Why Do Changes Not Show on Page Refresh?

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 | WordPress Tips, Setup

Sometimes an F5 refresh or clicking the refresh button in your browser will do the trick for you. However, sometimes this doesn’t work. In this post, we will answer the question of why do changes not show on page refresh and why this result is inconsistent.

Most of the time, clearing your browser’s cache or using a Shift + F5 refresh (or shift + click) will solve the problem. If that doesn’t work, clear the cache in your page builder, web host, and/or CDN.

Read on to learn about refreshing web pages in your browser, as well as other cache clearing suggestions that operate outside of your web browser.

What Is the Difference Between F5 Refresh and Shift + F5 Refresh?

Sometimes using the F5 refresh on your browser won’t load changes, new or changed JavaScript files, or images properly but using Shift + F5 does. Why is that?

It ignores the cached content when refreshing. In Google Chrome, for example:

  • F5 or Ctrl + R will reload the current page.
  • Ctrl + Shift + R or Shift + F5 will reload your current page, ignoring cached content.

Note: Even though Chrome is used as an example here, most web browsers follow this logic.

Note 2: In browsers that don’t support Shift + F5, you would need to do Ctrl + Shift + R.

Note 3: Using F5 to reload from cache may yield different results due to cache expiry.

Note 4: Using Shift + F5 usually takes longer for the web page to load since it is fully retrieving web content.

Still Not Working?

If a page refresh still isn’t showing your changes, try the following:

Clear Theme/Builder Cache

Sometimes your theme or page builder caches your pages in static CSS files.

In Divi, for example, do the following:

  1. Go to Divi menu item in your admin dashboard.
  2. Under Theme Options, click on Builder.
  3. Click on Advanced.
  4. Click the button marked Clear or disable Static CSS File Generation.

You should be using caching anyway, so you can keep your page builder’s caching mechanism disabled.

Clear Your Web Host’s/CDN’s Cache

Sometimes your web host has a built-in cache to help automate speed improvements.

In Flywheel, for example, do the following:

  1. Under one of your sites, Click on Advanced.
  2. Click the Flush Cache button to manually flush your cache.

Flywheel has the Fastly CDN built into the platform (at least from an interface integration standpoint). If you have a separate CDN, follow your specific CDN’s cache clearing procedure.

This part is a must as a Content Delivery Network speeds up page loads for your site’s visitors by serving cached and compressed files.



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