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What is a Cache and How Do I Clear it?

Have you ever been told to clear your cache? Does this ever leave you wondering what is a cache and what does it do?

Caching is a browser technology that is used to save time and resources. Without technical know-how, caching may seem complicated, but in actuality it’s quite simple and a very helpful tool.

Let’s look at what a cache is and how you can use it for your blog.

What is a Cache?

Caching is the ability of a website to send signals to a user’s browser that tell it to download website elements, rather than re-download those elements each time the site is accessed. This increases website speed because some elements of a site become “cached” on users browsers, and then there are less elements to load each time a user visits a site.

Caching is a must-have for any site that cares about site speed and a good user experience.

How to Use Cache on Your Blog

When a user accesses your blog or website, every element and data aspect of your page must be downloaded by that user. This includes images, text, code elements, and other data.

If there is a lot of data to download on a page, that page may be slow to load for your users. Caching is a way to increase the download speed of your page without removing or reducing page elements. Caching does this by programming your website to tell the user’s browser to save the elements it downloads from the site instead of re-downloading it each time it is accessed. This is the heart of browser caching.

There are many different options to implement caching on your site, most of them quite simple. If you are on WordPress there are many different caching plugins, and other CMS and hosting companies also offer out-of-the-box caching options.

How to Clear Your Cache

On the user end or browser end, clearing one’s cache every once in a while can increase the speed of their browser by removing excessive saved cache data. Additionally, you may need to clear your cache if you have cached an error. So if something online looks funny to you, a good first step is to clear your cache. I’m sure we;ve

One can easily clear their cache through their browser. For example, to clear one’s cache in Chrome, they would just have to go to More Tools > Clear Browsing Data and check Cached Images and Data.

On the blog or website owner’s end the site’s cache needs to be cleared as well. A good time to clear your site’s cache is after you’ve made a change or fixed an issue. Depending on the plugin or CMS you use the instructions for this will vary some. It should be as simple as a selecting an option in your dashboard to Delete Cache.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t need to be done frequently, but should be your first solution attempt if you’re having site issues.

 

 

 

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