Cached Websites

I Can’t See My Website Changes

Perhaps you or your web design firm have made changes to your website. Delighted that the changes are completed, you rush off to see how it looks, but you don’t see anything different. In fact, everything looks exactly the way you left it. What happened?

What happened is that you’re looking at a version of a cached website. Or more simply, you’re looking at a saved copy of a web page. Caching helps the computer show you websites faster by keeping a copy on your computer (or server) that it can access quickly. There are two types of caching you may run across often.

Web Browser Caching

The first type of caching is web browser caching. Browsers cache a copy of a website or webpage you visit so the site or page can load from your computer instead of downloading the webpage each time you visit. This makes the website load instantly. This works fantastic until you are expecting a change in the website. To fix this issue all you have to do is clear the web browser cache. A common shortcut is to press the F5 key on your keyboard. This will load any new changes that the browser detects.

Keyboard F5

You can also press Ctrl & F5 at the same time to bypass the browser cache and download the entire web page again.

If you have an Apple computer or happen to run Linux, the keyboard commands are similar:

  • Windows: Ctrl + F5
  • Mac/Apple: ? + R
  • Linux: F5

Since there are lots and lots of different browsers, here is a great article that illustrates all the different methods to clear your browser cache.

Server Caching

The second cache you will often encounter is a server cache. A browser cache lives on your computer, while a server cache lives on the computer that contains your website. There are many plugins for WordPress that provide this caching feature. And just like your browser, it will generate a copy of your webpage and save it. This copy will run faster than loading the webpage normally. But if a page changes (or widget content), these caches don’t always get updated.

Just like a browser cache, the solution is to clear the server cache. To do this you will need to log into your WordPress website.

WordPress Login

Once you have successfully logged in, you will see a button in the top toolbar labelled ‘Delete Cache’. Pressing this button will delete all copies of the cache saved on the server and will generate new ones as people visit the website.

WordPress Delete Cache

Just like browsers, there are many caching plugins for WordPress. This article just illustrates one plugin. While plugins may be similar, if you don’t see the ‘Delete Cache’ button at the top of your WordPress dashboard, consult the plugin’s website for instructions.

Now that you’ve successfully cleared your cache, when you go to visit your web page you should now see all the changes you were expecting!

Please note that caching your website is not necessary. If you’d prefer, we can disable the caching plugin. The site might slow down a bit, but it will not be unreasonable. For SEO, however, we strong recommend using the caching plugin.

Gabriel Mariani

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