Those who live in emacs all know the pain of manually installing extra modes and extensions, especially on different hosts. System packages sometimes help, but they differ on every OS (Debian packages, MacPorts, etc.), don’t always exist, and need to be installed manually.
A better alternative is to use emacs itself to manage, install and update all the required extra code. The ELPA project provides a way to install packages from different repositories, while
el-get can help you declare recipes to install and update code from ELPA, or even Github or Emacswiki.