24 Jan Not Seeing Changes? How to Clear Your Browser Cache
Have you ever made a change on your website, only to find that it’s not visibile when you visit the website? Sometimes it’s required to clear your browser cache, or even your website cache, in order to view all changes on your website.
What is Caching?
Caching is a broad term referring to the storage of anything for later use. However, in the internet world it gets a little more specific.
In short, a cache is a location used to store any type of data for a temporary amount of time. This could be website files, databases, media, or a wide range of other items. Caching is used to reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve these items for the end user.
A good analogy is a physical file cabinet in the office. For example, in a real estate firm, contracts are created, signed, and stored in file cabinets. However, a prudent real estate agent knows that digging through the file cabinet makes no sense for her recent listings. So, she has a basket on her desk where she can reach for and find information, contracts, and listings for her current clients.
You wouldn’t call that real estate example caching in the real world, but it’s remarkably similar to data caching online.
Caching is meant to improve performance. Our hypothetical agent is improving her personal performance by cutting down time she spends looking in file cabinets.
A website cache, on the other hand, delivers recently viewed site files to visitors instead of having to retrieve and send them from the server again. At the end of the process, the person at their computer gets to see your website much faster.
The Types of Caching
Website Caching is one of the most important forms of caching. This type of caching is often offered through your webhost, but systems like WordPress are also famous for having caching plugins to improve your site performance. In general, the cache is there to show files to your users faster. However, you might need to clear that cache if you make changes to your website and the cache is still serving up the old results.
Browser Caching is mainly what we’re going to cover in this article, but it often goes hand in hand with your website caching. A browser cache exists on your computer for each browser you use. When you visit a website, a cache of website assets are stored on your machine. Most of these assets are the ones that don’t change often, such as CSS, HTML, and images.
The point of browser caching is to improve the performance for the user, since websites should show up faster because of the fewer number of files being requested.
Sometimes clearing the browser cache helps out website owners as well, since design changes often don’t reveal themselves until you clear the browser cache. Therefore, if you end up in a situation where you can’t see changes, it’s important to clear the browser cache, then the website cache, if needed.
How to Clear Your Browser Cache
Clearing the browser cache is a little different in every browser, so, follow the steps below based on the browser in use.
Open Chrome on your computer and select the three dots button on the upper right hand corner.
Click on More Tools, then Clear Browsing Data.
Choose the Cookies and Other Site Data and the Cached Images and Site Files checkboxes. After that, select the Clear Data button.
Clearing the cache on Firefox works like this: Click the menu button, which looks like this:
Select Options > Privacy and Security. On a Mac, go to FireFox > Preferences. Then click Privacy and Security.
If you scroll down and locate the Cached Web Content section. Select the Clear Now button to complete the process.
To clearing your browser cache on in Safari, click Safari in the top left corner and choose Preferences.
In Preferences, click the Privacy tab and then on the Remove All Website Data button.
When you see the confirmation window, select the Remove Now button to completely clear the browser cache.
Still Not Seeing Changes? You May Need to Clear Your Website Cache
The website cache can often be cleared through a WordPress caching plugin. In that case, the Clear button is usually quite prevalent.
However, most hosting companies also have website caching abilities, like the following options:
While logged into the WordPress admin, go to the top menu bar and choose WP Rocket, then Clear cache.
If you don’t see that dropdown menu, navigate to the WP Rocket Settings page in WordPress. Click Tools and then the Clear Cache button to complete the process.
For websites on WP Engine, the cache can be purged from the WordPress dashboard.
In WordPress, click the WP Engine tab
Then click on the Purge All Caches button.
WordPress websites hosted on SiteGround using the provided SG Optimizer plugin, can clear their site cache from the top menu by clicking Purge SG Cache.
If you don’t see the top admin bar when logged into WordPress, look for SG Optimzer on the left menu and choose SG Optimzer > Super Cacher Config and then click the Purge Cache button.
WordPress websites hosted on GoDaddy have the option to click the GoDaddy menu at the top when you are logged into WordPress to Flush Cache.
Clearing Your Browser Cache is that Easy!
If you are unable to see these options when you are logged into your WordPress account, it’s possible that you don’t have permission to access these functions. Contact your website administrator to request permission.
Once you clear your browser cache and website cache, you should be able to view the changes recently made to your website.
Please post any questions you have about clearing your browser cache in the comments.