Browser Caching – When Your Changes Won’t Show
One common issue we hear is “After I make changes and save my settings, they don’t show up when I display my site.” In almost all cases, this behavior is caused by browser caching.
Cache issues when developing a website are common to all web developers during the development process – not just using Weaver. It is the nature of caching. This is pretty much exclusively apparent to the developer only, and not to visitors to the site.
This problem will be mostly apparent to Weaver premium version users because the premium versions put the generated style information into a file called /wp-content/downloads/uploads/weaverii-subthemes/style-weaverii.css (or similar for Aspen or Weaver Xtreme) instead of simply including it inline with each page.
Some browsers are more aggressive about how they cache. Even so, in my experience, sometimes they cache, and sometimes they don’t. It often seems arbitrary.
The main solution used by many developers is to use a browser that supports plugins to disable the local caching. For example, there is a plugin for Firefox called “CacheToggle”. After you install it, it has a button that will let you dynamically enable and disable the cache.
And checking the “Use inline CSS” option on the Weaver II Pro or equivalent Weaver Xtreme tab will accomplish the same thing for the most part because the CSS is then part of the page, and not an external .css file that browsers tend to cache. Since the basic Weaver II already generates inline CSS, that option is not needed for that version.
If you have a WordPress caching plugin installed (either Quick Cache or W3 Total Cache – any other cache is NOT compatible with Weaver II – all caching plugins are compatible with Aspen and Weaver Xtreme), you may need to disable it during development because it creates the same problems. And that will be true for both the basic and Pro versions of Weaver II. (Important: If you are using Quick Cache or W3 Total Cache, you must add some specific options as described in the Weaver II Help file. Look for the section on caching in the contents. Failure to do this can lead to randomly strange rendering of your site pages.)
And finally, many users are now taking advantage of services like CloudFlare. These services will usually cache static content like .css files or images. So for example, if you change the contents of a .css file, or change an image but reuse the file name, your new .css or image will not be displayed until you either disable the CloudFlare cache, or until it refreshes after some period of time. So, if you are using CloudFlare or the like, don’t forget this if things aren’t refreshing like you expect. Note that Weaver themes add version information to generated .css files, and these versions will usually override caching. But changing your own .css files, or plugin .css files can result in caching issues.
My recommendation is to use Firefox with either CacheToggle or Web Developer (which also can disable the cache, and offers a lot of other essential tools for the more advanced web developer). A workable alternative is to develop with inline CSS (which is what I usually do because I’m usually looking at my results on 3 or 4 different browsers). The Weaver II Pro Developer Mode option also runs with inline CSS on.