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Webpage Cache Control Strategy

Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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I am looking for a way to force user browsers to refresh my webpages when they have been updated. I am looking at the developer.mozilla.org page and there are numerous tools but its hard to tell which would be appropriate. I have relaunched a completely new page and am still making minor changes to complete it. Even when ready, I will be making intermitent updates and if users have the old page in cache, they will see stale data. If the CSS has been updated they may just see a broken page, which looks really amateurish.

 

Is it possible to insert an update date (maybe in meta tags) which the user's browser can read to determine whether a refresh is needed? I think it would have to be something I insert manually to be sure that CSS changes, as well as HTML changes, trigger a refresh.  

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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I'm afraid you cannot force people to do something they refuse to do.  Just ask the un-masked, un-vaxed COVID-19 patients who are surging the new outbreaks right now.  No matter what you tell them they should do, people do what they want to do.

 

OPTION 1:

Add a notice to the top of time sensitive pages and hope for the best.

Refresh:

  • Windows and Linux browsers: CTRL + F5
  • Apple Safari: SHIFT + Reload toolbar button
  • Chrome and Firefox for Mac: CMD + SHIFT + R

 

OPTION 2:

If you're willing to compromise on page performance, add Pragma no-cache and expiration date meta tags to your document <head>.  And hope the end user's browser doesn't ignore it.  BTW Expires is in GMT date & time.

 

 

<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache">

<meta http-equiv="expires" content="dd Mon yy hh:mm:ss">

<meta http-equiv="cache-control" content="no-cache">

 

 

Good luck!

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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This article may be of assistance

https://medium.com/@codebyamir/a-web-developers-guide-to-browser-caching-cc41f3b73e7c

 

This shows that the main document is always retrieved from the server while supporting files will be retrived from the browser cacche.

Wappler, the only real Dreamweaver alternative.

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Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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Thanks Ben - The article written in plain English - Very handy 🙂 Good to know critical text will be drawn from server - Critical for some of my pages.

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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Do you have caching expressed in your HTACCESS file?

 

An example for a site that's updated monthly.

 

## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresDefault "access 2 days"
</IfModule>
## EXPIRES CACHING ##

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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Don't have an HTACCESS file - First I ever heard of one 🙂

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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LATEST
quote

Don't have an HTACCESS file - First I ever heard of one 🙂

=========

.htaccess is commonly used to configure Apache servers.

 

Plesk Panel users:

https://www.plesk.com/blog/various/comprehensive-guide-to-htaccess/

 

c-Panel users:

https://www.hostgator.com/help/article/how-to-edit-your-htaccess-file

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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As it hasn't been asked, is this a site you have built yourself or is this a site that you are building using a CMS like Wordpress?  Depending on whether you have access to the code, you may opt for the options below or if you are using a CMS, we could offer recommendations for a plugin that could help with forcing your cache to be updated. For instance if you are using Wordpress, I would recommend WP Rocket.

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Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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Thanks - Site is DIY

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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Assuming it is an Apache server, something like this in .htaccess file should do the trick, it will stop caching. If you are not sure what a htaccess file is, ask your web host for support...

# DISABLE CACHING
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
    Header set Cache-Control "no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate"
    Header set Pragma "no-cache"
    Header set Expires 0
</IfModule>
    <IfModule mod_expires.c>
        ExpiresActive Off
    </IfModule>
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        FileETag None
        Header unset ETag
        Header unset Pragma
        Header unset Cache-Control
        Header unset Last-Modified
        Header set Pragma "no-cache"
        Header set Cache-Control "max-age=0, no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate"
        Header set Expires "Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT"
    </IfModule>

 

Paul-M - Community Expert

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LEGEND ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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I've never come across any solution that works 100%.

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