By Craig Goldwyn, visibility.tv
QUESTION: When you are working on my site I can't always see the changes for days. Why is that? Also, all the links on my site are the color of links that I have visited. How can I see the correct color for links that have not been visited?
ANSWER: Web browsers are lazy. Most use a storage place on your computer called a cache to stash copies of pages you have visited. Then, when you want to go back to the page, the browser pulls the page from the cache rather than getting the actual page from the actual website. Pretty sneaky, eh?
This scheme is meant to speed your internet experience, but it can cause problems. Sometimes the cache will hold an old copy of a page, or even an error message. For example, if you got an error because you needed to download the QuickTime plug-in, and then you downloaded it, when you go back to the page the browser may pull the error message from its cache rather than going and getting the page. Grrrrr.
To force the browser to get the real page, select "Reload" or "Refresh" from your browser's "toolbar" or the "View" menu. If this does not work, hold down the option key (Mac) or alt key (Windows) and then select "Reload" or "Refresh" again. If that still fails, you need to empty the cache. The procedure is different for each browser.
In Internet Explorer: Select "Tools" from the menu bar. Click "Internet Options". Select the "General" tab. In the "Temporary Internet Files" area click "Delete Files". Click "Delete all offline content". Click "OK"
In Mozilla and Netscape: From the "Edit" menu, select "Preferences". Click on the "Advanced" category and then click on "Cache". Click on "Clear Disk Cache" and "Clear Memory Cache". Close the "Preference" window, select "Network Preferences..."
In Internet Explorer for Mac: Choose "Edit" from the menu at the top. Select "Preferences". From the table that opens select "Advanced". In the section named "Cache" click the button that says "Empty Now".
In Mac Safari: In the upper left corner, click on "Safari". Choose "Empty Cache" from the drop down menu.
If you still cannot see the image, are you sitting down?, it is probably because your ISP is cacheing the page! Yes, Internet Service Providers, notably AOL, will cache pages to speed up the browsing. If this is the case, the only thing you can do is wait a few hours or so until the cache is automaticlally dumped.