Caching. How do you even say that? Cashing? Ca-shing? It’s no matter – regardless of how it’s pronounced, caching has been causing website headaches since the dawn of time (or at least, the dawn of the internet). It’s something I’m asked about a lot, so I wanted to write a very simple post explaining what it is!
Tech people note – this is completely non-technical – so perhaps move along!
What is caching?
Very simply, caching can be thought of like memory. So, if you visit your website in the Chrome Browser, it will “remember” what the site was like when you last visited, and show you that same version when you next look.
Some places you can experience caching is in the browser (so Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox etc), on your local computer, in your network (i.e. your wifi) or on your phone.
It’s handy to have on a WordPress website as it can make it faster. In fact, it’s one of the first things I recommend for WordPress website owners.
Why do I need to worry about caching?
Caching on your website can mean sometimes you (or your developer) make changes to your site and when you check it on the front it, they don’t actually display. So you think you haven’t made the changes and try again – only to see you actually already had. It can be really annoying and time consuming!
Caching can happen when general changes are made, or you update your website domain records or update hosting settings…you get the idea. Things can be more annoying if you have a caching plugin or your website host has aggressive caching.
How can I get around caching?
If you’re experiencing caching issues, what you need to do will depend on the problem. For example, if you’ve made changes to your domain sometimes you just need to give it time to see the change.
For other changes, you can try clearing your browser history, looking at your website in a different browser, or on a different internet connection (so if you’re on your computer checking something from your Wifi, change to your phone and use your phone data). You can even ask a friend to check the website on their side to see what they’re looking at.
One other advanced technique is to use developer tools to turn off the cache and try your luck.
So there you have it – a very simple rundown of what caching is and how you can get around it! Good luck!
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