@scottalanmiller Those are fair points. In this particular instance I'm less concerned about improving site performance than on capitalizing on CloudFront's other features, like WAF integration.
Sounds like I'm in a very small niche here.
Never mind.. i had restarted and reloaded (from the admin interface) my nodebb hundreds of times while playing with plugins and it always showed local host. I just rebooted the entire server and now its showing the correct url - im not sure what was going on but it works now. Thanks