I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).
Control panels make a web server a sinch to use. If you sign up for shared web hosting, you'll be given a login for the control panel to manage just your account. Even if you run a whole server (virtual or dedicated) there are great advantages to using a control panel. Some control panels are free (like VirtualMin), and others you have to pay for (like cPanel).
After my earlier post on setting up Lighttpd for simple sites, I thought I'd follow up with how to add SSL / TLS / https to your lighttpd setup. Increasingly, search engines and browsers are encouraging the use of https for all websites, so this is becoming more important. These instructions continue to be for Debian (or suitably similar) flavours of Linux.