How to clear your WordPress cache

Sometimes you can’t see the changes you’ve made to your WordPress site immediately. This could be caused by outdated cache. To help you solve this, we’ll show you how to clear your WordPress cache. In this article, we’ll cover browser cache, WordPress caching plugins, and server cache. But first, let’s dive into what cache is and how it works.

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What is cache and how does it work?

The cache is the place where pages, files, images, and other elements of your site are stored in memory so they can be retrieved quickly. There are different kinds of cache. For example, there’s browser cache (the elements stored in your browser), site cache (also called page cache or HTTP cache), but also server cache (the elements stored on the server hosting your website or on your CDN‘s server).

Every time you visit a website, your browser will download some of the site’s elements and store them as cache files in your local storage. Because of that, when you visit that website again, it will load much faster as you already have parts of the content stored.

However, this also means that when you try to make changes to your website, you might not be able to see them immediately. In that case, you’ll need to clear the cache to see your changes live.

How to clear your WordPress cache

If you have a WordPress site, follow the steps below to clear the cache.

  1. Clear your browser cache.

    Firstly, follow the steps described in this article about clearing your browser’s cache.

  2. Clear cache using a WordPress caching plugin.

    Secondly, if you’re using a WordPress plugin caching plugin on your site, you need to clear your plugin cache. Examples of WordPress plugin caching plugins are WP Rocket, WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. We’ve described how to go about this for each of these plugins. Find out how to clear cache with:
    WP Rocket
    WP Super Cache
    W3 Total Cache

  3. Clear the server cache.

    Some hosts use cache plugins on their server. The control you have over server-side caching depends on your host. Check your host’s options settings to see if there is an option to clear cache. If you can’t find it, contact your host to ask how to clear the server cache. To illustrate this, we’ll explain how to go about this with the WordPress host SiteGround.

    Example: SiteGround
    If your site is hosted by SiteGround, you can clear cache from your hosting account control panel as well as the WordPress admin area.

    1. Hosting dashboard
    The first option is to log in to your hosting account dashboard and go to Speed > Caching under site tools. From here, switch to the ‘Dynamic cache’ tab. Click on the menu icon next to your domain name and then select ‘Flush cache’.

    2. WordPress Dashboard
    The second option is to install and activate the SG Optimizer plugin. Then, on the ‘Super cacher settings’ tab, click ‘Purge cache’ under ‘Dynamic caching’.

    Clear cache SiteGround using SG Optimizer

Clearing your cache with WordPress plugins

Below, we’ve described how to clear your cache using WordPress plugins in more detail. We cover WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, and W3 Total Cache.

Clearing your cache with WP Rocket

Make sure you have the WP Rocket plugin installed and activated. Go to Settings > WP Rocket > Dashboard tab and click the ‘Clear cache’ button. All cached files will be removed.

Image by WP Rocket

Clearing your cache with WP Super Cache

Make sure you have the WP Super Cache plugin installed and activated. Then, head over to Settings > WP Super Cache and click ‘Delete cache’. This will remove all cached files on your WordPress site.

Clearing your cache with W3 Total Cache

Make sure you have the W3 Total Cache plugin installed and activated. Go to Performance > Dashboard and hit the ‘Empty all caches’ button. This will delete all cached content from your WordPress site.