If you want to really understand how to make Joomla do what you want, it pays to understand Joomla's menu system. It is unique among content management systems, and is imbued with tons of power. Here's why:
- The "Default Menu Item" controls what view is your home page. For standard Joomla installations, this is a "Featured Article Layout", but you can make any article or component your home page.
- By default, module assignments are based on menu items.
- Each menu item has its own SEO settings like page titles, page headers, meta-descriptions and meta-tags.
- Menu items have the ability to control page styles through customizable page classes.
- Every menu item has its own layout options that allow you to override the global layout settings for a particular page. This depends on the component you are linking to of course, but generally you can completely override global settings right from the individual menu item.
- Components, by and large, don't automatically post to the menu. Some folks may see this as a drawback, but I see it as a major advantage. Joomla is giving you the ability to completely control the navigation and structure of your site. It gives you the power to do what you want without assuming it knows best. That is a major philosophical difference between Joomla and Wordpress.
So if you want to learn anything about Joomla, I'd highly recommend getting familiar and comfortable with the menu system. Play around with creating links, and see what sorts of changes you can make on the site. If you understand the menu system, you'll understand what makes Joomla tick.