I make my own bumpers, BUT, to do what you are doing I would get an adjustable front or rear receiver from e-trailer that fits a 34" wide frame (older F series and E vans).
Like this hitch I bought for $10 at an auction, looks like it will fit my 1989 F-150. One tube slides within another and is fasten in place by (2) 5/8" (?) grade 5 bolts on each side.
More then enough for what you are wanting to do with your Ranger. I would certainly back the nut side of the frame with plate if not an actual left to right cross member. I posted pictures here how I bent a frame with a tow hook by not having it backed up. Got the stuck F-350 out though ...
I would encourage you to get a plastic snow plow and not a steel one so if something breaks when hitting a solid object, it's the mould board and not your frame. Ideally, you buy a plow with springs and mushrooms, but, if you are looking at $1000 or under, go plastic.
> it doesn't snow that much here so it would be pretty light duty use.
A walk behind blower with rubber blades would be my choice. I found that best for getting to pavement on small jobs and sidewalks. Small blower on the front of the truck would do if there is a reason walking would be too much of a hassle.