After making a major update to a website, the staffperson who had requested the change told me the website looked no different than before. I was puzzled by this, because I had tested the website in 4 or 5 different web browser versions to make sure the website looked right & behaved correctly. But as soon as I started talking with her, I suspected the problem was simply that her web browser had "cached" the old version, and wasn't checking the web server for a more recent version.
Yup, that's what caused the problem. And once we went to the Firefox settings to clear the browser cache, it took a good 3 or 4 minutes before the cache was emptied and we were able to refresh the page to see the new version.
Here's how to clear Firefox 3 or Firefox 4's cache, so this problem won't happen to you:
- At the top of the Firefox window on the Menu bar, click on Tools.
- When the Tools menu opens, click on Options.
- Click on Advanced.
- Click on the Network tab.
- In the Offline Storage section, click the Clear Now button.
- Click the OK button to close the Options window.
Now you can click Firefox's Reload button (or press the Ctrl & R keys) to request your web browser get the freshest copy of the web page from the server.
Other Firefox cache options include setting the cache size to 0 (to prevent page & image caching alltogether), or setting Firefox to automatically clear the cache each time you close your browser.