This article outlines a practical suggestion for performing a page reordering in a staged environment. Following the suggestion below will ensure that pages are reordered without the publish taking an inordinate amount of time.
When reordering pages within a staged site, a publish all pages must occur within that site for the new page order to be effected into the live site. Note that in many enterprise environments, the publish all feature may take a long amount of time because, by default, all data is published to live. In many environments, large amounts of data in the WCM and Documents and Media portlet will take some time to publish.
The most feasible workaround for many subscribers is simply to publish All Pages to live without publishing any data. That is, publish all pages while making sure to deselect any portlet data or content. This will allow for a quick Publish All that reorders the desired pages.
This will allow the Publish All to push the page order changes to live without having to publish all the site data as well.