An "index" page is the default page when you visit a directory in your browser.
For example, if you visit http://www.google.com, the file you're actually looking at is http://www.google.com/index.html
"home" also works in most browsers, but the standard is "index".
An index file is the default regardless of it's file extension. So index.php, index.asp... etc will also work.
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