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Why am I still seeing the old version of my site?

Changes that you make to your site should take place immediately after uploading or publishing your site onto the server. You can check to see if your files have been successfully uploaded by logging directly into your account using FTP or FrontPage with your username and password. Your remote directory will be displayed, and you can verify that your files have been uploaded successfully - check that they're in the correct directory (probably public_html).
Any delay in displaying the new updates, is either a result of unsuccessful uploading, caching in either your web browser, or caching at a proxy server at your ISP or office/local network if you are running your own server - this means that you're seeing an old version of your site.

Most web browsers cache pages when you visit a web site. This is so that the next time you go to that page, it appears to load faster. This is because it is using a local copy rather than requesting a new copy be sent across the Internet. ISP caching works in much the same way, in that once you have visited a website, your ISP may cache those pages so that they appear to load faster the next time you visit them. The main problem with this is that unlike your browser cache you can not delete these temporary files, instead you have to wait until your ISPs cache expires and it requests fresh copies of the files. This can be very frustrating if you are trying to develop or make changes to your website. Unfortunately there is very little that can be done except to contact your ISP to manually clear the cache on their network. You should also ask them to remove any records and settings for your websites domain name, from their network, just incase they have those settings installed on their network, and it is causing a conflict. If they don't do this, the best solution maybe to change ISP. Most ISPs do not cache webpages for more than half an hour. However there are unfortunately some that take considerably longer to clear their cache. These ISPs tend to be the cheaper one, who cache pages for cost reasons, as it costs them less to locally store your website data for their users, than to load it from the server source for each viewing request, which incurs additional traffic fees for them. If after a day the ISP still has not updated their cache, it could also be that your ISP has an issue with one of their upstream providers. If you can view the website fine using another ISP, you will know the problem is with the ISP or one of their upstream providers, that is serving up the old content, and it is an issue that the ISP needs to fix. You can also test whether it is a problem with your ISP, by testing the website independently using a   proxy server website such as http://freeproxyserver.net/  , which will load the website through an independent ISP, and you will almost definitely see the newest version of your website through it.

Before you try to clear you local web browser cache, first try simply refreshing your web browser, which should allow you to see the changes that you have made on your website. To refresh your web browser to see the changes that you have made, either press F5, or CTRL + F5, which will refresh your browser. If this doesn't work, you should then try to delete any temporary/cached files that your browser may have. In IE go to Tools -> Internet Options, under "Temporary Internet Files"click "Delete Files" and try re-visiting the web page. It is always good idea to refresh or clear the cache on your browser when making changes to your website. If that still doesn’t work, you should manually delete all the files in your caches folder , as sometimes the web browser can fail at deleting all the items in the cache.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, it is very likely to be due to caching from your ISP or office network. ISP caches should be cleared every 1/2 hour or so – so if the problem persists, contact your ISP as discussed above, or your network administrator and ask them to manually clear the cache for your site. Once this is done you should see the newly published site on our servers. If you have an alternative dial up connection with another ISP, that you have not used to visit your website, you will normally see the changes you have made immediately, as that ISP wouldn't have cached the page.

You maybe able to prevent ISPs caching your webpages, by adding in a no-cache meta tag into your webpages, which may solve this issue for you in the future if it occurs regularly. Please do a google search for more information adding the no-cache tag to your website.


UPDATE: 2010

Several NZ ISPs, including Telecom / Xtra, are now using cache farms to cache website and video content. They do this partly because it is cheaper for them to host the content locally, rather than load it each time from a remote server each time someone visits the page. It may also allows the website to load faster, as it is loading from a local server.. They will tend to cache websites which their systems detect aren't updated very often. If you do have a problem with your ISP caching your websites content, you will need to contact your ISP to clear the cache and remove your webite from their caching farm. You should also add the no-cache tags to your websites html code. This type of caching will only affect the people who are visiting your website, who are using the ISP that is caching the content. It won't affect any other viewers.

If your website is on the Linux server, you can also try adding the following commands into an .htaccess file, and uploading it into your root directory of your website.

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault A0
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=0, private, no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate"
Header set Pragma "no-cache"



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