A Customer Experience Agency

Have you cleared your cache?

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This has to be the most common question I ask when clients, project managers and marketing people in general tell me their new website doesn’t work.

It’s the mantra of the front-end developer, much like “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” is for system admins. So, if your website falls apart and your developer replied with “please clear your cache before testing,” don’t feel bad. This one goes out to you.

What’s a cache and why do you need to clear it?

When you’re visiting a website, the browser’s cache stores information like images, scripts, css or even the entire page on your computer. These elements won’t need to be downloaded again on your next visit, making the site load faster and use less bandwidth. That’s a good thing, right?

Well, it is in most cases, but then your developer sends you the link to your new website and it looks completely ruined.

Here’s what happens: your browser doesn’t realize there’s a new version of the page on the server and loads the information stored in the cache. What you get is an ugly mix of old and new images and scripts that seem to be drunk and a confusing layout beamed here from 1995. By clearing your cache, you can delete all of these saved elements from your computer, forcing the browser to download them again and voilà… your website is looking fabulous as usual.

I recommend you do it from time to time, even if you’re only using the computer for day-to-day web surfing. Your browser doesn’t know which websites are important to you, so it saves a lot of useless information. It may also store a lot of personal stuff you don’t want to be kept.

It’s much like cleaning your car; you need to get rid of the mess now and then.

Here is how you do it

The next time you feel a sense of déjà vu, take the quick minute to clear your cache and step out of vertigo. And if your coworkers are falling fate to this more constantly than they care to admit, download this sign for them and remember to Clear Yo Cache.

What else could clients and the like do to make their–and your–job a little easier? Let us know in the comments below.