How Do I Clear the Cache on My Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Clearing the cache on your web server is an essential task to ensure that your website remains up-to-date and performs optimally. Caches store temporary copies of various elements of your website, including images, scripts, and other resources.

While caching improves the speed and performance of your website, sometimes it can cause issues if outdated or incorrect content is served to your visitors. In this tutorial, we will explore different methods to clear the cache on your web server.

1. Clearing Browser Cache

If you have made recent changes to your website but cannot see them reflected when accessing it, the first step is to clear the browser cache. The browser cache stores copies of files from websites you visit, which helps in faster page loading upon revisits. However, this can sometimes result in displaying outdated content.

To clear the browser cache:

  • Google Chrome: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete. Select “Cached images and files” and click on “Clear data”.
  • Mozilla Firefox: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete. Select “Everything” from the time range drop-down menu and check “Cache”. Click on “Clear Now”.
  • Microsoft Edge: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

    Select “Cached data and files” and click on “Clear”.

  • Safari: Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced. Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar” from the bottom. Then go to Develop > Empty Caches.

2. Clearing Server-Side Cache

If clearing the browser cache doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s time to clear the server-side cache. Server-side caching is often implemented using caching plugins or modules, and the method to clear it depends on the specific platform or technology you are using.

2.1 Clearing Cache in WordPress

If your website is powered by WordPress, there are several popular caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket that you might have installed. Here’s how you can clear the cache using some of these plugins:

  • W3 Total Cache: In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Performance > General Settings. Scroll down to find the “Empty All Caches” section and click on “Empty All Caches”.
  • WP Super Cache: In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Settings > WP Super Cache.

    Click on the “Delete Cache” tab and then click on “Delete Cached Pages”.

  • WP Rocket: In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Settings > WP Rocket. Click on the “Cache” tab and then click on “Clear Cache”.

2.2 Clearing Cache in Other Platforms

If your website doesn’t use WordPress or has a custom caching solution, you’ll need to consult the documentation or support resources specific to your platform or hosting environment for instructions on clearing the server-side cache.

3. Clearing CDN (Content Delivery Network) Cache

If you are using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare or Amazon CloudFront, it’s important to clear their caches as well. CDNs store copies of your website’s static content across their global network of servers for faster delivery.

To clear CDN cache:

  • Cloudflare: Log in to your Cloudflare account, go to the “Caching” section, and click on “Purge Everything”.
  • Amazon CloudFront: Log in to your AWS Management Console, go to the CloudFront service, select your distribution, and click on “Invalidations” tab. Click on “Create Invalidation” and enter /* to invalidate all files.

Clearing the cache on your web server ensures that your visitors are always served with the latest content. By following these steps to clear browser cache, server-side cache, and CDN cache, you can ensure that any updates or changes you make to your website are immediately visible.

Remember to clear caches periodically or whenever you make significant changes to your website.

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