How to publish and unpublish content
When you add a new page to your site, you are prompted for the various fields. After you enter in your information, you can scroll to the bottom of your page and select the Publishing options tab.
The first check box is Published. If this is checked, your page will be available on your site for users to consume unless specific permissions prevent this. On a fresh simple Drupal site, permissions should not be a problem.
The next check box, Promoted to front page, if checked, tells Drupal that this content is your new front page. This will be the page that users see when the go to the root of your site.