What is Cache and When Do You Need to Clear Cache?
Caching solutions store a static version of your website. This allows WordPress to skip running the heavier PHP scripts and improves your website performance.
There are many different type of caching solutions available. The most popular ones are WordPress caching plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.
These plugins offer an easy to use interface for controlling what to cache, when to expire cached content, and cleaning up cache on demand.
Managed WordPress hosting providers like WPEngine also run their own caching solutions, so that you don’t have to install a caching plugin.
If you are using a CDN service like MaxCDN, then they would also serve cached copies of static content.
If you’re using a web application firewall like Sucuri or CloudFlare to improve your WordPress security, then they also have their own cache to speed up your site and reduce downtime.
Lastly, your browser may also store cached versions of pages on your computer.
The purpose of caching is to speed up your website and improve the overall user experience. However, sometimes this causes you to not see the changes you make right away which can be frustrating. In that case, you will need to clear caches to see your changes.
Having said that, let’s take a look at how to clear your cache in WordPress.
Step 1: Clear Your Browser Cache
However, sometimes web browsers may fail to realize that a web page has changed. Instead of fetching a fresh copy, they may still reload the page from the cached version store on your computer.
Here is how you will clean your browser cache in Google Chrome. First you need to click on the menu icon and then select More Tools » Clear Browsing Data.
This will bring up a popup where you can select the content you want to remove. Make sure that cached images and files is checked and then click on ‘Clear browsing data’ button.
You have successfully cleared your browser cache, and you can now try visiting your website.
If you are still not seeing the changes you made, then move on to the next steps in this article.
For other web browsers see their respective documentations on how to clear browser cache.
Step 2: Clear Cache in Your WordPress Caching Plugin
If you are using a WordPress caching plugin on your site, then you need to clear your plugin cache. Most caching plugins allow you to easily do that from the plugin’s settings page.
Clear Cache in WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is the most popular WordPress caching plugin. It allows you to clean or purge all cached content with a single click.
You need to visit Settings » WP Super Cache page and click on ‘Delete Cache’ button.
That’s all, WP Super Cache will now delete all cached files from your website.
Clear Cache in W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is another popular WordPress caching plugin. It also makes it super easy to clear cache with one click.
Head over to Performance » Dashboard page and click on ’empty all caches button.
W3 Total Cache will now delete all cached content for your site.
Clear Cache on WPEngine
WPEngine is a managed WordPress hosting provider. They run their own caching solution, so their customers don’t need to install a caching plugin.
If you are unable to notice changes take effect immediately, then you can easily clear WPEngine cache from your WordPress admin area.
You need to click on the WPEngine menu item in the admin bar and then under ‘General’ settings click on purge all caches button.
WPEngine will now purge all stored cache for your WordPress site.
Clear Cache in Sucuri
If you’re using a web application firewall like Sucuri to protect your website, then they also have their own layer of caching.
You can clear the cache from your Sucuri plugin by going to Sucuri » WAF menu in your WordPress admin area.