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How do I clear my cache?

Question: Why am I always told to empty or clear my cache by my web developer? What is it? And what does it do?

Cache is a term that gets thrown around in the tech world and if you don’t have your computer dictionary open then it can feel like another language completely but it really doesn’t have to. Getting to know the terminology and base functions to ensure that you can concentrate on the problems your business solves rather than heading straight for Google search will be a massive weight off.

Today we are going to simplify “Cache” including its ins and outs so that way you can check that one off your list! Let’s crack on...

Question: What is Cache?

A web cache is a way for your web browser (IE, firefox, chrome, safari etc) to temporary store web documents, such as HTML pages and images and this, in turn, reduces bandwidth, server load, and perceived lag. All massive positives.

Question: Why does it exist?

When you visit a website your browser downloads the images and other related files to your hard drive, these files are then loaded locally next time you visit the same site, thus saving your bandwidth time.

It is a timesaving, space-saving helper!

Question: Can it cause problems?

Yes, it can but they’re common and can be solved easily!

They usually arise when you’re reviewing a site with your web developer. You may view the site, (downloading images to your hard drive in the process), then decide that you want a couple of images changing. Your developer goes to work and makes the changes, and then asks you to 'refresh' your page. So you refresh but the images haven't changed - this would be because the image would still have the same filename as before the update, and your browser has saved bandwidth by reloading the image saved in your cache. This is when you need to 'empty your cache' so you can see the updated content.

Question: How do I clear it?

Clearing your cache occasionally or regularly can protect your privacy and free up some space in your computer. Since every browser is different, the following link will outline the steps involved in clearing the cache for several popular web browsers.

How do I empty my cache?

Question: Mobile cache vs Desktop cache?

Cache can be produced by computers, laptops, web browsers or apps and with the explosion of mobile, it’s important to ensure that your mobile site or app are also optimised and that may mean clearing your cache - but you know all about that now, right?

Round up on cache

This will normally come up when working with your developers (like our example above) but now you should have a base to approach the topic confidently!

Conversations with your developer don’t have to be confusing or a worry, get to know them and talking openly will lead to a much better result and importantly a more enjoyable journey there! If you want an insight into a developers mind then here’s our web developing masters mind, Martin!


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