Amazon offers free use of an ec2 micro instance for 1 year
Compared to Apache, Nginx runs with a low footprint, and is relatively easy to configure.
Ansible is used in both the development and production deployment process. A playbook couple with a Vagrantfile, easy deploys a local virtual machine that will mirror the setup in production.
Vagrant is used in the creation of development virtual machines. Couple with Packer, low footprint vms can be created to work with.
With limited knowledge of CSS/HTML5, Jekyll makes it easy to create templates for static HTML5 sites. Unless I really need a database for something, this is the tool I prefer for standing up websites.
Packer makes it easy to setup custom images to import into vagrant.