You can do it with rsync, but you'll have to write more code. Git may be ugly but there's a whole bunch of free code out there to play with it. I like gitolite quite simply because I can keep a consistent copy and can easily get my code on my RPi or on my Ubuntu server and I get the protection of being able to go back to the previous (committed) version if things go wrong. Also the data is held on my Zyxel NAS 2TB drive not on an SDCard or Ubuntu hard drive, that gives some protection against drive/card failure.
Note: Any requirement to use a crystal ball or mind reading will result in me ignoring your question.
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All fake doctors are on my foes list.