Troubles with Cacheing? Try Refreshing Your Browser!

Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash

You’ve just gotten word that your web developer has updated the site, you feel the hairs on the back of your neck raise as you explicitly press each key on your keyboard spelling out the URL for your page. Your heart races as the page flickers into existence on your 27-inch 4k flat screen monitor, when you notice nothing has changed. If you have been in this situation before or even if this is your first time, here are some ways that you can figure out what is going on.

Before we go into some quick fixes it’s important to understand what is going on. The reason why changes don’t show up right away when you visit a site is usually because of your cache. Your web browser, whether it be Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Edge, tries to download the web page and store it on your computer as a “cache”. The computer stores the site so that it can bring it up faster on your monitor. The cache will update on its own eventually, but it takes time and you probably want to see the changes your developer has made now. So, the solution to your problem is to refresh or redownload your site, and luckily there are a few ways for you to do this.

Hit the Refresh Button

The simplest way is to press the refresh button which is usually in the upper left area of your browser and looks like an arrow bent in a circular fashion. There are many things that your website stores and the refresh button will redownload a lot of simple things such as text or images that show up on the page.

Do a Hard Refresh

If the changes to your site were a little more substantial such as large photos you can hold down control and press F5 (on most browsers). This is called a hard refresh. If Control+F5 doesn’t work for you, check out this infographic to find the right keystroke for your browser and operating system.  A hard refresh will refresh almost everything on your site and helps when simply pressing the refresh button does not do the trick.

Inspect the Page, Then Hit the Refresh Button

Now if your changes are still not showing up the changes to your site were probably a lot more substantial and will need a hard reload of the entire site. When you perform a complete refresh of the site it will take a lot longer to load the page as you are literally downloading everything all over again on your computer.

  1. In order to perform this complete refresh right-click anywhere on the page and hit inspect.
  2. You should now have a box or new window show up, don’t worry about the box just hit the refresh button found in the top left corner of your browser.
  3. Click and hold it down and select “empty cache and hard reload.”
  4. When you hit this button, the page should start reloading and you will see the changes to the site.

Your site is up, and you can see the changes. If you are still running into trouble we suggest going to this site and sending the link that is provided to your web developer so they can help diagnose the issue.

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