Until recently, SSL certificates were so expensive that you couldn’t set up your personal website only for fun. You had to have a good reason or a big wallet.
This is not the case anymore. Now and until the letsencrypt.org initiative takes off, for a minimal price, you can start to play with standard or wildcard SSL certificates and get some experience with them.
If you are interested in, there is a full tutorial about setting up a SSL certificate on RHEL 7, including all the steps, from certificate purchase to certificate installation.
Auto-signed certificates are perhaps on the way out!