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Caching in CleanSlate

You may have noticed your content doesn't update immediately after hitting Publish in CleanSlate. What's going on here? Why does CleanSlate do this? How do I get around this?

What is "cache"?

Wikipedia has an exceptionally clear definition of cache:

In computer science, a cache is a component that transparently stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster... If requested data is contained in the cache (cache hit), this request can be served by simply reading the cache, which is comparatively faster. Otherwise (cache miss), the data has to be recomputed or fetched from its original storage location, which is comparatively slower. Hence, the greater the number of requests that can be served from the cache, the faster the overall system performance becomes.

Why does CleanSlate cache changes?

CleanSlate caches pages, images, CSS and Javascript.

For pages (and content changes to pages), the CleanSlate cache lasts roughly 10 minutes. As we learned above, CleanSlate does this to:

  • Improve system performance
  • Improve uptime
    • There are events throughout the year which put load onto WVU systems. Examples of these are when registration for classes opens or when the PRT goes down. When these events happen, CleanSlate is better equipped to handle increased traffic.
  • Lower costs
    • CleanSlate is run on web servers. It costs many thousands of dollars a year to host CleanSlate. By caching pages and assets, we reduce our hosting costs significantly.

How to see your changes immediately

If you hit Publish and want to see your changes immediately, add a query string onto the end of your page's URL to "bust the cache".

For example, if your URL is:

https://webstandards.wvu.edu/accessibility

Add a query string to the end to bust the cache:

https://webstandards.wvu.edu/accessibility?1234

Note the ?1234. You can write anything after the ?. Here are a few more examples:

https://webstandards.wvu.edu/?abcd

https://webstandards.wvu.edu/accessibility/policies?update-please

https://universityrelations.wvu.edu/digital-services/getting-started?xyzabc123

If you hit Publish after using a query string, be sure to change the query string again to see your new changes (?1234 becomes ?12345, etc., etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I link to a page with an arbitrary query string?

No. Avoid linking to pages with query strings attached. If you use the "Link" functionality within CleanSlate, you do not have to worry about this. If you are using a third party application or CMS, be sure to use the URL without any query strings attached.

I added a query string but don't see my most recently published changes.

Be sure you hit "Publish" in the editor. After doing this, be sure you've changed your query string. For example, if your query string was ?123, change it to something new, like ?xyz.

Last updated on July 11, 2018.

We welcome all questions, feedback and bug reports. If you're having an issue, we usually need the following information:

  • A brief description of the issue
  • A link to the page where you saw the issue
  • Screenshots that illustrate the problem - How do I take a screenshot?

Kindly email CleanSlate@mail.wvu.edu for help or use the form on the request help page.