One of the best ways to boost performance and decrease page loading time in a CMS website is to configure caching.
A cache is effectively a snapshot of a website, so when users visit the site they are served the cached version, rather than the entire site having to re-load each time. This makes the site faster to browse.
The downside to caching from an administrative perspective is that when you perform site updates, they may not be visible in the front-end until the cache is refreshed. This is exactly how caching is designed to work - but obviously not ideal if you make a change and want to see what it looks like!
To further complicate matters for a website administrator, there are several different types of caching.
- Website - in our case, caching that is configured within a Joomla website. For more information on Joomla caching, click here.
- Browser - all modern browsers employ caching too.
- Server - this could be Cloudflare, or Litespeed cache, depending on which type of server the website is hosted on.
- Sometimes, a network router can have some caching.
Within Joomla websites, we utilise a plugin called Cache Cleaner by RegularLabs, which offers a fast method of cleaning the website cache.
Cache Cleaner enables a single click link at the bottom of the backend login. We also configure the plugin so that any frontend "Save" action will automatically clear the cache too.
Once you've finished making changes to your website and it all looks OK, we recommend clearing the cache in the backend, then clicking on the Site Map menu in the frontend - this is a fast way to re-cache the entire website so your next visitor doesn't need to.
Cache Cleaner will resolve many caching issues. If it doesn't, it's time to start some troubleshooting.
Most times if you can't see the changes, it's due to browser caching - ie. it's your device. Click here for instructions on how to clear the browser cache on your browser/device.
If you've used Cache Cleaner AND cleared your browser cache, the next troubleshooting steps are:
=> Try restarting the browser.
=> If restarting the browser doesn’t work, try restarting your device.
If neither of these work, ask somebody else to have a look at the site from their own device, and note what they can or can't see.
If nobody can see the changes on the site but you can see them in the admin dashboard, it's likely to be server level caching such as Cloudflare, or perhaps an internet or server issue. If this happens, your best bet is to contact us (if we manage your website), or else your own website provider or hosting company.
Some of our websites are now running on new, faster Litespeed servers, which also enables us to set up Litespeed Cache. This can be managed within the Joomla backend. If your site is configured with Litespeed Cache we will advise you. For more information on Litespeed Cache, please click here.
Other troubleshooting ideas
We've also had a couple of client issues where others in the office can't see the changes, but everybody else outside of that office can. This indicates a local routing cache issue, and in this instance, we recommend contacting your local IT support. Sometimes it's as simple as rebooting a router, but this could have other unintended consequences so it's best to check with IT before doing this.
For more information on configuring Joomla caching, you may like these articles: