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How do I clear my browser cache?

Q: What is caching and why?

Any time we make design updates to your website, be it a simple framework change, or an entire re-design, it may look rather odd the first time you load the site after the updates. We call it the “Picasso effect” because your site can truly look like a Picasso painting; jumbled with weird graphics in the wrong place.

The reason for this is “caching,” which is something the browser on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone does when you visit a website. In order to speed up load times for a website, your browser caches or stores certain information (snapshots) of pages you visit so the next time you come back to the website much of the same data is already stored on your computer in your browser. Style sheets and images are stored so when you hit a different page your device doesn’t need to download all the same data from the server, it simply grabs it from your “cache.” The problem with this is if you’ve visited your site recently before updating, the browser is still pulling the same cache data even after you update your website design, which results in the Picasso because a new style sheet or image isn’t getting downloaded from the server.

How do we solve this? Simply clear your browser cache and all the new data will be pulled down.

Q: How do I clear my browser cache?

You can fix many browser problems simply by clearing your cache. This article contains instructions with screenshots on how to clear the cache for all major browsers. If you are unsure of what browser version you are currently using, you can visit whatbrowser.org to find out.


Q: Does everyone who has looked at the old website need to do this in order to see the new website?

No. Most people won't because most browsers will look for the new style sheet if the cached one is fairly old. Anyone who saw the website in the last couple days before launch may see a Picasso, but most browsers will resolve that in a few days. It's a fairly common issue with websites so a good number of users will know to hit shift+refresh to pull new data into the cache.

If any users contact you in regards to this issue you can send them a message, but most people will be fine within a day or so. It's the unfortunate reason browsers are faster these days since they "cache" all these files for websites so they don't need to hit the server every time you view a page.

Sometimes there may be an issue outside your cache, and if so please contact us to look into it.

We recommend adding a couple lines on your home page about this very issue for a week or two after launch to help your visitors understand what is going on.

Q: How do I simply load the new style sheet after my re-design?

Go to your website, hold the SHIFT key, and hit refresh while holding SHIFT; this should pull in the new style sheet and thus show your website properly.

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