What Does Purge From Cache Mean in WordPress

purging cache using WP Super Cache plugin

WP Rocket (Best Option for WordPress Designers)

WP Rocket is a premium WordPress cache plugin. Even though WP Rocket isn’t free, it provides you with a ton of advanced features. And it’s one of the easier caching plugins to use. WP Rocket features include:

  • Page caching
  • Browser caching
  • Cache preloading 
  • Ecommerce optimization
  • Integrates with most Managed WordPress hosting

The $49 price tag is well worth it because it optimizes your website for speed and performance as soon as you install it. So, you’ll notice a difference right away. If you’re a WordPress designer, you can purchase their Infinite use option for $249 and use the plugin on as many websites as you want.

Why would you need to purge the WordPress cache?

Now that you know what a WordPress cache is and how you can cache the pages on your website for faster loading, you still might be wondering why you would need to purge the cache.  If WordPress caching improves your site speed, wouldn’t caching undo this?  

Let me explain what happens when you purge the WordPress cache. When a plugin saves cached pages, it stores them all inside of a folder in WordPress.  When you purge the cache, the plugin deletes all of these stored pages inside of this folder. This has no effect on the site itself, it just erases all the cached HTML pages from the folder. After you purge the cache, when someone loads a new page, WordPress will have to regenerate all the HTML pages.

This is sometimes necessary if you make changes to your website. Otherwise, WordPress will continue displaying the old copy of the page instead of updating the page dynamically to display your changes.

The main reason you might need to purge the cache is to refresh your pages after you make changes.  But, you may need to purge your cache after installing a plugin or migrating your website. Even if you haven’t made any changes, it’s good practice to clear the cache every once in a while for the same reason you should clean the cache on your computer periodically

How to purge the cache

How to purge from cache in WordPress using WP Super Cache plugin

No matter which plugin you use, purging the cache is easy. Each plugin works a little differently, but they all will have an option for deleting the cache or purging the cache.  Most of them are really simple and all you have to do is go to the plugin settings and click on delete cache.  

If you are using a more advanced caching plugin you may need to read their help documents or follow a tutorial on how to use the plugin. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to use an easy caching plugin like WP Super Cache.

Should you install a WordPress cache plugin?

There is some debate amongst WordPress users on whether or not caching plugins are necessary or a good idea.  While many WordPress love the enhanced performance that you get from a caching plugin, there are some drawbacks. When you use a caching plugin, it eliminates some of the dynamic functionality of WordPress.

Basically, it serves all the dynamic content as static HTML pages. This is fine if your website only serves static pages.  But, if you have dynamic content where each visitor is served a unique, dynamically created page, a WordPress cache plugin can be problematic. 

You may not even realize that the content doesn’t load like it’s supposed to. This is because some themes or plugins display content dynamically. If you use a caching plugin with certain themes or plugins, you may discover that the theme or plugin doesn’t work correctly. For example, caching plugins can break the functionality of Woocommerce product pages because they require dynamically displayed content to work.

Hopefully, this answers your questions on what purge from cache means, as well as why you would want to use WordPress caching in the first place.  Overall, there are a lot of good reasons for using a WordPress caching plugin. But if you do, you need to understand how to purge the cache, and when it is a good idea to do so.