagesController->display() and I didn't want to have the entire PagesController load the model I needed via $uses because I only needed that model on the homepage.

Felix's solution worked perfectly except for one thing. Because I was using the default home.ctp file, I had to name the new method PagesController->home() (though maybe I could've specified the name of the view template to use in the method itself?).

Thanks again, Felix.

Felix Geisendörfer said on Dec 12, 2008:

Rob Wilkerson: You could rename the view, there is really nothing magic to it. Doesn't really matter in the long run either : ).

Marcus  said on Dec 12, 2008:

In most cases I create a dedicated controller: IndexController

The controller contains severeal methods for homepages, i.e. one for unregistered users, one for registered and so on.

dave  said on Dec 12, 2008:

to this point, i have only used routing to a function of one of my controllers. eg. for an online training signup app i routed the home page to a controller listing current courses.

teknoid said on Dec 12, 2008:

Of course it depends on the specifics, but I tend to agree with dave that making a new "/" route to some controller and action is the easiest way to get a dynamic homepage.

p.s. as I've shamelessly exemplified here :)

Eelco Wiersma said on Dec 13, 2008:

I usually use the same method you described for websites. However I created a dashboards controller, for the last application I've build, to act as the homepage of the application

Nik said on Dec 13, 2008:

I usually changing only the routes. Most of the time I am writing a system where some of the index action is enough to be home page of it. For websites - I am using CMS :)

Adam  said on Dec 15, 2008:

I generally build standard content management systems so I need all pages to be editable for my clients.

I setup the '/' route to point to the view method of the pages controller and pass an argument of 'index'. The view method is setup to expect a slug argument which it then uses to lookup in the database.

$Route->connect('/', array('controller' => 'pages', 'action' => 'view', 'index.html'));


  function view($slug = null) {

    if(!$slug || $this->Page->findCount(array('Page.slug' => $slug)) == 0) {

      $this->cakeError('error404', array(array('url' => strtolower('/pages/'.$slug), 'message' => 'Was not found on this server', 'base' => $this->base)));



    $this->set('page', $this->Page->findBySlug($slug));

Oscar  said on Dec 17, 2008:

So, do you mean you placed a modified copy of pages_controller.php from CakePHP in /app/controllers? Trying to do that, I just get a "Missing Database Table" error.. Or am I missing the point here?

Tim Koschützki said on Dec 17, 2008:

Oscar: Put in var $uses = array(); into the copied PagesController.

This is to overwrite cake's convention to seek a Page model (which is non existent in your app).

Oscar  said on Dec 18, 2008:

Ah, of course, thanks, got it working now :)

Tim Koschützki said on Dec 19, 2008:

You'r welcome. ; )

Scott  said on Dec 26, 2008:

I generally use IndexController for my home page, I think. I'm not that great with PHP or Cake though.

Lec  said on Dec 28, 2008:

Hi. I also needed data to be pulled on the homepage which is just basically to display summaries of some tables for the quick view of a user.

I have this now
< ?php
class PagesController extends AppController {
var $uses = array();

function home() {

echo 'a';




But when I try to access the normal "http://[site]/", it asks me for the "display" method and view. And when I add the file and method - it then uses that instead of the home.ctp. why is that? I already have the home function and view. why not that?

I hope i kinda explained it clearly.

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