Frequently Asked Question

Problem: Page Updates Not Displaying Changes Correctly
Last Updated 9 years ago

Intro: If you've changed something on your site and it doesn't appear when you view the page, it almost always has to do with "caching."  Caching is a way to lessen the amount of work servers need to do in order to display web pages.  For example, images don't often change so your web browser can download it once and save it for a while so it doesn't have to re-download it every time you visit that site.  This saves the viewer the time and network traffic it takes to download the file and the server the work from having to send the image again.

In additions to images, other special files can be cached - CSS stylesheets, JavaScript, and so on.  A properly cached site is many times faster than a non-cached site.  Google and other search engines use page load speed as a factor in how they rank sites.

Since caching is so beneficial, we pre-install caching plugins with all installs - typically "W3 Total Cache" or "WP Super Cache."  They instruct both the web server and the web browser on any visitors' computers to cache what makes sense.  To avoid something going wrong with the cache, when you make updates to WordPress itself or to any plugins, it is a good practice to "empty" your caches.

To refresh the caches on your WP install:

  For "W3 Total Cache": Dashboard -> Performance -> "empty all caches"
  For "WP Super Cache":  Dashboard -> Settings -> WP Super Cache -> "Delete Cache"

  It's always safe to empty your caches.  We recommend you do so when updating WordPress, WP plugins, changing themes, or after modifying any custom files.  It is unnecessary when you write a new blog post or create a new page.

To refresh your caches on your computer:
  Firefox: Hold down the Shift key, and click the Reload button on the navigation toolbar.
    or Firefox PC: Hold down the Control and Shift keys, and press R.
    or Firefox Mac: Hold down the Command and Shift keys, and press R.
  Chrome: Ctrl+F5
    or Shift+F5
  IE:  Ctrl+F5
    or Ctrl+refresh-page button on toolbar
  Safari: Hold down the Shift key and click the Reload button on the toolbar.

WikiHow has a thorough article on how to clear your cache on all browsers:

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