"Cache Busting" May Be A Bigger Issue Than You Think

"Cache Busting" May Be A Bigger Issue Than You Think

There is no question that the fields of web design and development are filled with numerous intricacies; you really cannot expect your average professional in these fields to be familiar with all of them. A recent discussion on a web design forum introduced the concept of cache busting to many professionals who were surprised to learn about it for the first time.

Imagine that you have a portfolio of CSS projects in a cloud server, and you want to update one of them because the colors and responsive design actions do not look right. You fire up your favorite editor, make changes, double-check the code and upload the project with the intention of replacing the original. There is a good chance that your local CSS file, meaning the updated version, will display as you want it to, but the one stored in the remote server is still the old version.

The situation above is a matter of browser caching, a function that is pretty much universal. If it happens to you, it is more than likely happening to everyone else. At the local level, this can be easily solved with the Control + F5 keyboard shortcut, which in some browsers and operating systems may require the following keystrokes:

Ctrl + Shift+ R

Forcing a page reload with a cache clearing action is not something that we can expect website visitors to do, which is when cache busting comes in handy. Cache busting is an instruction made to the browser so that it understands that the new version of the file should be retrieved and rendered instead of the version that has been cached for speed. In essence, the three methods of cache busting include indicating the versioning through file names, through file paths, or through query strings. For the most part, you will want to use file path or file name versioning to force a fresh retrieval.

In the case of websites served by a content delivery network, you should first check if there is an option to ignore query strings. When this option is disabled, you will be able to issue a cache busting instruction with all three methods. For more information click here https://www.reddit.com/r/web_design/comments/glglqj/website_using_previous_design_even_tough_ive/.

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