SharePoint server publishing infrastructure feature tutorial

In this SharePoint tutorial, we will discuss SharePoint server publishing infrastructure, how to enable Publishing Infrastructure Feature in SharePoint 2013/2016/2019/Online? Why and when we need SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature? Disadvantages/pitfalls by enabling SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature.

I would like to enlighten more is “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature” in SharePoint. Most of us know that in SharePoint we have many features that come by default and I separate them into 3 zones they are:

  • Site Actions features
  • Site Collection Administration features
  • Hidden features

Now let us learn what “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” is and why & when we need it?

What is SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Feature?

As the name says this feature is more to organize all the infrastructure-related elements to ensure your site more aligned as per the user requirement. When I say user requirement user should be able to do minimal changes without relying on the technical support team.

Why and when we need SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature?

While we create a site collection we can select which template to be chosen as per the user requirement. To be more precise an architect / technical lead has to consider “Publishing Portal” if the user looks for any of the below aspects/features:

  • Site should be public facing with anonymous access
  • Facilitate inheriting site themes and branding
  • Ability to build handy navigation or tweak the Out Of the Box navigation
  • Provision to move/copy the content across the sites in a site collection
  • Advanced wiki features like rating and tagging
  • Enable publishing layouts & Enterprise wiki layouts
  • Make use of Content Search Query Web part to roll up content

Note: These features will come by default with “Publishing Portal” Site collection template.

Now the question comes, if we do not create a site collection with “publishing Portal” and created with “Team Site” template how to make use of these features??? This is where we need to enable “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” part of Site Collection Administration features in Team site get all the above features.

Enable SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Feature

Log-on to Site with Site Collection admin / FARM account. Then click on the gear icon and then click on “Site Settings” option to navigate to the site settings page.

Publishing Infrastructure feature sharepoint 2016

Click on Site collection feature (under Site Collection Administration) in the Site Settings page.

Publishing Infrastructure feature sharepoint 2013

Locate the “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” and click on the “Activate” button to activate the SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature.

enable SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature
SharePoint server publishing infrastructure

Note: It will take 5 to 10 min time as it needs to enable various dependent features and options.

  • PublishingPrerequisites
  • PublishingSite
  • SearchEngineOptimization
  • Navigation
  • PublishingMobile
  • ViewFormPagesLockDown
  • PublishingLayouts
  • PublishingResources
  • HtmlDesign
  • Translation
  • EnterpriseWikiLayouts

New libraries & new features added after enabling publishing feature

You can see below the new libraries and new features added to the site after enabling the publishing feature.

sharepoint server Publishing Infrastructure feature
Publishing Infrastructure feature sharepoint
SharePoint server publishing infrastructure

Disadvantages/pitfalls by enabling SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure Feature

Like as any other feature in SharePoint this also some disadvantages in enabling this feature. When you enable this feature along with getting above explained new feature it will shut down the below options.

  • Save Site as template (under Site Actions in Site Settings)
  • Admin has to be more vigilant while administering the site as we see too many new options


I recommend you to stay away from publishing features unless you absolutely need them.
In most cases, you don’t need Publishing features enabled in your SharePoint Intranet.

Yes, you don’t get to inherit the theme from the parent, and it might take you extra time to do it manually but if you enable you will lose the ability to save sites as templates. So keep it simple and stay away from publishing features unless there is a solid reason!

You may like following SharePoint feature tutorials:

You might need publishing features if you do custom coding and themes or roll-up content via the custom search query. If you desire an ability to inherit master pages and themes from the parent site to subsites seamlessly. I hope you got an idea of SharePoint server publishing infrastructure.