All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Rifters are nearly uncontested when it comes to T1 PvP frigate of choice. Due to it's versatile slot layout (4/3/3) and high speed, it can be fit for many roles effectively. Many pilots, both new and experienced, swear by the Rifter as one of the best T1 frigate hulls to fly in. They are also very capable of running lower level missions, being the top tier combat ships for the Minmatar faction. Shield tanked Rifters are generally faster and stronger than their armored variants, but they lack the range dictation due to the lack of a web. Armor tanked Rifters, on the other hand, tend to be more bulky, giving them lower speeds than the shielded variants, as well as lower damage. Low speeds can be remedied by a webifer in the free mid slot opened up by armor tanking however.