If your hosts supports SSH and you have the luck to run your desktop on a linux-based computer there is a quick way to do updates to your site.
SSHFS allows you to use mount a SSH-connection just like you would mount other filesystems. The benefit of this is when, for instance, you need to copy a small amount of files you can do this as a local file operation.
Some might grumble by the idea and of course in a professional production environment ( or large updates ) I would not recommend this. And directly updating (or doing untested stuff) on production systems needs to be grumbled upon in my view.
I use SSH often for small configuration settings or when I need to do small maintenance. SSHFS just give me for these minutes some extra flexibility!