Why Do I Need to Clear My Store's Cache?


In your Store Settings area you have the option of enabling or disabling your site's cache for your home and category pages. This section also gives you the ability to clear your site's overall cache. However, many people do not readily understand what this function does. To help explain this, we would first like to explain what exactly cache is.

Cache, (pronounced "cash" rather than "cash-ay") is a component in computer systems that transparently stores static (unchanging) data in such a way so that it can be served more efficiently when the data is requested. A simplified example of this is visible on most Internet browsers when you manually enter a web address into your browser's address field - if it's an address you frequently visit, chances are the browser will automatically populate the URL into the field for you. This is an example of the browser's cache working. Web servers and computers in general are similar in this concept.

For the most part, Shift4Shop's pages are dynamically generated via Active Server Page scripting (ASP). This means that when a page is requested from the server, it is rendered for the browser at that given moment in time. Therefore, there is no real application of data being cached. However, some aspects of your store - like the menu links and frame areas - do not change that often. Therefore, these areas are saved in cache memory to have these static elements rendered/served more efficiently. 

The cached information refreshes automatically after about 2 hours.  In some cases though, you may need to clear the store's cache manually with the "Clear Cache" button. Below are a couple of scenarios in which you will want to have this feature disabled.

  • If you are in the process of designing or adding elements like a logo to your store, we recommend clearing cache so you can see the changes as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your changes might not seem to apply properly until after the 2-hour refresh window.
  • When adding categories or navigation menu links, be sure to clear the cache after your edits to ensure they're viewable.
  • When editing or adding any type of scripting to the site, clearing the cache is recommended to ensure the expected functionality works as desired.

Again, the store's cache clears itself every two hours. However, if you need to clear it manaully, you may do so using the following steps:

Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager and, using the left hand navigation menu:

  1. Go to Settings >General >Store Settings
  2. Then, click on the "General" tab found along the top of the page.
  3. Look towards the right hand side of the page where you will find a checkbox labeled "Enable Adv Page Cache"

Additional Information
This checkbox will enable caching specifically for the store's home page and category pages. Since these pages do not change very often, it is recommended that you leave it checked. To be clear, this checkbox will only affect caching on the store's category and home pages. The overall frame of the store will still potentially be cached.

Below the checkbox, you will see a button labeled "Clear Cache"

  1. Click this button to manually clear the site's cached data.

Clicking on the "View Store" button at the top of your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager also has the same effect as clearing the store's cache.

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