- Reading time: 4 mins
- Website Design & Development
I think all developers have been there. We make a style change and ask the client to review it, only to have them say that it looks exactly the same as it did before. Then, we have to walk the client through “shift-reloading” or emptying their browser’s cache—an extra step that can seem like arcane gobbledygook to some clients.
Why does this happen?
To get a sense of the items that are cached in a browser, you can open up the browser’s Developer Tools and go to the “Network” tab. The Developer Tools are available under View > Developer > Developer Tools on Chrome for Macintosh and More tools > Developer tools on Chrome for Windows.
Once the Developer Tools are open, make sure to uncheck the “Disable cache” option. If the browser’s cache is disabled, nothing will be cached and this demonstration won’t work. If you are a developer, and want to ensure seeing the most recent changes you’ve made as you work, this is a good way to accomplish that goal.
Now, there is an exception to the size of the file being shown in this column. This happens when a file wasn’t accessed through the Network at all but, instead, through the browser’s cache. The browser will cache some items on your computer’s disk and some items in memory.
If you look at the time taken to load elements you will notice that the disk cache is generally much faster than accessing items through the network and the memory cache is faster still. This is great for performance. This is not so great when a client wants to review the changes made to the stylesheet on their site, though.
Do you still have the Network Panel open? If so, you can view the difference that “shift reloading” makes. While holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, click the browser’s reload button. Most of the same assets that came from the disk or memory cache will now show their file size because the shift reload tells the browser to get a fresh copy of all of these files. This allows the user to see any changes made, and helps get development back on track.
Pulse Marketing Agency is a full service marketing agency located in Bangor, Maine.
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