Cache, cookies, and DNS play a huge part in our computers being able to connect to websites. When a user is having issues viewing their newly launched site, or viewing the most recent updates to their site, one of these is normally the cause.




What Is Browser Cache?

Each browser has a folder that stores certain items that have been downloaded for future use. Images (such as buttons and icons), stylesheet or javascript files, and even entire pages are examples of items that are saved or cached. Some browsers refer to it's cache as Temporary Internet Files


When visiting a page, the browser checks if a copy of the files on the page is in its cache already. If so, it will save some downloading and make the page load faster.



When a user is having issues viewing a recent changes to a site, here are instructions on how to clear their browser cache.


Google Chrome

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en


Apple Safari

https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/clear-your-browsing-history-sfri47acf5d6/mac


Mozilla Firefox

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache


Opera

https://help.opera.com/en/presto/browser-behavior/


Microsoft Internet Explorer browser

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17438/windows-internet-explorer-view-delete-browsing-history


Microsoft Edge browser

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10607/microsoft-edge-view-delete-browser-history




What are Cookies?

An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user's computer by the user's web browser while the user is browsing.


Cookies were designed for websites to

  • Remember stateful information (such as items added in the shopping cart in an online store)
  • Record the user's browsing activity, including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited in the past.
  • Remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names, addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers.
  • Detect whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in with.
  • Compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories.



How Cookies Cause Issues Viewing Websites

At times, the cookies on a site give irrelevant authentication to the server, causing a forbidden error. A 403 error, for example, usually indicates the browser is not authorized to perform the request. This generally means cookies are no longer valid or corrupted. To troubleshoot an error like that, try clearing the browser’s cookies.


Google Chrome

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en


Apple Safari

https://support.apple.com/kb/ph21411?locale=en_US


Mozilla Firefox

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-cookies-remove-info-websites-stored


Opera

https://www.opera.com/help/tutorials/security/privacy/


Microsoft Internet Explorer browser

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/278835/how-to-delete-cookie-files-in-internet-explorer


Microsoft Edge browser

https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10-microsoft-edge-and-privacy


Clearing storage for a specific site


Pro Tip: Use the Inspect tool in your favorite browser to clear all the stored info for an individual site.


This means you can clear cache and cookies for just one site without having to log back in to email, marketing360, etc. Below is a screenshot from Chrome to help. Instructions for all other major browsers are also listed below!



Google Chrome

https://developers.google.com/web/tools/chrome-devtools/manage-data/local-storage#clear-storage


Apple Safari

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21411?locale=it_IT&viewlocale=en_US


Mozilla Firefox

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/storage#w_delete-site-storage-for-individual-websites


Opera

https://www.opera.com/dragonfly/documentation/storage/


Microsoft Internet Explorer browser

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/delete-internet-cache-particular-website


Microsoft Edge browser

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/delete-internet-cache-particular-website




What is DNS?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates more readily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices with the underlying network protocols. By providing a worldwide, distributed directory service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality on the Internet, that has been in use since 1985.


At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other.


Think of it like a phone book or a smartphone’s contact list, which matches people’s names with their phone numbers and email addresses. Then multiply that contact list by everyone else on the planet.


How to Clear DNS cache

Windows: https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+To+Clear+Your+DNS+Cache

Mac: http://osxdaily.com/2017/12/18/reset-dns-cache-macos-high-sierra/


More info on DNS cache can be found here: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-dns-cache-817514