Actually, I didn't skip over it. I am guilty of making the possibly wrong assumption that most Linux VPS's have a LAMP stack working when provisioned.
As to the first matter at hand, did you try the recommended change???
What is the message when you try to connect???
If it doesn't work out, you can likely use your Control Panel or an SSH connection to simply remove XAMPP, and then re-install it. One of the advantages of LAMPP is that it is not really 'installed' at an OS level.
Although XAMPP/LAMPP was created a development tool, its perfectly OK to use it to learn things. Development work is intrinsically a learning experience, so that is perfectly in keeping with its intent. Sadly, I don't have a particularly good answer to "is there a way to learn all this... ".
If you happen to read the "Front Page' of "the Excruciatingly Correct Guide", the WP site in my signature line, you will find that I came into the XAMPP fold because I was looking for a tool that the average user could master that has most of the parts already working. I'm a member of another Open Source team that develops forum software, and I knew that getting Apache, Perl and MySQL all working in a "DIY" fashion was asking more than most 'noobs' could handle. I was primarily aiming my efforts at people who wanted to use a spare machine or 'dual-purposing' an existing one. Since becoming part of the XAMPP project, I have found lots of folks deploying it on remote servers. The only thing I try to emphasize is that LAMPP isn't a 'real LAMP' stack (its a bash script), so if you want it to work 'as is', it will probably be very adequate.