What do people use as a website "front-end"?


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Ive had a forum-only site for a good while now (10+ years), however I think i now need to "convert" from forum-only based to an all-encompassing site, with a front page along with others and all linked in with XF.

What have people done/used? Are there any 3rd party providers (even though this thread isnt primarilly asking for this) that people might provide?
What works for people and has anyone got any examples? Forum is self-supporting and non-commercial, so havent got silly amounts of money to throw at it... Just wanting really to expand what is currently there.

Just currently looking at options to include XF as a core of the site, but with all the niceties of an entire site.

This is very much a "where to start" request. I dont specifically know what i want... i know some that look nice, but what did (to those that have done it) you look at as required functionality and best layouts etc.
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If you plan to write a lot of articles, wordpress
Yes I would also use Wordpress especially with an online store. I find the xenForo Article system itself is very good - but Wordpress has more flexible navigation especially with some of the excellent plugins such as max mega menu.
We kept the forum as the "home" page because it has a lot of content to choose from and is regularly updated by members. We then use @Bob's AMS (Article Management System) for page-like content, and his review system for sharing feedback on products and services: https://xenaddons.com/store/
I do have Bob's AMS - Is just a case of me understanding where to start. I'm by far not a pro (Bob knows that! :) ).

I guess i'm partly just trying to get away from the standard "forum" look being the homepage, and wanting to add content outside that enviroment however using XF maybe as a conerstone to build on.
I just used a Page Node and added in my own HTML and CSS files to generate a webpage look whilst using the XF wrapper. There is so much you can do, even adding your own menu system if you want to go that far. All my home pages for my three sites use the same styling with different HTML and images to get the look I wanted. The Spiritual Site is the one that utilises the XF article system the most, so whilst the content may not be for anyone, the styling might fit the bill. I also modified some of the widget code to get the look I wanted from the widgets, which are super easy to add to the basic HTML code. Happy hunting and I hope that get the look you're after.

BTW links to all my sites are in my signature below :)
Wow - @Mr Lucky Your site looks awesome (I would need to tweak colours and layout etc).... Any tips or Suggestions how i might create something in a similar vein??
Thank you, apart from the above suggestions re:widgets and @BassMan addon it's probably best to ask specific questions. If they are not relevant to this thread then open a conversation (PM) with me.
I use a page node and widgets added on it with some css to make it look like an old fashioned portal. Link in signature if you want to check it out for inspiration
What have people done/used?
I'm using CinVin Home with a bunch of widgets depending on the site. For example, for the front page of Cameraderie I'm using a bespoke add-on & widgets for the 'Featured' photos and listing of open challenges while over at WLT80s (& Alien Soup & Tiki Lounge) I'm using a bespoke widget for the 'Today in History' section. There are some other bespoke widgets being used then along with a few stock widgets.

So is there an order in which to start? such as like a 1.2.3 ?? :)
Personally I'd recommend step #1 to be the answer to the question of "What do you want to display on your landing page?". Once you answer that question then step #2 would be "How do I display what I want on the landing page?" with the answer to that question being to compile a list of any stock widgets that do what you want, a list of any 3rd-party add-ons or widgets that display what you want, and a list of any custom widgets that you would need. Step #3 then would be finding your solution that works within your budget and comfortably level.
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