One of the most common issues that happen on websites is making a change to your site and then not seeing it when you go to view it in an internet browser. When you make changes to your website you should know where you intend to make the change, where file that was modified has been uploaded, and the location of files that you have added to your site. You should also be aware of any caching involved with viewing your site. This includes the cache on your internet browser or on your server. We will list some of the common causes for not being able to see your website changes and then provide a link to an article that can provide a solution, or at least give you information that will help you to resolve the issue.
Caching is used to help make your website pages load quicker. One of the ways it works is to copy a portion of the website that you are viewing so that when you next visit it that page is either immediately there or much easier to load and deliver to the viewer.
Internet browsers normally include the capability of caching pages in order to make your internet browsing a quicker experience. The problem that occurs is that sometimes you visit a page where a change has occurred and it does not appear because you’re seeing the old cached version that your browser stored. This can be easily fixed by simply clearing the browser cache. Check out our tutorial on How to Clear Your Browser Cache in order to quickly resolve this issue.
Applications like WordPress or Joomla often include either plugins or a configuration where caching being done by the software used to create/display your website on the server. There are many ways that applications can clear cache. It may depend on the application, so make sure that you read through your documentation or consult with a developer who is familiar with it. Here are a few common applications that have an option for clearing cache:
WordPress Hosting Caching
If you are using WordPress hosting, the configuration of the server hosting your site may be using NGINX caching. If you make a change in your WordPress site, you may not see the change due to the cache not being cleared through the Cache Manager in cPanel. For more information on how to handle this, see Cache Manager for cPanel.
Clearing local DNS Cache
If you continue to have problems with caching, then you may need to try clearing DNS cache. This will differ per the operating system that you are using on your computer. Check out How do I clear my local DNS cache?
Other reasons that your website changes are not showing
Website changes are typically made to either text or graphics on the site. They can also involve code changes that affect formatting and functions of the website. When you make your changes make sure to check:
- That you have saved your change
- That you are looking at the correct page where the change should have occurred
- That you uploaded the correct media involved in a website change
- That you are correctly referencing the media involved in your change
- That you have reset any services that are involved with a coding change
- That your coding change functions within the environment that you are using (e.g. PHP 7.0 changes in a PHP 5.0 environment)
If you continue to have problems, then please consult with an experienced developer regarding the issue. Also, make sure to make use of tools like your internet browser’s Inspect option, which will often let you non-destructively make changes so that you can see what they should look like. Additionally, keep in mind that if you make a change to core code and then an update occurs, then your change may be removed by the update. This happens frequently with WordPress themes where changes are not made using a child theme.