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    Cloud MT // Caching & Cache Management in Citrus-Lime Ecommerce

    Caching keeps your site running quickly, in order to maximise conversion rates.

    Firstly, let's talk a little about what caching is.

    It's a term banded around the internet quite often but ultimately what it comes down to is this:  Your browser (i.e. Chrome, Internet Explorer) and the server which hosts the website, save files to be served up quickly at a future date.  This happens in a few different ways.

    Browser caching

    When Citrus-Lime eCommerce sends resources to the browser of your customers, it also sends pieces of data which allow the browser to save them.  Such resources include images, scripts and stylesheets. 

    Then, when the customer visits the site again, instead of the server sending the file again, the browser asks "Has this file changed since your last visit?" and if the server responds with "No", the browser uses the saved file from the previous visit.  This vastly improves the load time of the website and it's particularly useful on pages which contain a lot of data (such as Find & Filter results pages). 

    Citrus-Lime does not control Browser Cache.  This can be cleared using the functionality offered by the browser that you use.

    Then there is Server Caching

    Server caching is when a file which is used (or expected to be used) regularly is "built" ahead of time and saved conveniently for a later date.  This means a page which could take 10-15 seconds to load all of its resources actually takes more like 3-5 seconds, since all of the complicated calculations have been done ahead of time.

    Server Cache is managed by Citrus-Lime. 

    Server Cache Periods

    The following tells you how long we save server-side cache before the server regenerates it.

    Homepage Caching

    Your Homepage cache is regenerated every 4 hours.  If you make changes to the home page, it should not take longer than 4 hours for that change to appear.

    Product Page Caching

    Product pages are cached for a period of 48 hours before the cache is regenerated.  However, if there are stock adjustments when you've sold an item or if you edit the product inside of Cloud MT then the cache is automatically regenerated for that product page.

    Managing your cache

    As mentioned above, we have set the above timings above carefully to keep your site running at optimum speed in Google's speed rankings. 

    Manually forcing the cache to refresh can slow down the site.  Therefore, if you have made changes to your site, we recommend that you allow those changes to update naturally, within the time periods stated above.

    However, we also know that occasionally is it necessary to have changes reflected on the front end of the site immediately.  Maybe you have a promotion going live, or a new range of products which have just become available. 

    If you have made a large update to the site and wish for it to be visible to the customer immediately, you can access the Cache Manager from the main menu in Cloud MT, by selecting Site Management and then Cache Manager:

    Use the following functions which are explained below:

    'Clear Item Detail Cache'

    The product page will update automatically whenever there is a change in inventory or pricing.  Most changes pull through immediately but if you don't see a change you've made, you can click this button to force it.

    'Clear Homepage Cache'

    Use this button if you wish to force the homepage cache to clear immediately, rather than waiting up to 4 hours for the cache to regenerate naturally.

    'Clear CSS Fragments Cache'

    Clearing the CSS Fragments Cache will drop the cache on specific CSS elements on your website that have been modified by Citrus-Lime.

    'Restart Website'

    'Restart Website' forces the cache to be dropped across the whole of the site.  A 'Restart Website' is generally the first step our support team takes when looking at any support issues.

    NOTE: Secondary Sites

    If you have a secondary ecommerce site, you can now access this part of Cloud MT. 

    Just enter Cloud MT, as you would do for your primary site; add /ssl/management to the end of the secondary site's URL and log in using your usual eCommerce credentials. You will be logged into Cloud MT, but you will only have access to Cache Manager.

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