Having a problem with WordPress changes not showing up on your site? This is a common problem for WordPress users. In almost all cases, the problem is caused by caching issues in your own web browser, your WordPress site’s cache, or your content delivery network’s cache (CDN).
In this article, we will examine what these reasons are and why caching can cause WordPress changes not to appear. Next, we’ll show you a few troubleshooting steps so that you understand the issue and that you and your site visitors can see your site’s updates.
How Long Does It Take for WordPress to Update Changes?
Generally speaking, your WordPress site should be updated immediately after you hit the save button. That is, you should be able to hit the save button, open the page in question, and see those changes instantly. More importantly, the same should apply to your site visitors.
Why Is My WordPress Site Not Updating?
As we mentioned in the introduction, the most common reason for your WordPress site not updating is caching issues. There are different types of caches that can prevent you from seeing changes on your WordPress site:
- Browser cache – stores certain static files in the web browser cache on visitors’ local computers.
- Page caching – stores a static HTML version of your site instead of using PHP to generate it “on the fly” for each visit.
- CDN caching – speeds up global load times by caching your site’s static content on a worldwide server network.
You no longer have to understand the mechanisms behind caching. The main problem is that an old version of your site is still “cached”.
So, even if you have updated the version on your WordPress server, visitors (and you) may still see the old and cached version of your site, and you may be saving the changes you recently published.
We’ll spend most of the article showing you how to clear these various caches and “reload” them with the latest version of your site. After clearing the cache, you and your visitors should see the changes immediately.
Beyond caching issues, another reason why you might not see changes on your WordPress site could be related to permissions on your site. This is especially common if you are building dynamic sites where different users see different content, such as a membership site.
In this scenario, even if the changes are saved successfully, you may not have permission to see the updated content, causing you to continue to see the old content. This is unlikely to cause problems on simple sites like blogs or portfolios, but can be a problem on dynamic sites.
Other than that, let’s move on to how to fix the problem.
How to Fix WordPress Site Not Updating Issues
How to Fix Browser Caching Issues
Browser cache works by storing certain site assets in your computer’s browser cache. It avoids repeatedly downloading these assets directly from your WordPress site’s server. To fix the problem, you can force your browser to download the latest versions of all files from your server instead of loading them from the cache.
Here are a few ways to achieve this.
Hard Refresh Your Web Browser
The simplest solution to fix browser caching issues in one page is to fully refresh your web browser.
When you force refresh, your browser bypasses the cache and downloads all web server assets.
To get started, open a tab on your site that contains the page you expect to see changes to. Next, press the following keyboard combinations:
CTRL + F5 on Windows
Cmd + R on Mac
Clear Your Browser Cache
If hard refresh didn’t work, you may need to clear your browser’s cache completely. This will delete all cached files, allowing you to download new versions of all files on your site.
Use “Cache Busting” Techniques
The tactics above should fix the problem for your own computer, but your visitors may still not see the changes immediately (because they didn’t clear their browser cache).
A slightly more advanced tactic to get around this and ensure your visitors always see the latest version is to use a “cache busting” tactic.
For example, let’s say your site’s logo is logo.png. If you update your logo and upload a new file with the same name ( logo.png ) , this change may not appear immediately as people’s browsers will continue to load the original logo.png file from the cache .
To fix this with cache busting, all you have to do is change the filename.
For example, instead of uploading logo.png and overriding the old file, you can upload logo-v2.png. Since this is a new filename, you will be able to bypass issues with your site’s changes not showing due to browser cache.
This tactic can also be useful for scripts like CSS style sheets. So if your CSS changes are not visible in WordPress, this is a tactic that can fix the problem.
Other cache busting tactics include changing the file path or adding query strings in addition to changing the filename. Some examples:
Original : yoursite.com/style.css
Filename – yoursite.com/stylev2.css
File path – yoursite.com/v2/style.css
Query strings – yoursite.com/style.css?ver=2
How to Fix WordPress Caching Issues
While there are different types of WordPress caching, the most likely culprit is page caching.
Normally, your server “builds” your site’s finished HTML from scratch for each visit using PHP. Your server then sends the completed HTML to a visitor’s browser to render your web page.
To speed things up, page caching allows you to cache finished HTML, eliminating the need for your server to process PHP and query the database on every visit. This means that if you update something on your site, the change will not be available immediately, as your server is still serving the cached HTML from before you made the change.
Most web hosts and caching plugins solve this problem by automatically “clearing” the cache whenever you publish or update a piece of content. However, your caching solution may not be configured to do this or may not be working properly for some reason.
Many caching solutions also prevent WordPress admin users from seeing cached content. Therefore, you may run into an issue with WordPress changes not appearing when you log out. In other words, you won’t see any cached content when you log into your admin account, which means you can see the changes right away. But when you log out, you will see the cached old version (like all visitors to your site).
The fix here is to manually clear your site’s cache.
This will clear all stored HTML versions of your pages and allow your site to create a new version from scratch. It will then cache this new version to take full advantage of the performance benefits of caching.
To clear the cache of your entire site, hover over the WP Rocket option in the WordPress toolbar and select Clear cache:
To clear a single content, hover over the content in the content list and click on Clear this cache:
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