Have you ever received an email from your web developer enthusiastically announcing that requested work has been performed on your site only to find that you can’t see your website updates?
If so, you know how unsettling it can be when you can’t see your website updates, particularly when they’re time sensitive and part of a new marketing campaign that your business is about to launch! In most cases it isn’t that they haven’t been saved to your website, it’s simply that you can’t see them due to the way that browser work.
To that end a basic understanding of how browsers operate will go a long way to resolving any dashed expectations between you and your developer and get everyone on the same page regarding the web development process.
How Browsers Work
Although websites are seemingly intangible, they’re very much a part of the material world and are still subject to the influence of the environment in which they reside.
As with anything else, websites are built using code that exists within files that are stored on servers with finite resources, and every time you visit a website from your browser a request is made to view those resources.
The speed with which each request is fulfilled can vary wildly based upon the bandwidth available on your network, the quality of your web host (with all hope Managed WordPress) and even the location of your host in relation to where you’re browsing from.
Enter Browser Caching
In order to deliver the best possible experience, browsers will store static files such as images and scripts to your computer so that when you revisit a website it will load quickly without having to request files from the hosting server once again. This process is called caching.
Unfortunately browser caching can prove problematic for those actively working on a web project, particularly where collaboration is concerned, and when you can’t see your website updates more often than not it’s because your browser is in effect storing the older version of your website.
Fortunately there’s a quick and easy way to remedy the problem and it has to do with clearing your browser cache of all those static files and revisiting the website in question so that an entirely new request is made and the most current version of the site is displayed in your browser.
How to Clear Your Browser Cache
If you haven’t cleared your browser’s cache before, you may be wondering where to begin and that’s where this handy guide from the folks at Refresh Your Cache can help. Simply select the browser you’re currently using and follow the steps outlined to clear your cache.
Once your cache has been cleared you should see your website updates upon revisiting your site. Getting into the habit of regularly clearing your browser cache anytime updates are made will ensure that you’re always seeing the most up to date version of your website.
What Browser are You Using?
For those of you out there who aren’t quite clear on what browser you’re using, let alone how to go about clearing your cache, you can find out what browser you’re using by visiting the excellent Support Details website which will display information about your browsing environment as soon as the page loads.