Last I recall, Ubuntu desktop and Ubuntu server are, at their core, the same. The only major differences lie in the installer (server edition is a low-graphics/text installer with the option to install packages common to servers, such as Apache, PHP, and MySQL for a web server; while desktop is a graphical installer aimed at typical users), and the desktop stack or lack thereof (server is what's known as a "headless" install, meaning it doesn't come with a desktop stack and can only be accessed through command line; desktop, of course, comes with Gnome/Unity). This equivalence also extends to the repositories - both desktop and server edition have access to the same repositories, and anything that works for Ubuntu desktop will work for Ubuntu server (save for GUI applications, which will need the proper libraries and whatnot, but they still work, provided you install the libraries).
For server setups of any sort, it's recommended to run the server version, because the desktop stack takes up a fair chunk of resources that are better left for the tasks the server is designed to do. A full headless system, though, requires you to be comfortable with command line. However, if you really want a graphical interface to work with, I still recommend starting with the server edition, then install a lightweight desktop stack, such as OpenBox or XFCE. That way, you're using as few resources as necessary for the convenience of having a desktop, and you only install on an as-needed basis, instead of starting with a bunch of unneeded stuff that you then have to try to rip out (it's easier to build up than tear down in this case).