Are you making changes to your website but they just won’t show up live?
We’re recognizing the symptoms here: you’re going nuts with WordPress cache.
But, no worries, it’s something you can easily deal with.
Now, let’s understand what’s going on here.
What’s the thing with caching?
Cache is a collection of temporarily stored data for quick access when needed. Computers and phones store data in temporary storage.
Your browser, hosting server, and plugins can all serve cached content. Caching allows your WordPress website to skip the line, so to speak. Instead of loading the whole website every time, through caching, a copy of the page is made after the first load, and then the website’s cached version is served for the next visit of the user.
That’s great, don’t you think? This caching system saves you time and data. This is why pages and apps can load in seconds. A faster website improves user experience, and this means more pages visited and more sales. Also, Google uses page speed as a ranking factor. This means a fast website has bigger chances to rank in search results.
One tricky thing, though: when you are doing website changes, they won’t show up right away.
Time to clear WordPress cache!
In this article, we’ll explain how to clear browser cache and web hosting cache. We’ll also introduce some of the top WordPress caching plugins.
How to clear the WordPress cache (2 methods)
Method 1: Clearing browser cache
From time to time, browsers won’t notice the changes in a web page and they will load the old version of it from its cached version.
Now let’s see how you can empty the cache in Google Chrome and Firefox.
Clear browser cache in Google Chrome
Go to the menu icon and select More Tools -> Clear Browsing Data.
A window will pop-up with basic and advanced options for cache clearing.
Make sure to tick the files and images clear option. And choose a wider time frame if you feel like it.
Next, hit “Clear data” and you’re done!
Clear browser cache in Mozilla Firefox
Click the menu button and select “Options”. Next select the “Privacy & Security” panel.
From the “Cookies and Site Data” section, click “Clear Data”. From the new pop-up, you can clear both cookies and cache.
Clear browser cache for Android and iOS
As you use applications and browsers on your phone, they will start storing files for future reference.
If you want to clear the Chrome browser cache for your Android phone, you need to go to the Chrome app. At the top right, tap “More”, then tap “History”. Next, tap “Clear browsing data”. Now, you have a time range option. To delete everything, select “All time”. Next you have 2 options: “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files”. Now, tap “Clear data” and you’re done.
Looks familiar? Yeah, it’s like the desktop experience.
Wanna clear cache in Safari? Go to Settings -> Safari, and tap Clear History and Website Data. Easy peasy.
If you are still not seeing the changes you made, then move on to method 2.
Method 2: How to clear WordPress cache via the Caching Plugins
Now, how do you install a WordPress plugin?
It’s all in the video below.
How to use most caching plugins? You usually go to the WordPress dashboard and look for the plugin’s Settings option.
Clear WordPress Cache using WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a caching plugin used by 1.2M+ websites.
How does it improve website performance?
- Caching allows for a higher website loading speed
- Images are loaded only as the visitors scroll down the page, improving the load time of the page
Clear WordPress Cache using W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular WordPress caching plugins. Like most caching plugins, it’s easy to use and intuitive.
Their creators boast that the W3’s Total Cache main benefits are:
- At least 10x improvement in overall site performance
- Up to 80% bandwidth savings when you minify HTML, minify CSS, and minify JS files
- Improvements in search engine result page rankings
- Increase in website conversion rates
Clearing cache inside WordPress builders or hosting accounts
Now, WordPress builders can include clear cache options, as the Colibri builder does. Just look for such an option in your Dashboard.
Hosting providers can also offer built-in solutions to empty cache. Just login to your account and look for the option.
The difference between cache and cookies
While we’re still here…I know there’s a confusion between cache and cookies. I mentioned above when talking about how to clear browser cache, that you can also clear cookies.
So, what are those?
Both cache and cookies store data, but the data is different. Cookies store browsing sessions and user behavior and activity.
This isn’t always a bad thing. Let’s say you are buying something on Amazon and you browse a lot and add stuff to the shopping cart. Cookies allow the items to stay there so that the shopping cart won’t reset to 0, every time you switch to a new page.
Now, here comes the tricky part of cookies. Cookies serve crucial functions for websites. However, cookies can store a huge amount of data, enough to potentially identify you without your consent. Cookies are essential for advertisers. They allow them to track your online activity so that they can show you specific ads. The data cookies keep can be considered personal data, and this makes them subject to privacy policies.
I hope this article managed to shine a light on how cache works and on how to clear cache in WordPress.
What you must remember is that when you browse, thanks to cache the websites you visit will load faster.
If you own a website, it will load faster because of caching, and this will translate into SEO benefits and conversion rates improvement.
On the other hand, deleting the cache data increases the performance of your computer or phone. Now, if a certain site went through some changes, because of cache the browser might not the new version of the site. Clearing the cache will help with that.
Alina is a digital marketer with a passion for web design. When she's not strategizing she's doing photography, listening to podcasts on history and psychology, and playing with her 2 dogs and cat.