We use Debian on our servers, that is why we recommend it to our customers too. We can offer extensive support for Debian, it you are unsure which distro to choose, take Debian (or alternatively Ubuntu). In our experience people using a Debian server have the most uptime and the least problems.
Debian uses the APT package system. This very easy to use system lets you choose and install almost 38 thousand packages in a matter of seconds. Installing and running the webserver apache2 + php5 is as easy as:
you@yourServer:~$ sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5
You will have a webserver up and running within a few seconds!
Also, keeping your system up to date is very easy:
you@yourServer:~$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
Debian comes in 3 flavours, stable, testing and unstable. Stable means that packages are upgraded for bugfixes but not for newer features. You will not get a very recent/new version of apache2 if you run Debian Stable. The disadvantage is that you end up with relatively older software, but if versions stay the same, so do the configurations. Such a system requires a minimum amount of attention. Once you set up a Debian stable, you will not have to do a lot of administration to keep it running. Testing has packages that have been found to work correctly, but they change every now and then. We use testing ourselves most of the time and we hardly have any trouble with it. Unstable is where packages first see the daylight, this means that although you end up with very new software, it may be buggy or interfere with other packages you have installed.
Choosing Debian Unstable is not advised for anyone needing a stable system, or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage.
Check out the other images we have.