How to onboard users when in a registered access only mode.
If you run a login only forum. A most severe way to stop all crawlers. You lose www visbility.
While this may protect overall privacy in an iron curtain fashion, you most probably still need something to hook and onboard users to your wonderful NodeBB resource, if it's not run as an internal private platform, for e.g. a corporate entity across branches and continents, then you really most likely still do need to be open somehow to the world wide web.
One solution, is to stick a wordpress (or similar) frontend in front of NodeBB, and curate and control what the www sees, and offer the NodeBB forum as a big sign-up bonus. However, there are a lot of undesirable aspect to this as a solution, and IMHO is teh sub-optimal solution because:increases or split hosting costs requires a different support set wordpress / php is a big attack vector
Another solution, one which must be the optimal for sake of staying within the NodeBB system and adhering to Less is most certainly More, thus incurring no extra hosting or maintenance costs, would be to have a Wordpress or CMS-lite like feature and manager the creates unique Landing page(s) as an alternative to any of the existing landing pages.
It's called Facade and it's a NodeBB vapourware or vapourfeature existing in this post, and here is how it might work in a most basic form:
Facade - Create Unique Dynamic Landing pages In NodeBBCan populate landing-page/homepage with existing topics and/or bespoke content Widget expansive layout What else?
Rambling note: Understandably there is overlap with Custom Static pages for NodeBB plugin (caveat: it's been some time I played with that so do not remember the complete feature set) but in this vision the content can also be also be dynamic.
If it were then as simple to customise your landing page as you drag and drop categories in the admin panel which is a neat and beautifully implemented feature for organising layout of the categories page, then we're smokin', expand what already works to enable new features, it might mean best path is to take custom static pages into core to roll in more of the above functionality and features.