What is a Hard Refresh and Why Perform One?

It's important to do a hard refresh when reviewing changes on your website so that you can see the latest version and avoid caching issues.

What is Caching?

Websites, servers, and browsers all use caching to save commonly used files in "short-term" memory rather than requiring users to download every single file whenever they open a page.

When you visit a website, your browser will temporarily save the website's stylesheet file. Then, when you visit additional pages on that site, your browser doesn't need to download the stylesheet again.

However, caching can cause problems when you're expecting to see something new on your website and you aren't seeing the changes after clicking "refresh." That's when it's time for a hard refresh.

What Does a Hard Refresh Do?

A hard refresh reloads your website but downloads fresh copies of the files instead of accessing cached files. It may take a second or two to load, but you'll be sure to see the latest version of your website.

This is crucially important when reviewing changes to your site and avoids the question of "Why am I not seeing the same thing as you?"

How Do I Perform a Hard Refresh?

To perform a hard refresh, hold the shift button and click "refresh" in your browser.

There are slight variations for different browsers and operating systems, but <shift> + <refresh> generally works for all of them.


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