@deiden26 That said, you're not going insane, the package manager has been delayed in updating packages simply because npm resets their counter every once in awhile, and doesn't automatically notify nbbpm in any way. Will code a fix for it today so hopefully this is the last we'll hear of it.
You'll want to look into adding them as services. https://docs.nodebb.org/configuring/running/
You need to go to ACP -> General -> Navigation and set the search one to only show for mobile
You want the recent cards plugin and to set up a few widgets in the sidebar ACP -> Extend -> Widgets
You have to have Registration Type set to Normal