Since I kinda jump in here and encouraged you to be fearless, then felt I should also continue to help (why should Howard have all the fun! Besides, maybe Howard is taking a well deserved time out! ;)).
A little frustration is expect ... be calm! ;) New learning sometimes means making little mistakes. So ... keeping that in mind ...
You've not said what your operating system is ... we know linux, but is it ubuntu or centos or other. Well here's one way to 'discover' ... typing in command that might error but is harmless. And it might tell us if the account you setup for yourself to login is just that ... another user that does not have the level of access to change configuration, etc..
Here's the command: whereis httpd
whereis finds things ... if you ever need to know a path to some executable .. whereis should know.
httpd is what the apache server is called on CentOS.
It's called apache2 on Ubuntu.
If that command responds with a path to httpd then you are running CentOS. On a typically confgured CentOS server, it may look like the following (some stuff left out in the response below):
[root@sos ktask]# whereis httpd
httpd: /usr/sbin/httpd /usr/share/man/man8/httpd.8.gz
Signifcance ... you may not need to run sudo. But, you do need to discover what the root password is and su to root.
Once you have the root password, type:
provide the root password (type it in, copy and paste can get characters not intended ... like a carriage return, etc.).
If that's the right password, your prompt might change showing you who you are ... ie, root.
Here's what su looks like:
[ktask@sos ~]$ su
Note some things ... the user name I used to login is ktask and the command prompt symbol is a ]$
After su to root, the prompt now shows 'root' and the command prompt symbol has changed to a ]#.
If the whereis command above doesn't respond with an answer (shows you a path to httpd), then issue it again only using apache2.
Conclusion ... it's Ubuntu
Since I'm unfamilar with exactly your hosting provider and how they set things up, am assuming it's like standalone Ubuntu. The first user setup is normally (also) part of the group allowed to use sudo.
So, here's something to try. Just type sudo [ENTER]
Are you prompted for a password? Try your password.
If that fails then I'd suggest checking with the hosting provider to see if they provide tutorials or documentation on how they setup VPS systems - in particular, ssh access/sudo, etc. Or, and this isn't disclosing too much, just tell us the hosting provider. As you know, Google (or other search engine) discovers much. I have found FAQ's, How-2's, Tutorials for many hosting providers using Google.
'spirit of sharing', Ken