I'm currently trying to gloss over ssl as quickly as possible. In fact, I may soon decide to skip it altogether.
Based on this web page it looks like ssl involves server certificates ( I kind of knew this already ) and client certificates - both of which are optional. I'm hoping I can get away for the time being without any certificates.
It also looks like apache may need mod-ssl to get ssl working. I don't know if I have this already but if not, I may try just installing it and seeing if it https: starts working.