Testing the publishing feature on a team site in SharePoint 2013

In the past, it was generally a bad idea to turn the publishing feature on within a team site. It could cause some very strange errors and it was confusing. It also points to that someone hadn’t really thought about how a site was going to be used and chosen the correct template accordingly – team sites and publishing sites are very different beasts.

However, I was curious how well this worked and was implemented in SharePoint 2013.

Testing the team site

I created a new site collection based on the team site template – I’ll use the relative URL of /test1 in the rest of this post.

The default landing page was /test1/SitePages/Home.aspx – this is using the standard Site Pages library which is default for team sites.

Turning on publishing

To turn on the publishing functionality:

  1. Turn on the site collection feature “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure”
  2. Turn on the site feature “SharePoint Server Publishing”

The biggest thing that happens is that you now have two page libraries in the site contents:

  • SitePages (team site pages)
  • Pages (publishing pages)


Testing the effect of the publishing feature

Now that the publishing feature was activated, I wanted to see what effect it had.

  • Site Actions -> Add a Page creates a page in the SitePages library
  • The homepage for the site is still /SitePages/Home.aspx

Conclusion: simply turning on the features made no change, besides creating a new Pages library.

Changing the homepage

SharePoint allows you to set a different page in your library to be the “homepage” – this is the page that SharePoint sends you to when going to the basic URL. Currently, if using “/test1”, the browser will go to /test1/SitePages/Home.aspx.

I created a new page in the Pages publishing library and set that to the Homepage.


Now, when going to /test1, the browser redirected me to /test1/Pages/test.aspx.

Conclusion: you can change the default homepage from a page in the the SitePages to a page in the Pages library.

Changing the Add a Page type

On a team site, when using the Add a Page option via the Site Settings, you will create a new page in the Site Pages library. Even after enabling the publishing feature, the Add a Page option still creates a new page in the Site Pages library.

To create a page in the Pages library, you will need to go to the Pages library and do it via the ribbon.



It is certainly possible to turn on the publishing feature on a team site. I did not encounter any strange issues.

However, I still think that it is too confusing for users and unnecessary: simply make a good decision on which site template to use and stick to it!

9 responses

  1. I noticed that if you change New Page Default Settings it will start using pages library when adding a new page.

  2. It is really helpful to activate the publishing feature if you want to assign a custom master page to your pages and leave the default seattle master page as a system master page

  3. if you need scheduled publication, it won’t work on a publishing enabled team site. Strangely, page content types with ‘start date’ and ‘end date’ are not deployed by the publishing feature (?)

    • Considering I didn’t mean to do a full overview of the publishing feature, then I don’t see how the article is misleading. The article is about how the site behaves when you take a team site and turn on the publishing feature.