Help Me DevOps Myself?

So, I’m teaching myself Node, and writing and running all of the code on the webserver I run at home. This requires two things when I work: a fast internet connection, and selection of only one text editor — TextWrangler is the only one I’ve found with built-in SFTP support on Macs.

The internet connection bit is fine, as far as it goes. I dislike running local environments where I’m connecting from my laptop’s browser to localhost. It just bugs me. So, what’s a better way to do this? Initialize a Github repository for each project and do a git push on my laptop and a git checkout on the server every time I want to test code? That seems … un-fast. Thoughts?