Did you spend hours updating your website just to find out that none of the changes are reflected? Are you frustrated that all your hard work has gone to waste?
You can put your worries to rest, as the chances are that you forgot to clear the WordPress caches of your website.
To help you get over this hurdle, this article will give you an in-depth knowledge of how to clear old caches using different techniques.
- 1 What is Cache, and When Do You Need to Clear Cache?
- 2 WordPress Cache Vs. Browser Cache
- 3 How does Caching work in WordPress?
- 4 How to clear the WordPress cache using a plugin: a step-by-step guide
- 5 How to Clear Your WordPress Cache Without a Plugin
- 6 Conclusion
What is Cache, and When Do You Need to Clear Cache?
Caching solutions can store a static version of a website. This enables WordPress to improve your website speed by not running the heavier PHP scripts.
For any business to create an engaging website, they must add a fresh collection of content for their visitors.
The new content is what gives people a reason to come back to a website. Apart from making the website more engaging. A site is bound to make many design changes for structural changes, new product and sale announcements, etc.
But, the older cache files would not include the modifications. Hence, a cache purge, manual or automated, is required to display the new information.
Cache takes snapshots of what is on your website and stores those snapshots. Until an update is made, in which case you must clear WordPress cache files.
This process repeats every time you make changes to your website.
Following are some scenarios where you need to clear WordPress cache storage:
- When you make changes to your database.
- If you add, update, or delete plugins and themes.
- When adding new posts or pages.
- Making adjustments or adding to previously created posts or pages.
- When making changes to the design.
- To add new products to your online store.
Many different types of caching solutions are available. WordPress caching plugins like WP Rocket and WP Super Cache are some of the most popular ones.
These plugins offer user-friendly interfaces for controlling what to cache, when to expire cached content, and cleaning up the cache on demand.
Managed WordPress hosting providers such as WordPress Engine can run their caching solutions without installing a caching plugin.
When using a CDN service like MaxCDN also serves as cached copies of static content.
Using web application firewalls such as Sucuri or CloudFlare to improve your WordPress security, provide their cache to speed up your website and reduce downtime.
Finally, any modern web browser is most likely to store cached versions of pages on your computer.
The purpose of caching is to improve the overall user experience by speeding up the website. Still, sometimes this can be frustrating as they might not let you see the changes you make right away. In such cases, to see the changes, you must clear WordPress caches.
Also Read :- How to Clear Your DNS Cache on Your Computer 2021
WordPress Cache Vs. Browser Cache
The WordPress server cache and browser cache WordPress perform similar tasks, saving data to load web pages quicker. But, both of them do this in their distinct ways.
WordPress Server Cache
Every time a user visits your site, the website connects with the database and outputs the required files. To repeat this process again and again needs time and puts much pressure on your servers.
The solution is for your website to create a static version or snapshot of the web files and present the same file repeatedly to all the visitors, decreasing the need for database load.
These static files are the WordPress server cache. Usually, your hosting provider manages these static files.
But, WordPress server caches are important because you can also access, manage or clear WordPress cache files using some WordPress plugins.
The browser cache saves data from websites that you visit to load them faster during your next visit. Browsers use your computer hard drive as the storage for these cache files.
Different browsers have different configurations and settings for managing the cache files. But in every browser, they are used for the same purpose, i.e., for loading websites faster.
But, the performance of cache files of the same website can vary in different browsers.
To sum it up, the WordPress server cache is maintained by your website to speed up page loads. In addition, WordPress’s cache is beneficial because you can use WP plugins to manage the cache files, adjust caching options, and clear WordPress cache files if needed, right from the dashboard.
On the other hand, the WP cache is saved on your web host’s servers for the browser cache. This ensures that visitors always have access to faster-cached files and content, no matter how they access your site.
How does Caching work in WordPress?
When a user visits your site, this is what happens.
- Your server receives a request to display the page.
- Your server pulls the necessary data required.
- Your server then sends this data as an HTML file (text file format) to the user’s browser. The user’s browser then processes the HTML file, converts it, and displays it as a web page.
Now, every time the user visits your site, your server will repeat the entire process. But, there are two drawbacks to this.
A) Takes more time.
B) Uses more server resources.
This can be avoided with the use of caches.
A cache can store this HTML data in the browser, eliminating steps 1, 2 and 3, the next time the user visits your website. A copy of the necessary data is already stored in the caching system. It will simply process and display the stored cache files.
WordPress caching can be used and implemented in the following two forms:
Also known as browser caching, client-side caching stores the static HTML pages on the user’s local computer. Now, whenever a user visits your site, a copy is loaded from the user’s computer, which reduces the loading time, making this approach much faster.
Server-side caching works differently as it is used when you have a massive website with multiple databases.
The static pages are stored on the website server’s hard disk or RAM in server-side caching to increase efficiency. Server-side caching is not faster than browser caching, but it is still quicker than no caching.
Also Read :- How to Utilize Google Cache Websites
How to clear the WordPress cache using a plugin: a step-by-step guide
WordPress caching plugins offer an easy-to-implement form of browser caching. As a WordPress admin, they’re also the simplest caching solution for you to clear cached site data on your own — without help from any website hosting service.
Following are the step-by-step instructions on clearing the cache in WordPress using four of the most popular caching plugins.
Clear Cache with WP Super Cache Plugin
WP Super Cache is one of the less complex and most popular WordPress clear cache plugin. Not only are they easy to execute, but they also have a wide array of caching features, including automatic cache compression and cache scheduler.
Here are the steps you need to follow to clear the WordPress cache file:
- First, in your admin dashboard, go to Settings -> WP Super Cache on the menu bar to the left of the screen. In the settings, there are three spots you can delete your cache: the Contents tab, the Easy tab, or the Admin toolbar.
- Click the Delete Cache button located under the Delete Cached Pages section, and your saved HTML pages will be cleared.
Clear Cache with W3 Total Cache Plugin
W3 Total Cache by BoldGridis known for its customization and bandwidth-saving features. It is considered a popular and practical choice for caching website info.
Popular among blogs like Mashable, the W3 total cache once fully configured is also known to improve your website’s overall performance.
Here are the steps you need to follow to clear the cache file:
- First, go to the Performance menu in your WordPress admin area and locate the settings for the plugin.
- Go down the page and look through all the individual caching settings.
- To instantly purge all the cached content, click on the empty all caches button located at the top of the page.
Clear WordPress Cache With WP Rocket (Paid Plugin)
WP Rocket is a premium, high-quality plugin that offers easy-to-use and advanced tools for automated WordPress caching. It also has a Manual button to clear the WP cache from any page on the dashboard.
Besides site caching, WP Rocket also provides file optimization, database cleanup tools, and CDN integration features.
It is considered an all-in-one plugin that can consolidate many other plugins on your website.
When using WP Rocket to clear the WordPress cache, first purchase and install the plugin on your WordPress website as it’s not present in the WordPress Plugin Library.
Once installed, the plugin will give you several options to manually and automatically clear the cache.
The use the fastest option, locate the WP Rocket tab one WordPress dashboard header menu. Clicking on that tab to access a list with links to the Preload Cache area, Settings, Documentation, FAQ, and Support.
Click on the Clear Cache item for the fastest cache clearing.
It does not take long to clear the WordPress cache making this button rather convenient for those who want to get back to work.
Note: Ensure to save your current work before clearing the WordPress cache. You might not lose much, but some of these plugins might refresh the page.
In the case of manual cache, you would see a message on the dashboard screen. Providing you with the date and time when the process took place.
How to manage settings in WP Rocket and configure automated WordPress caching
The manual cache option is handy, but it might not be convenient if you want to see the changes in your content after updating a page or post.
Hence, using the WP rocket settings button at the top of the screen might be a better option.
Once you are on the settings page, you will see another manual Clear Cache button and a Preload cache button.
The preload cache feature loads your ache backup with saved site data, thus allowing the cache to speed up your website delivery.
The Cache tab in the WP Rocket plugin has many automated caching functions that enable caching in some situations, such as Enable Cache For Mobile Devices, User Cache, and Cache Lifespan.
Note: Remember to click on the Save Changes button before leaving.
WP Rocket plugin offers a wide variety of caching and optimizing tools to:
- optimize your media items
- generate new files in your cache right after it clears a cache
- adjust settings
- add specific rules and exceptions to your cache clearing, etc.
In the end, WP Rocket is a simple, effective caching plugin that takes care of all your caching needs.
How to clear the WordPress cache using WP Fastest Cache
Apart from being a fast method for clearing cache, WP Fastest Cache also offers unique functions such as user-agents from the cache and preloading the cache or excluding certain pages.
Using WP Fastest cache, you would automatically delete cache files for pages and posts when they get updated and activate cache timeouts for specific pages.
After activating the WP Fastest Cache plugin, you can use two methods for clearing the cache, automatic and manual.
Use the WP Fastest Cache button in the dashboard to access the primary plugin page to adjust options and configure Everything from Image Optimization to General Settings.
Once you are on the settings tab, Enable the Cache System box to turn on the basic function of clearing the cache regularly. Then, for the remaining options, you can activate the ones you feel are necessary.
If needed, you can activate all the options but ensure that features do not conflict with any other plugin or your website’s coding.
If you do not want to get too technical with your setting, consider activating the Preload setting as it caches the entire website automatically.
Finally, click the Submit button to activate the automated caching and optimization of your website.
- To access WP Fastest Cache manually, click on the Delete Cache tab in the WP Fastest Cache Options page.
- You must either choose the Clear All Cache option or the Delete Cache and Minified CSS/JS option.
- The Clear All Cache button targets all the cache files, particularly the page, and object cache.
WP Fastest Cache can also add timeout rules that ask how often you want to clear your cache. Store your rules by clicking on the Save button in the dashboard, and the caching will happen at your desired intervals.
Apart from caching and purging tools, WP Fastest Cache also has complementary tools for optimizing images, linking to a CDN, and excluding pages from the cache purge. These features are present in the same window. For example, the Exclude tab ensures that some pages aren’t ever cleared of their cache.
Finally, to instantly clear the cache right from the dashboard, access the Delete Cache button to the top menu in your dashboard.
WP Fastest Cache usually takes less than a second to clear the cache storage. But it doesn’t show any confirmation message.
How to Clear Your WordPress Cache Without a Plugin
If you’re not using or do not want to use a caching plugin, you need to clear your WordPress cache manually. Of course, this process can be different depending on what web host you are using. But you can easily access the option to clear cache from your host’s admin area.
Some web hosts also provide an option to clear the cache to the WordPress dashboard when you set up your site. In case the changes you make do not show up on the front end, here’s what you should do:
- Clear browser cache.
- Purge your cache through hosting solutions.
- Use CDN cache flushing options.
- Clear cache from within the installed plugins.
- Use the WordPress Command line.
Clear Browser Cache
Sometimes, the changes you make on your WordPress site might be insignificant to your browser. This can prompt your browser to display the old static copy that you were trying to purge. In this case, you must clear your browser cache.
But do remember that you’ll only be clearing the cache for your display. Suppose the caching malfunction is not just happening to your browser alone. In that case, you will have to check out other options mentioned below.
Following are the steps you need to follow to clear cache for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer browsers:
- How to clear cache in Safari
On macOS, clearing your cache files and website history is simple:
click History> Clear History.
You can pick a timeframe for how far back you want to clear the files in the pop-up. This process does a lot more than deleting the browser history, as it also takes out your cookies and data cache.
1. In the Safari app, on your Mac, choose History> Clear History, then click the pop-up menu.
2. Choose how far back you want your browsing history cleared.
When you clear your History and cache, Safari removes the data is saved as a result of your browsing history, including:
- History of web pages you visited
- The back and forward list for open webpages
- Frequently visited site list
- Recent searches
- Icons for web pages
- Snapshots saved for open webpages
- List of items you downloaded (downloaded files aren’t removed)
- Websites added for Quick Website Search
- Websites that asked to use your location
- Websites that asked to send you notifications
- How to clear cache in Chrome
To clear the cookies and cache in Chrome, you will have to access the browser’s Settings menu. There are three different ways you can do this.
The first way is to click the three vertical dots icon on the top-right corner of your screen, hovering over “More Tools,” and then select “Clear Browsing Data.”
You might notice that there is also a shortcut key you can use. To go straight to the page to clear the cookies and cache – simultaneously press down on the Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys.
You can also enter chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in the address bar.
You should now be at the “Clear Browsing Data” window regardless of which method you choose.
The first thing you must do here is select the time range for deleting the cookies and cache.
Click the arrow in the box next to “Time Range” to expand the menu. Then select the desired time range. This is set to “All Time” by default.
Next, check the boxes next to “Cookies And Other Site Data” and “Cached Images And Files.”
After checking the boxes, select the “Clear Data” button. Soon, your cache and cookies will be cleared.
- How to clear cache in Firefox
The Firefox cache temporarily stores images, scripts, and other parts of any website you visit to speed up your browsing experience.
The process to clear the cache in Firefox can be done both manually and automatically.
Manually clearing the cache:
1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences.
2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
3. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data
4. Remove the checkmark in front of Cookies and Site Data.
5. With Cached Web Content check marked, click the Clear button.
6. Close the about: preferences page. Any changes you’ve made will automatically be saved.
Here’s another way to clear the Firefox cache:
1. Click on the menu button to open the menu panel.
2. Click History and select Clear Recent History
3. Next to Time range to clear, select Everything from the drop-down menu, choose cache in the items list. Make sure other items you want to keep are not selected, and then click the OK button.
Automatically clear the cache.
You can also set Firefox to clear the cache once Firefox closes automatically:
1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences.
2. Select > Privacy & Security panel > History section.
3. In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will > Use custom settings for History.
4. Choose the check box for Clear History when Firefox closes.
5. Beside Clear History, when Firefox closes, click the Settings button. The Settings for Clearing History window will open.
6. In the Settings for Clearing History window, put a tick mark next to cache.
7. Click OK to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
8. Close the about: preferences page. Any changes you’ve made will now automatically be saved.
- How to clear cache in Opera
The easiest way to clear cookies, cache, etc. in Opera is to:
- Press Ctrl+H to open your history page.
- Click Clear browsing data in the top-right corner.
- Select what you want to delete and the time range, like recent History or all time.
- Click Clear data.
- How to clear cache in Internet explorer
Follow the following steps according to your version of Windows.
1. Press and hold (or right-click) Start > Control Panel > Internet Options.
2. Select the General tab, and then select Delete under Browsing history.
3. Select Delete all > Yes > OK.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
1. Select Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Options.
2. Select the General tab, and then select Delete under Browsing history.
3. Select Delete all > Yes > OK.
1. Exit Internet Explorer.
2. Exit any instances of Windows Explorer.
3. Select Start > Control Panel, and then double-click Internet Options.
4. On the General tab, select Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files.
5. In the Delete Files dialog box, click to select the Delete all offline content check box.
6. Select OK two times.
Purge Cache Through Hosting Solutions
Site cache and Browser cache are not the only caching options that affect how your website would run; the server cache does too.
Caching through the server saves much more than your WP content, and if it’s outdated, you might experience large-scale caching issues.
If clearing cache within WordPress does not work, purging server cache would be your next best option.
If you are not sure about how to handle the clearing server cache, don’t worry. You can also request your web hosting provider to do it for you. They can even check your website and advise you if you need it or not.
Always check cache documentation for your particular WebHost. Some WebHost offer easy fixes, such as a wordpress Flush Cache button somewhere on your WP dashboard or a testing code for your URL.
It is always better to check what they offer first before requesting their help when stuck.
Use CDN Cache Flushing Options
Do you use a Content Delivery Network?
CDNs use many remote data centers to store cached copies of your website and send them to the users effectively to their respective locations. This website delivery is super-fast due to the reduced physical distance; and caching, of course.
To know how to clean up cache using a particular CDN platform, be sure to check their documentation so you can do it correctly.
Clear Cache from Within the Installed Plugins
Suppose you do not have a WordPress caching plugin. In that case, you can install a few content optimization plugins with built-in caching mechanisms that misbehave at times.
Go to the plugin’s dashboard and look for the “clear cache option.” But before you do that, you should check the plugin’s overview to see where its cache goes.
Use the WordPress Command Line
Object caching is sometimes a massive procedure when making minor CSS updates. As a result, some attributes won’t show up when you need them to.
But with some small changes in the WordPress command line, your site will be updated to a fresh look effortlessly.
Things to Remember When Making Updates
Even the best programmers and developers make mistakes when updating websites. So there might be something that you are overlooking. Here are some things you might want to confirm first:
- Double-check the URL. Is the URL correct? Is the full path and file name accurate? Always check and confirm the URL on your text editor or address bar.
- Confirm that you are working with the correct file. Editing and uploading file contents and names can be confusing. In addition, mistakes happen when editing, so avoid having duplicate or multiple versions of the same file.
- Verify the template you are editing. Templates have minor variations, and it’s common to mistake one for another. So make sure to check twice.
When experiencing such issues, it’s essential to save your current website version to be safe if you make more significant changes.
You can also disable caching and clear the WordPress cache without the use of a plugin. However, this requires SSH or FTP access.
The instructions for both options are given below.
How to clear the WordPress cache via FTP
To clear the WordPress cache without disabling caching completely, use FTP to access your WordPress files.
Go into the “wp-content” folder and open the “cache” folder. Now delete Everything from this folder. But remember only to delete the content and not the entire folder.
How to clear the WP cache using SSH
If your hosting provider has enabled SSH (Secure Shell) access. There is another way you can clear the WordPress cache. Simply follow these steps:
1. Begin by logging into your WordPress site via SSH.
2. Next, navigate to your site’s home directory: cd ~/sites/example.com
3. Finally, run the following WP-CLI command to flush your cache: wp-cache flush
Possible consequences of clearing your cache
Following are some of the after-effects that you might face once you clear your cache
- You will be logged out of most sites where you have an account.
- You might have to re-enter your transaction details on some of the websites.
- There will be a visible change in page loading speed
Also Read: What is Cache Busting?
Enabling caching is important for your site, along with regularly clearing the cache manually, using WordPress Cache Plugins such as WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Fastest Cache. Can optimize the performance of your website and help you get the most out of it.
But, you must exercise caution when dealing with or clearing Cache in WordPress. Any mistake can break your site, or you could remove some important files.
Thus, it is always better to have your site backed up. Plugins that use a dedicated server for all processes can be a good option for WordPress. Such plugins do not put extra load on your site, the process is easy, and you can recover your site in seconds.