This is one of the simplest site template which is helpful for a group of people to work together and share information and ideas. It has some list templates like announcement, task list, Links list etc.
This template mostly used in intranet applications like employee portals.
Publishing site templates are widely used in Internet facing web sites. As then name suggest we need to publish the page whenever we do modifications so that it will appear to other users. Publishing Site templates meant for Web Content Management (WCM).
There are few more features than team site.
The publishing feature includes a publishing approval workflow to help ensure that the information shared is reviewed for quality and correctness.
Publishing pages have page layouts that can be changed on the fly, and custom page layouts can be created using SharePoint Designer
in order to offer a very customized means of laying out information for users. Page layouts also provide a means for standardizing the layout of information. The use of page layouts in particular is a primary reason content managers will enable the publishing feature in a collaborative site.
A Publishing site is setup so that anonymous users cannot access the “backstage” part of SharePoint (like the “View All Site Content” page).
Use a Publishing site when you want to have a public facing site or an extranet that is exposed to the internet.
Use a Team site with Publishing enabled, when you want to keep things internal, but have more options for customizing you’re branding of your intranet.
Even if in Team site you can also activate the publishing features. Activating the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature adds the Administrative links on the Site Settings page, including the ability to manage Master Pages for both publishing and non-publishing Web sites, Navigation, Searchable columns, Content and Structure, Content and Structure Logs, Variations and Translatable columns.
To enable publishing on a team site go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Actions > Manage site features and select Activate SharePoint Server Publishing.