Jargon Buster – Cache?
What is Cache, Browser Cache or Computer Cache? We frequently hear the word cache being mentioned when a web page doesn’t look right or doesn’t open as we expect it to but what does cache do? Pronounced “Cash”, cache is a super quick memory, which is built into your computer and its main task is to remember instructions, which are frequently used over and over again to run programs. Where websites are concerned, cache stores information about the webpages you open and view to make things run quicker the next time you open those same pages. It does this by prioritizing the contents for quick access. So as a website buider, cache can actually save you a lot of time!
Cache stores copies of recently access information from webpages, such as pictures and data and keeps this information at hand to quickly throw onto your screen in seconds, should you ask to view the same page. Without cache, your browser would have to load all the content of each web up onto your screen each and every time you want to view it.
You may have noticed that when you open a new page for the first time, it takes longer to open than a page, which you have already viewed. This is because the page you have already viewed has been stored in your computers cache memory and it is this memory of the page that you are seeing rather than the actual live page itself. You may have also noticed that sometimes, if you’ve been working on one of your webpages and have made changes to the content of your page, that those changes don’t always appear straight away. Many people’s first reaction when this happens is to panic and worry that all the time you have just spent making those changes has been a complete waste of time – well… don’t panic. Quite often it is your cache memory being a little too efficient for its own good.
All you need to do is to “Refresh Your Cache”. To do this you simply have to press the F5 button on your keyboard or you can click the refresh icon on your browser. You can normally find this next to the address bar window.
Cache is very effective and is very important to how your computer system performs. Most computer programs use only the bare minimum of your computers resources once they are up and running. When these resources are stored in your computers cache memory, your programs are able to run far more quickly and efficiently.