I maintain about a half-dozen websites spread across almost as many servers. At my job I maintain a website for a college library consisting of many static HTML pages, but I also use Wordpress for 3-4 sites I main for professional organizations, a federal grant project, and a friends comedy improv group.
My point is I have a lot going on and it is spread across a bunch of servers. I try to keep "master" copies of files on both a thumb drive and in the cloud using Dropbox.
Would it be a good idea to install SVN software on my home and work computers to make like easier? Also, can anyone offer advice for a noob who is used to working with local copies of files in Dreamweaver make the transition to version control software?
Well, if you're trying to backup your customizations, you can use it just fine for Wordpress and use it to merge your changes with updates, but it basically means not using the WP auto update feature. You'll need another process.
I have my WordPress and Drupal sites run a cron job that dumps the DB and gzips it and emails that to a dedicated GMail account for that site. That creates a DB archive, but you'll need a diff tool to see differences between versions and there's not much point to using SVN to manage it.