Thursday, March 15, 2018

How to Ensure you're Getting the Latest Web Page Version

Depending upon the type of website, the frequency of changes made can vary greatly. For example, a news website will have multiple updates each day while a service based website may only have changes once per day, week or month. Regardless of changes, one way websites are delivered to a user faster is by a process called caching. 

Caching is the process of keeping a local copy of content within a page and can include:
  • Images 
  • Style sheets
  • Scripts like Javascript
  • Content
Caching is utilized because it allows a page to load faster, thereby providing a better user experience. In large organizations, firewalls often provide caching of frequently visited pages. For everyone else, devices manage localized caching for themselves and results will vary between devices.

While caching can provide faster web page load times, there are times when disabling caching is helpful. For example, when troubleshooting an issue with a web page it is critical that the page always loads with the most recent changes to ensure time is not wasted looking for a fix that has already been found. Disabling caching can also be helpful when you frequently visit the same page and it often fails to update to the current version.

How to Ensure you're Getting the Latest Web Page Version


When using Chrome
  • From within any web page in the Chrome browser, press the F12 button to bring up the Developer Tools window. Alternatively, right-click on any page and select "Inspect Element" from the pop-up window. NOTE: If the function keys are swapped, you may need to press the FN and F12 keys. 
  • Click on the Network tab in the top of the Developer Tools menu.
  • Click the box next to "Disable cache".


When using Firefox
  • From within any web page in the Firefox browser, press the F12 button to bring up the developer console. Alternatively, click on the menu button in the upper corner, click on "Web Developer" and select "Toggle Tools" to enable the developer menu.

  • Click on the Network tab at the top of the developer window. 
  • Click the box next to "Disable cache".


When using Edge
  • From within any web page in the Edge browser, press the F12 button to bring up the Developer Tools window. Alternatively, click the Settings button in the top right corner and select "F12 Developer Tools" in the pop-out menu.
  • Click on the Network tab in the developer tools section at the bottom of the page.
  • Click the button whose pop-up says "Always refresh from server".


When making changes or troubleshooting a web page, disabling web page caching ensures the page is displayed according to its most current settings. If necessary, the cache setting can be re-enabled at any time by going back to the same settings area. Ultimately, the cache setting should only be changed when using a device where data usage and network bandwidth is not an issue. Keep in mind, image heavy pages, especially those with images not optimized for the web, can take longer to load if the cache is disabled.

As always, there are more settings available to us than we can ever fully utilize. Learning a few more all the time enables more efficient and fulfilling use of applications and tools!

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