Check out this brief WordPress cache guide focussed on how and when to clear it.
Caching is a performance booster 9 out of 10 times. Besides, it can save you web hosting bills on limited bandwidth subscriptions if implemented correctly.
But before going deep, it’s good to brush up on some basics.
What is Cache?
Do you know how many types of pizzas are there?
Ok, there are 687!
Would you take the same time if I asked you this same question again in a few minutes?
Probably not. This is the working principle of caching. Cache stores information temporarily to help in faster data serving on revisits.
There are many cache types, but we’ll discuss page caching (client-side caching) you can control via a plugin from the WordPress dashboard.
When to Clear WordPress Cache
This is the first thing you might want to ask yourself: when to clear the WordPress cache?
The primary reason to clear the cache is to make your users see the latest version of your website.
So this ultimately depends on how frequently you update your WordPress project. A few plugins do this automatically based on pre-set intervals and/or update relevant cache files upon modification.
Besides, clearing the cache is a quick fix for most common WordPress errors.
Pros and Cons of Cache
The major benefit of cache is a comparatively fast-loading website. But since the information remains there for a specific time period, visitors might see an outdated version of your website.
Fret not! All you have to do is clear the cache every time you make changes. And depending on the plugin, you can clear the specific cache for the modified web page or for the entire site (not recommended).
Further sections will cover how to clear WordPress cache with a few popular plugins. And though most plugins offer extra features like Java & CSS minification, CDN integration, etc., we’ll remain on track and keep it to the point.
How to Clear WordPress Cache?
Straightaway, this will take a click or two if your plugin has a shortcut placed in the dashboard. Alternatively, we can open the plugin settings to delete the cache.
So basically, it boils down to the choice of the plugin, and we’ll check out some popular ones, including WP-Optimize, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, and Comet Cache.
WP-Optimize has one of the cleanest interfaces among all cache plugins, and you’re in for a nifty integration if using Updraft plus for WordPress backups.
You need to activate the Enable page caching in the WP-Optimize dashboard to get started.
Once you turn the toggle on, you can spot the Purge cache in the WP dashboard top menu.
This gives you two options to purge the cache of the active web page or the whole website.
#2. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is easy to use and a highly rated WordPress cache plugin. This gives you fine-grained controls and has a premium subscription for even more advanced settings.
Like the previous option, you need to toggle on the Page Cache first. The option lies in the General Settings section.
Subsequently, hover on the Performance icon in the top menu to clear the cache.
The options are similar, and you can clear the cache of the current page or the complete website at once.
#3. WP Fastest Cache
This is a WordPress cache plugin I personally attest to for its efficient performance. This starts similarly with activating the Cache System first.
Afterward, you can clear the WordPress cache by choosing the appropriate option from its drop-down in the top menu.
Either of the top two, Clear Cache of This Page and Delete Cache would suffice. The third one, Delete Cache and Minified CSS/JS, is useful if you’ve such minifications enabled.
#4. Comet Cache
Comet Cache is very detailed, giving you maximum controls, which can overwhelm some. However, you only need to turn on the caching, as it’s fine-tuned for optimal performance on most WordPress websites.
Besides, there are detailed explanations to help with each setting if you want advanced configurations.
But first, make sure the caching is enabled from the Comet Cache dashboard.
Next, you will see this Clear Cache icon on the top right; click it to delete the WordPress cache.
You get the drift. Most plugins give this option in the top menu, where you can clear the cache easily. But if the option isn’t there (which is rare), you need to figure this out from the cache section of the respective plugin.
Pro tip: Don’t use more than one caching plugin. In addition, remember to clear the local browser cache if facing any issues.
WordPress caches will help improve your website performance. While enabling the cache is easy, remember to clear it after making modifications.
PS: Though cache is important, as a website owner, you always want to see the updated version to verify the changes. In that case, this guide ‘disabling the cache in the web browser‘ will come in handy.
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