Progress to report:
I have a working, more-or-less-professional-grade Django-CMS website working in a virtual machine on my desktop computer. That took over six hours (not all at once). And, I have it running with the database on a separate (virtual) computer. And I duplicated that setup so that I have two complete, independent copies of the pair of computers, one for development and one for production. And I got everything into Mercurial, and made a change on development, and put it in a central repository, and took that change from the central repository to the production site, and it (eventually) worked. That took about 8 hours, of which at least three hours was setting up PostgreSQL to accept remote connections secured by SSL certificates. I'll tell you about that some day.
Here's what it looks like:
And here's what it looks like from behind (these are the consoles for the four virtual computers running in VirtualBox):
Progress usually looks boring, though, right?