If you’re lucky enough to have run your owner server or have ssh access on your shared account this thread over on Admin Extra is right up your alley. My buddy Mike asked about updating sites faster by downloading and unzipping the files right on the server. Michael Biddle replied with a concise tutorial so check out the thread: http://adminextra.com/threads/since-were-talking-about-ssh-clients.5079/
The cavets only are the method mention will overwrite everything so if have a custom favicon or file they will be overwritten. Mike suggested downloading the package to your computer first, removing any files you don’t want changed, and re-zipping everything, then uploading the ZIP to your sever and following Michael’s tutorial. Sounds like a good plan to me. Why I didn’t think of that, I don’t know but I frequently use Michael’s method when installing new sites.
For those of you unfamiliar with SSH (secure shell) check out this other thread on Admin Extra for an introduction and brief primer: http://adminextra.com/threads/ssh-clients.5051/