won’t talk about pros and cons of PHP-FPM, FastCGI, APC and all that stuff, there are tons of articels around, see also the links below. main urge was to speed up PHP with APC, get rid of preforked Apaches, run PHP scripts as their native user and many more. just giving an overview how I’ve easily set it up here, having different „customers“ programming their own PHP scripts and also Debian packages ready to run.
Outdated! see TLS Everywhere with Let’s Encrypt. just some quick and dirty notes for myself on setting up SSL, TLS, HTTPS, … with StartSSL. pre-requisites get a cert as described in heise articel SSL für lau (english version: SSL for free).