The sidebar widgets I believe are custom HTML blocks.
Mad ramblings about using NodeBB as a CMS...
Just a thought here, and I'm no expert by any means, but here's something for you.
Let's say that you had a category "pages" (or "posts", "projects", whatever). You then create each topic as a "page" with correctly formatted information - something like:
=subheading=this is a subheading
You could then use the API
/api/topic/123to access that information. I was thinking that you'd have another website on the server, listening on a different port, to request this information and build the pages, according to the specified format.
What do you think?
I was actually thinking of something along those lines. Tempted to write a custom theme to use the forum as a blogging system (instead of Ghost, which I currently use) which would display threads as articles, where the first post in a thread is the post content, and all others that follow are comments to that post.
It's definitely possible, as the theming for NodeBB is quite flexible. Earlier this year, I started working on a blog-like theme, based off of some designs by Randy M. Daniel: http://www.randydaniel.me/nodebb-theme
I didn't quite get it to the point of publishing it, so if you're interested in picking up where I left off, feel free!