I Make Changes and Nothing Happens

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Things are going great. You have figured out how to write a post, how to make a few categories, and maybe even add a plugin or two. Then it happens. You make a few changes in your WordPress Theme and when you view your WordPress site, nothing has changed. Your fix isn t fixed. Your change isn t changed. NOTHING HAS CHANGED! You want to scream, pull out your hair, pound on your computer, and shout blame.

Hang on. Calm down. A great many errors are in fact mistakes born of haste. Even if you are operating under a tight deadline, try to remain calm, and collected, as you proceed. It will help. If you start to get unduly tense, or frustrated, simply get up and walk away for a few minutes. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh, rested pair of eyes to spot a missing semi-colon, or an extra quote mark, or to realize that the solution is much simpler than you originally thought.

The problem might be with WordPress, it might be with your database, it might be with your server, or it might be something you did to screw things up, but the reality is that a lot of the time it is none of those things. The culprit is probably your Internet browser.

Whatever the problem is, we are here to help. Lets look at the possible problems and solutions for what to do when you make a change and nothing happens.

The Browser Cache

Did you know that a computer is supposed to make your life easier? Less complicated? It is supposed to save you time and energy and actually improve your life. No? Well, maybe not, but your Internet browser does its best to try to make your life a little easier.

When you first visit a web page, it often takes a while to load, right? But the next page you visit within that site does not take so long to load. This is because, in an effort to be helpful, the browser stores the information on your computer so it reloads it from your computer, not from the actual site. This is called the cache and it is meant to speed up your Internet browsing.

The term cache may sound familiar. Remember the pirates and thieves of old who would stockpile their treasures in a cave, hole in the ground, or somewhere "safe". Called the cache, the Internet browser stores files and information for the browser to reuse when the page is refreshed or viewed again.

The problem comes when you make a small change to your site and the browser doesnt recognize it as a significant change, so it reloads the same page you just looked at. The solution is to clear or empty your browsers cache.

Clearing the Browser Cache

Normally, to see the changes on your page, you click the Refresh button on the browser toolbar or press the F5 key on your keyboard. In many cases, this simply reloads the page without clearing the browsers cache. Here are some techniques to wipe clean the browsers cache so you will see the changes when your page reloads.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Hold down SHIFT and click on the REFRESH button in the toolbar under the menu.
  2. For Serious Clearing: If you are having problems clearing out the cache, then force it by choosing from the menu TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS > TEMPORARY FILES. Click on Delete Temporary Files. You can choose the checkbox to delete all Internet files, but you might not want to as that will also clear all your passwords and cookies, but if you are having trouble viewing the changes on your page, go all the way.

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