Spend the time researching the apps and your server setup first. You want to be able to install newer versions of Redis and nginx. You might need proxy and web socket help so read now.
I learned all on the go coming here as someone with limited code and server experience but understanding concepts since I've admin/own a few vb forums.
Once you do get up and running site admin is a thing of the past. No horsing around with weeks of setup. Know CSS? Good, it's less now but the same thing basically. Know how to edit TPL files? Awesome you will have a custom site in no time.
I was frustrated as hell using CentOS. I had it for free with my auto forums so I wanted to save the cash. In the end I went to Digital Ocean for $5 a month and literally was back up and running in an hour and the sites all set back up and ready to go.