Why can’t I see the most recent version of my website?

A common problem when we ask you to review a link to a development website is that you can’t see the changes we have made on a web page. We have definitely make the changes, so what’s going on?

Computers save web pages to speed up browsing

In most cases, the problem lies with your browser/computer. When you view a web page, a copy of the page and all its content is downloaded by your browser and stored in a folder on your computer for future use. This process is know as ‘caching’. Cached items are sometimes know as Temporary Internet Files.

If you revisit the web page, to save on download time, the browser checks your computer’s cache folder first to see if already has a version of the page that it can show you. If there is a page there already, that’s the one you will be shown – and it will be an old version without any of the changes you have requested. The new live new version will not be visible because your browser has not bothered to go and get it! Graphic images (including photos, graphics,  buttons and icons), and the coding for entire web pages are examples of items which are saved or cached.

The solution – refresh your page or clear your cache

In order to see the live version of your page, you need to get your computer to clear it’s cache of saved pages. It’s not always as simple as you might think as some computers determinedly hang on to their cache of saved pages. We suggest that you work through the following solutions in order until you get to one that works:

1) Refresh your page. Try clicking the refresh page icon on your browser (usually a small arrow in a circle at the top of your browser).

2) Clear your browser’s cache. If refreshing the page doesn’t work, you will need to clear your browser’s cache manually. Often hitting the F5 key or ctrl F5 will clear the browser’s cache. But each browser uses a different method, so if the F5 key doesn’t work, check your browser’s support on how to clear the cache. Here are some other common methods:

Hold down the Shift key and left-click the Reload button
Press “Ctrl + F5” or press “Ctrl + Shift + R” (Windows,Linux)
Press “Command + Shift + R” (Mac)

3) Switch off and back on again. Some computers can be stubborn and even clearing the browser’s cache using the methods above will not clear the old version of the web page from your computer. If you are still seeing an old version of the page after clearing you cache, the next step is to try turning your computer off, leaving it for an hour, and then turning it back on again and then working through the solutions again.

4) Leave for 24 hours. If turning your computer off and turning it back on again doesn’t work, you’ll need to check the site on another computer to satisfy yourself that all is well. Leave your computer for a day or so and then check again. By then, the Temporary Internet Files should have cleared and you will see the correct version of your website when you switch it back on again.