[intro] When you have completed this Guide, you’ll know all about caching and why it’s required on not just your EKM online shop, but on lots of different kinds of websites online.
- What is server caching?
- What is browser caching?
- Why do I have to wait for any changes to my EKM online shop to be visible?
- How do I clear the cache on my browser?
What is caching?
Caching can best be explained with the analogy of a cake shop. Imagine you are the owner of a cake shop and you cook cakes from scratch. Cakes are made with butter, flour, eggs and sugar, and you get up early to make the mixture, bake the cakes and display them nicely in your shop. Every day, customers come to your shop and they purchase your cakes. They don’t need to see the different ingredients within that cake, or how it was cooked and prepared - they just want to purchase their cake. This is caching.
Online shops and websites work like the cake shop; when a customer types your domain name into their browser, your online shop will display quickly, like a freshly baked cake. Your customers don’t need to know all of the calculations that the online shop goes through to display the content - they just want to see the page.
Caching is used to make the content load a lot faster, which in turn promotes a positive customer experience and can give you good SEO scores too. As an online shop or website loads in a browser, it makes lots of quick calculations to build different elements, code, images, links, menus, text and other content. The cache is essentially the completed version of those calculations which is a lot quicker to display than loading the content from scratch each time.
If we return to the cake shop analogy and remove the caching, you would soon be out of business! Instead of customers coming in each day to purchase a delicious cake, you would serve them one by one, weighing out and adding the ingredients to the bowl, stirring the cake mixture and greasing the tin. You would then keep the customer waiting whilst the cake was baked in the oven, and serve it to them when it was cooked. Obviously, this process is a lot longer, creating a long queue and customers would soon go to another cake shop where they can purchase their cakes instantly.
What is server caching?
Online shops and websites live on servers. The server cache is what displays for your visitors; it’s the total of all of the calculations that are made in order to display the content. Each time an online shop is edited in some way, such as changing the Design Images or Theme, creating new Webpages, changing your Category structure or uploading new Products, this requires the cache to be updated, as you’re essentially changing some of the ingredients of the finished cake.
Why do I have to wait for any changes to my EKM online shop to be visible?
This is to ensure that your EKM online shop loads as quickly as possible for your customers. To read more about this, click here.
What is browser caching?
Like your online shop, your browser has a cache too. The quickest way to understand your browser cache is to imagine that your browser is a window that allows you to view the internet and all of its content. For every website and online shop you visit, your browser has to remember how each page is displayed; every piece of code, image, text, link and so on is recorded, which helps your browser display the same information quickly should you visit the same website or online shop again.
However, if you imagine all of those remembered files as dirt on your metaphorical window, you eventually won’t be able to see through it and view the internet properly. You can tell when this happens as you will be logged out of some websites, or on your EKM online shop, you’ll find that the Edit buttons on your shop are there, but they’re ‘greyed out’ and you can’t click on them. When this occurs, it’s time to clean your window by clearing the cache on your browser.
How do I clear the cache on my browser?
That depends on what browser you are using. Click below for the appropriate Guide which will lead you through the process:
- Clearing the cache on your browser - Google Chrome
- Clearing the cache on your browser - Firefox
- Clearing the cache on your browser - Edge
- Clearing the cache on your browser - Safari
- Why are changes I have made not showing on my EKM online shop?
[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Ecommerce Expert or the Customer Support Team, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions Board. If you have a non-account specific question to ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. If you need some inspiration for your EKM online shop, listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify.[/contact]