Hello! I just started using wordpress and I am loving it!
When I started few months ago I had zero knowledge with websites, but I have few tips to share with you about your wordpress site!
1- Theme is important: I would recommend you buy a professional theme, average $60. I got mine from these guys, http://www.gabfirethemes.com/category/themes/
a. Professional themes load faster and give you more options as far as customizing the look of your site.
b. You also get support from their admins if you join their forums.
2- Plugins, try not to get into the habit of using too much plug-ins because they take time to load.
3- Important plugins that you must have. You can choose similar to these plugins but you got to take advantage of their functionalities.
a. W3 Total Cache
b. WordPress SEO
This is a list of the plugins I have right now. I have deactivated few because I try to limit my plugins. Also, you may want to consider Wibiya Toolbar, but it does take a while to load. I had to deactivate it because it was giving me to many Internal Server Error every time I activated it .