10. The index.php: The Heart of the Matter
Throughout the last few chapters I have repeatedly mentioned that the index.php file is the central control file of a Joomla! template. It takes on the task of setting patterns for the content created by the system and is the first template file used by the system.
The index.php file integrates the actual content, controls which modules are positioned where and when, combines the CSS files, and gives the template its unique look. It has the file extension .php, but it actually contains a mixture of HTML elements and PHP code. The HTML is responsible for the general page structure. The PHP integrates dynamic content.
Every Web designer who knows HTML will quickly be able to see the structure of a page ...