First, I'm going to define some things for you so you get a feel for what application is doing what when it comes to web servers.
Apache is an HTTP web server and allows you to serve static HTML and text files "like the Internet". Your web server will take care of inbound requests and all the other stuff you don't really want to have to take care of. Usually, once it is installed, you can go into the
htdocs directory and place some files. These files will be available to you if you point your browser to
localhost (assuming you've used Apache defaults for which port to run off of, default is 80). This is all you need for a basic website.
You might also want to consider building Apache with support for PHP. PHP is a scripting language used heavily in websites to deliver dynamic content and "spice" up otherwise static html files.
Once you have PHP and Apache working together, consider using a database (MySQL for example) to help store your data. Databases are required by most web software (Wordpress and forums come to mind) and isn't too hard to set up. MySQL has a nice interface called PHPMyAdmin which can be installed on your server and allow you to browse your database from your browser (don't worry, there is a login). The only time you will probably have to interface with MySQL using the command line, is if you want to restart it using
Put all this on a Linux box, and you've created a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).
Forgive me if you already knew all this stuff, I just figured I'd lay down a good foundation of terms for you seeing as you seem new to a Linux/server stuff.
To answer you actual question, I see two possible options.
1- Stream X11 to your workstation. If you're on Windows, you'll need something like Exceed and on your server you'll need to set your
DISPLAY environment variable to your computer's hostname like this:
This way you'll be able to open up GUI applications on your server but have the windows display on your workstation. However, I don't think this is what you'll benefit from most.
2- Get comfortable with the terminal. This is something you will have to do in a Linux world whether you like it or not :) It's good that you know your way around the filesystem (
mkdir, etc). But for serving web content (.html or .php files), you'll need to be comfortable with a terminal based text editor. I use vi, which has a steep learning curve but is very powerful. Alternatives are
pico (there are of course others). Being able to use an editor will allow you to make changes to files without needed to deal with X forwarded GUIs and stuff like that.
One final note, you've installed a lot of applications using a package manager. Have you ever tried building an application from source? I tend to build things myself because I feel I have more control on where things are installed and with what compatibilities. In Apache's case, you'll need to compile with support for PHP and MySQL. This may seem like a lot to chew, but I assure you it's really quite simple and it's a great tool to have when working with Linux or UNIX.