to get around the manual stuff you need to create a feature! when you activate the feature it deploys and adds it for you.
or just use wsp builder to build the feature for you
To create a new web part feature with WSPBuilder:
1.Right-click on the name of your WSPBuilder project in Visual Studioand click Add, New Item.
2.Select WSPBuilder from the tree on the left and choose Web Part Feature from the list on the right of the dialog.
3.Enter the title of the web part feature and click OK.
4.In the dialog that appears enter the title, description and scope and click OK.
Customising the page is manual, if you want to change the page programmatically than that is somthing extra that you will need to performe (find page, edit page, remove webpart, add custom webpart) this can be done in the feature handler that wspbuild makes for you... i think it creates a new folder within the project named FeatureCode and inside that is a .cs class, open it and youll see a class that inherits from
SPFeatureReceiver it will contain 4 methods:
FeatureActivated , FeatureDeactivating , FeatureInstalled and FeatureUninstalling. You need to add the code within the
FeatureActivated event to performe that manual stuff programmatically ;)
thats is just how i would do it, otherwise how you did would be the same on production. If your doing it once that manual is fine.. to more than one site I would do it programmatically