PHPLIB templates can grant you an amazing ability to abstract the manipulation of data (in the database as well as in PHP) from its final format, whether that format is HTML, XML, WML, or a formatted e-mail, and some of these ways will be explored here.
Templates need not be complex. For an example of a simple template, click here. This is a file that can be turned into a template with the greatest of ease - code like the following would easily support this:
This is a template - it allows you to keep your code in one file and the output in another, and allows you to change the template without having to alter (much of) your PHP coding.
This is a most simple example, and only allows you to decouple really basic parts - which is why I bring up the powerful, flexible, and fast PHPLIB template class.
It's more complicated than the above example for simple variables - but when you get into the more advanced features, you'll quickly find that the additional complexity is a very small price compared to the benefits gained.