Publishing Infrastructure Basics
Activating the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure at the site collection level adds the following content types to the content type's gallery.
Activating the SharePoint Server Publishing feature on a site adds several new things to the site. One of the main additions is a new library named Pages. The Pages library is automatically configured with the content types added by the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure as shown in the following image.
Through the content type associations, the Pages library has the columns shown the following image:
Publishing pages differ in that their content is stored separately from the page in the different fields of the Pages library. Traditional pages like those created in the Site Pages library store the page and its contents as a single entity within the library. The publishing page hosts special field controls that read the data from the page item fields and display it on the page similar to the following diagram.
The advantage of this system is that the actual layout page can be changed out without affecting the content it is displaying. The data from the Pages library item is simply read and displayed in the new layout.
SharePoint comes with several layout pages you can change out and it's possible to create your own layout pages using SharePoint Designer.
In addition to the Pages library and the new content types, the publishing feature adds new links under the Look and Feel group of the Site Settings page. These links allow you to change the master page and home page for the site using the browser. You can also control the layout pages and site templates allowed in the site.