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Lightning Enterprises Home > Newsletter Archives > What is Cache?

July 2003
Web Tip: What is Cache?

When I built my first web site a few years ago I changed things often (and still do). I guess you could say your web site is never done, it just keeps evolving. Whenever I would change something on one of the pages I would check it out on my site to make sure everything looked OK. But usually when I would get the modified paged on my screen, the changes would not be there. It was as if I were looking at the old page, and in effect I was.

I was looking at the page from my computers cache memory. Your computer will remember all of the pages you have visited for a set number of days and recall those pages if you revisit the same site within the set timeframe. This is something that is set up in your preference section of the browser you are using. The reasoning behind cache memory is your computer can load the page much faster from memory that from actually loading the page live. The downfall to this is that you will not see any recent changes to the page, as you will be looking at an older copy.

What can I do about this? I want my visitors to see any recent changes I’ve made, especially if I have a time sensitive offer or information I have updated. Well, there is a line of code you can write into your web pages to make sure your visitors will see your fresh content. It tells your computer to ignore the cache memory for that page and load the new one. The code looks like this:

<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache">

Now all you need to do is type or copy and paste this line of code into your HTML pages between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags. If you are not sure how to do this, simply open your web page in a plain text editor, such as Notepad or Wordpad, locate the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags, and insert the above code on a line somewhere between them. Then save your file and relax. Now anyone visiting your web page will always get your recent information.


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