How To Clear WordPress Cache

05-12-2023 | 13 MIN READ


Have you ever made updates to your WordPress site only to find that the changes don’t appear? Many of us face a puzzling and fairly common scenario in website management. This was exactly my experience not too long ago. After spending hours tweaking my site, I hit refresh, expecting to see my efforts come to life, but nothing changed. It was both confusing and frustrating.

The culprit? More often than not, it’s all about caching. In the simplest terms, caching is like a memory bank for your website, storing certain parts to make loading faster for your visitors. While this is great for speed, it can sometimes mean that recent changes get stuck behind this saved data. Clearing your site’s cache can be like giving your website a fresh start, allowing all your latest updates to shine through. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to effectively clear your WordPress cache, ensuring that the changes you work hard on are actually seen by you and your visitors.

Understanding WordPress Cache

When discussing a website, especially one powered by WordPress, ‘cache’ is a term that pops up quite often. But what exactly is it? Imagine cache as a shortcut for your website. Instead of loading every piece of content from scratch each time someone visits your site, cache stores some parts of your site so that it can be loaded much quicker the next time around. It’s like keeping a ready-to-serve dish in your fridge – it speeds up meal preparation!

In WordPress, caching plays a pivotal role. It significantly speeds up the loading time of your site, which is crucial not only for a better user experience but also for search engine rankings. A fast-loading site can keep visitors engaged and reduce the bounce rate when visitors leave your site too quickly.

However, this speed comes with a small trade-off. Sometimes, when you make changes to your site – like updating a post, changing your layout, or adding new images – these changes might not show up immediately to you or your visitors. Why? Because your site’s cached (or saved) version is still being served. In a way, caching is like looking at a photograph of a room; if you change the furniture in the actual room, the photo won’t capture these changes until it’s taken again.

So, while caching is fantastic for making your website swift and efficient, knowing how to manage it is essential. This means clearing the cache after updates, ensuring that everyone sees the most current version of your site. In the following sections, we’ll dive into how to do just that.

Clearing Cache with a Caching Plugin

Managing your WordPress site efficiently often involves using a caching plugin. These plugins are great tools for enhancing your website’s performance. Still, they also require a bit of navigation when it comes to clearing the stored cache. Let’s break down this process into simple steps.

Accessing WordPress Dashboard

First things first, you need to log into your WordPress dashboard. This is your control room.

  1. Open your web browser and go to your WordPress site’s URL with /wp-admin added to the end (e.g.,
  2. Enter your username and password.
  3. Once logged in, you’ll be in the WordPress dashboard, where you can control almost everything about your site.

Navigating to Plugin’s Settings

Now, let’s find where the caching plugin lives.

  1. In your dashboard, look to the left-hand menu.
  2. Suppose you’ve installed a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, or LiteSpeed Cache. In that case, you’ll see it listed in this menu. It might be directly visible, or under a section like ‘Settings’ or ‘Tools’.
  3. Click on the plugin’s name to access its settings.

Executing the Clear Cache Function

Here’s where you tell the plugin to forget what it’s saved and start fresh.

  1. Search for options labeled as ‘Clear Cache’, ‘Empty all caches’, or something similar within the plugin’s settings. This can vary a bit between different plugins.
  2. Click on this option. The plugin will now clear all the cached data it stored.
  3. A confirmation message typically appears, indicating that the cache has been cleared.

By following these steps, you’re ensuring that the most recent version of your site is visible to you and your visitors. Remember, clearing the cache may take a moment for your site to load the first time, as it’s rebuilding the cached data.

Solutions without a Caching Plugin

Not everyone uses a caching plugin on their WordPress site, and that’s perfectly okay. Effective ways to clear cache and ensure your site is up-to-date exist. Let’s look at two common scenarios: dealing with your hosting provider’s cache settings and clearing your browser cache.

Checking Hosting Provider for Caching

Many hosting providers offer their own caching solutions to speed up websites. Here’s how you can manage this:

  1. Log into Your Hosting Account: Access the dashboard provided by your hosting service.
  2. Locate the Caching Options: Look for sections labeled as ‘Performance’, ‘Caching’, or similar terms. This can vary depending on the host.
  3. Clear the Cache: You’ll typically find an option to ‘Clear Cache’ or ‘Purge Cache’. Clicking this will clear the cache stored by your hosting provider.
  4. Confirmation: After clearing, you should see a message confirming that the cache has been cleared.

Remember, each hosting provider might have a slightly different dashboard layout, so feel free to check their help resources or contact their support if you need help finding these settings.

Clearing Browser Cache

Sometimes, the issue is with your local browser cache. Here’s how to clear it in various browsers:

  • Google Chrome:
    • Click the three dots in the top right corner.
    • Go to ‘More tools’> ‘Clear browsing data’.
    • Choose the time range and check ‘Cached images and files’.
    • Click ‘Clear data’.
  • Mozilla Firefox:
    • Click the menu button and select ‘Options’.
    • Go to ‘Privacy & Security’ and find ‘Cookies and Site Data’.
    • Click ‘Clear Data’ and select ‘Cached Web Content’.
    • Click ‘Clear’.
  • Safari:
    • Go to ‘Safari’ in the menu bar and select ‘Preferences’.
    • Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab and check the ‘Show Develop’ menu in the menu bar’.
    • In the menu bar, select ‘Develop’, then ‘Empty Caches’.
  • Microsoft Edge:
    • Click the three dots in the top right corner.
    • Select ‘Settings’> ‘Privacy, search, and services.’
    • Under ‘Clear browsing data,’ click ‘Choose what to clear.’
    • Select ‘Cached images and files’ and click ‘Clear now’.

Clearing your browser cache can often resolve issues where changes on your site aren’t appearing. It’s a simple yet effective step.

Using WordPress Tools for Cache Management

Apart from standalone caching plugins, WordPress offers some nifty built-in tools for managing the cache within certain themes and plugins. These tools can be particularly useful if you prefer an all-in-one solution for your site’s performance and cache management.

Understanding Built-in Cache Tools in WordPress

Many WordPress themes and plugins come with their own caching mechanisms. This integration can simplify your workflow as you manage both the site’s appearance or functionality and its caching from the same place.

Steps to Access and Use Built-in Cache Management Tools

  1. Check Your Theme or Plugin for Cache Options:
    • Start by exploring the settings of your current theme or the plugins you are using.
    • Look for any tab or option labeled as ‘Cache’, ‘Performance’, ‘Optimization’, or something along these lines.
  2. Accessing Cache Management Features:
    • Once you find the cache-related settings, click on it to explore further.
    • You might find options like ‘Clear Cache’, ‘Cache Settings’, or ‘Optimize Performance’.
  3. Clearing the Cache:
    • If there’s an option to ‘Clear Cache’ or ‘Purge Cache’, click on it.
    • Some tools may offer more advanced options, like caching specific parts of your site or setting cache expiration times.
  4. Save Changes and Test:
    • After making changes or clearing the cache, always save your settings.
    • Visit your website to see if the updates are now reflected.
  5. Regular Check-Ups:
    • Even with built-in tools, regularly checking and managing your cache settings’s a good practice to ensure optimal site performance.

Why Use Built-in Cache Management?

  • Convenience: Managing cache settings directly from your theme or plugin dashboard can save time.
  • Consistency: Using built-in tools ensures that caching works seamlessly with the specific features of your theme or plugin.
  • Simplicity: For those who prefer a less technical approach, these built-in options provide an easy way to manage the cache without installing additional plugins.

Remember, not all themes and plugins have these features. If yours doesn’t, consider using one of the standalone caching plugins or the other methods discussed earlier.

Additional Solutions for Caching Issues

Sometimes, the standard methods of clearing the cache in WordPress might not resolve the issue. This is where a deeper dive into more technical solutions comes into play. Let’s explore some additional strategies that can help.

Dealing with Content Delivery Network (CDN) Cache

Many websites use a CDN like Cloudflare to improve site performance globally. CDNs also cache content, which can lead to similar issues.

Clearing Cache in Cloudflare:

  1. Log into Your CDN Account: Log in to your CDN provider’s website.
  2. Access the Caching Section: Look for a section or tab named ‘Caching’.
  3. Purge Cache: You’ll typically find an option like ‘Purge Cache’ or ‘Clear Cache’. This action will remove the cached content stored by the CDN.
  4. Selective Purge: Some CDNs allow you to selectively clear cache for the whole site or specific URLs.

Managing Server-Side Caching

Server-side caching is another layer where your web server stores cached content.

Basic Steps to Clear Server-Side Cache:

  1. Access Your Hosting Control Panel: Log into your web hosting account.
  2. Find Cache Management Options: Look for cache settings, often under ‘Performance’ settings.
  3. Clear the Cache: Select the option to clear or purge server-side cache.

Note: The exact steps can vary based on your hosting provider.

Resolving Plugin Conflicts

Sometimes, caching issues are a result of conflicts between plugins.

Identifying and Resolving Plugin Conflicts:

  1. Deactivate All Plugins Except the Caching Plugin: Do this from your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Plugins’ section.
  2. Reactivate Plugins One by One: Check your site for the issue after each activation.
  3. Identify the Culprit: If the problem reappears after activating a particular plugin, you’ve likely found the conflict source.

Ensuring Correct File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can hinder the ability to update and cache files properly.

Checking and Correcting File Permissions:

  1. Access Files via FTP or File Manager: Use an FTP client or your hosting file manager.
  2. Navigate to WordPress Files: Look for the root directory of your WordPress installation.
  3. Check Permissions: Ensure folders are set to 755 and files to 644.

Keeping WordPress and Plugins Updated

Regular updates are crucial for functionality and security.

Maintaining Regular Updates:

  1. Check for Updates Regularly: Go to ‘Updates’ in your dashboard.
  2. Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins: Perform updates as they become available.

Each of these steps plays a vital role in ensuring that your WordPress site runs smoothly and reflects the most recent changes without being hindered by cache-related issues.

Best Practices and Tips

Managing your WordPress site’s cache is just one part of maintaining a healthy and efficient website. Let’s look at some best practices and tips to keep your site in top shape and make your life easier.

Backing Up Your Site

Before making any significant changes, always back up your site. Think of it as an insurance policy for your website.

  1. Use a Backup Plugin: Choose a reliable backup plugin. There are many options available, such as UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.
  2. Regular Backups: Set up regular backups – both database and files. Some plugins allow you to schedule these automatically.
  3. Store Backups Safely: Save your backups in multiple locations, like your computer, a cloud service, or an external hard drive.

How to Test Changes Effectively

After clearing cache or making updates, testing your site is crucial to ensure everything works as expected.

  1. Use Different Browsers: Check your site in various browsers to ensure consistent performance.
  2. Incognito Mode: View your site in an incognito window to see the latest changes without browser cache interference.
  3. Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure your site looks good and functions well on mobile devices.

Regular Maintenance

A well-maintained WordPress site is secure, fast, and reliable.

  1. Update Regularly: Keep WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated to the latest versions.
  2. Check for Issues: Regularly check your site for broken links, loading issues, or any unusual activity.
  3. Optimize Database: Use a plugin to clean and optimize your WordPress database. This can improve performance and loading times.

By incorporating these best practices into your routine, you not only solve caching issues but also enhance your WordPress site’s overall health and performance. Regular care and maintenance can save you time and trouble in the long run.

Effective cache management is a cornerstone of maintaining a healthy and responsive WordPress site. You can ensure that your site always reflects the latest changes by understanding and implementing the various methods to clear cache, whether through plugins, hosting providers, or other tools. Please apply these steps and see the difference it makes. If you’re looking for expert assistance in managing your WordPress site, hire PSDs2WP, an expert white-label WordPress agency always here to help. Feel free to share your experiences and questions, or reach out for professional support!

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