A great website is a fast website. From search engine results to user experience, loading speed has a direct impact on the success of your site. Google prioritizes quicker sites over slow ones, and with a slow landing page, visitors are more likely to bounce out.
As such, anyone running a serious WordPress website goes to great lengths to improve its performance. Choosing a great web hosting provider and optimizing images and content are among the most effective.
Another method for peak performance is managing your WordPress cache with a plugin. These caching solution plugins help speed up your site by keeping copies of cached data. But you need to know how to clear WordPress cache if you want to keep things running smoothly.
What is WordPress Caching?
One of the best methods for speeding up WordPress websites is by using a caching plugin. These plugins manage WordPress’s complex content and data to help speed things up, especially for sites with lots of content and huge databases.
In general, server side caching is the practice of storing data in a temporary location to improve loading speed. Your computer does it with the information on your hard drive, as does your web browser for every site you visit. The method improves performance by keeping a copy of the content on your local system.
For example, when you visit a website, the process looks like this:
- Your browser requests the data from a web server.
- The web server collects the data, including HTML and media, and sends it back.
- Your browser processes everything and displays the website.
WordPress caching plugins work by creating, storing and displaying a cached version of your WordPress website. This cache in WordPress increases your site’s performance, and it also lowers processing and bandwidth requirements by only requesting database access when there’s been a change to your site.
Problems with WordPress Caching
There are problems with WordPress caching, however. In some cases, stored content can expire, preventing visitors from seeing website updates.
This can happen when you’re performing a quick succession of changes, such as modifying your theme or getting a plugin to work properly. Instead of seeing the most updated website, you end up with an old static version. This is why it’s a good idea to always double-check your site after you make any changes or post new content.
You’ll need to dig into your caching plugin’s settings and clear the page cache to solve the problem. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to clear your browser’s cache, too. And lastly, your web host has another layer of caching you may need to clear.
Let’s find out how.
How to Clear WordPress Cache
Below are the steps you’ll take to clear the site cache on every layer of your website. Instructions for the most popular WordPress caching plugins are included, though if you’re using a different one, the process should be similar.
Clear Your Browser Cache
Like WordPress, your browser uses a similar caching system to make site data load faster. And in fact, clearing your browser cache is the best first step if you find your WordPress site isn’t updating.
If you’re using Google Chrome, you can clear your own browser cache by clicking on the menu icon, selecting More Tools and then clicking on Clear Browsing Data. This brings up a window where you can select and clear cache for images and files.
Another option that can work if you’re troubleshooting a site that won’t update is what’s called a hard or forced refresh. This refreshes the page you’re on and tells the browser to download new data. In Chrome, you can force refresh a site by holding down control and clicking the refresh button.
Clear WordPress Plugin Cache
Clearing WordPress cache depends on which plugin you’re using. The most popular caching plugins are WP Rocket, WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache. To clear your cache for all three, you’ll need to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
For WP Rocket, click on Settings, then WP Rocket and then Dashboard. From the dashboard, click on the Clear Cache button. You can also quickly clear the cache from the WP Rocket link on your WordPress admin dashboard.
If you’re using the WP Super Cache plugin, click on WP Super Cache Settings, then WP Super Cache and then scroll down to the section labeled Delete Cached Pages. Click the Delete Cache button to clear the cache.
If you’re using the WP Fastest Cache plugin, the plugin itself regularly clears the WordPress cache at set intervals. You can modify these caching features by clicking on the WP Fastest Cache link from the main dashboard and then clicking on the Cache Options link. You can also clear your cache files manually by clicking on the Delete Cache tab and then the Delete Cache button.
Clear Web Hosting Cache
In most cases, your web hosting provider has an additional layer of server cache that you might need to clear. The method to do so varies, so you may need to get in contact with your web host’s support team, though most have dashboards similar to WordPress where you can locate the necessary settings and clear your cache.
WP SitePlan: Blazing Fast WordPress Websites
If you’re looking for ways to speed up your website, a WordPress caching plugin does wonders, but you’ll have to think about the extra maintenance necessary to keep everything running smoothly. Logging into your WordPress dashboard to clear cache files will be part of your routine.
If you want blazing fast performance without all the headaches, WP SitePlan can help. By leveraging our managed WordPress services, you can rid yourself of all the busywork necessary to keep your WordPress site running smoothly. From daily backups to database optimizations to real-time monitoring, we’ll worry about your WordPress site so you don’t have to.
Go ahead and book a call with us today to find out about our different support plans and how we can help.