The index.php file becomes the core of every page that Joomla! delivers. Essentially, you make a page (like any html page) but place php code where the content of your site should go. Here is the bare bones ready for you to cut and paste.
Lets start at the top:
<?php defined( '_JEXEC' ) or die( 'Restricted access' );?> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="<?php echo $this->language; ?>" lang="<?php echo $this->language; ?>" >
The first line stops naughty people looking at your coding and getting up to bad things. The second tells the browser (and webbots) what sort of page it is. The third line says what language the site is in.
Now the header for real:
<head> <jdoc:include type="head" /> <link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php echo $this->baseurl ?>/templates/mynewtemplate/css/css.css" type="text/css" /> </head>
Now for the main body:
<body> <jdoc:include type="modules" name="top" /> <jdoc:include type="component" /> <jdoc:include type="modules" name="bottom" /> </body>
Amazingly, this will suffice! Yes, its a very basic layout, but it will do the job. Everything else will be done by Joomla!. Note: you will need to ensure your menu is set to go into the "top" module position.
Finish it off - one last bit:
View the full source code of this template.