I have been adding some additions to WordPress to lock it down a bit and keep regular users away from wp-admin. There is a bunch of stuff out there to do this type of thing but I found the best combination to upgrade your register/login system and to keep the average user away from wp-admin so they stay on the site was to use Register Plus and WP Block Admin. They both serve different purposes but combined together they provide a much nicer user experience.
Register Plus: This WordPress plugin will allow you to create custom emails to users, a custom registration form, a password strength meter, a captcha, user registration verification emails, and more. When creating the custom registration form you can add custom fields, add custom CSS, etc. All in all in provides complete customization of the registration form and process.
WP Block Admin: This plugin does exactly what it says it does by blocking the admin (wp-admin directory) from normal users. By default only admins and editors will now have access to the wp-admin directory and all other users will be redirected to the index page.
A couple other small tweaks I made was to add a login/logout/register link to the top right of every page. I added another plugin here so I could modify the text assocaited with logging in and logging out. The plugin for this is called JPF Login/out and is really just one file. Once it is installed you can use the following code to display the login/logout fucntionality with whatever text that you choose by cimply replacing the text in the code below.
<?php jpf_loginout (”, ”, ‘Let me in’, ‘Let me out’); ?>
Another thing I did so as to not confuse users was remove the Meta widget which when you are logged in will display “Site Admin” with a link to wp-admin. This way users are not confused by clicking that and being redirected back to the index page of the site. For more WordPress theme ideas check out the book from Amazon below.