Today, our project team made a minor change to our web site – consolidating multiple registration tabs into a single web page. But I couldn’t see the change. Everyone on the team was affirming the improvement…but when I looked at the web page it was the same as before. I closed the browser and looked again – with the same result. I saw the “old” web page.
If you are technically savvy, you have already identified that my browser had cached that page and was not reloading it – which is a shortcut that makes my computer run faster. This is from Alex, our web designer:
Most people don’t realize that websites are all held together with very thin strings that if one breaks, can break the whole site…Basically your browser wasn’t checking if there was a new version of the page alive. It was just serving you a version that was stored on your computer. Will it happen to others? Yup.. But all I can do is put a tag on the page now that says “this is a new version! Download me!”.. But that won’t happen unless that browser checks that page.
But most people think of web technology the same way as we think of phone calls. It just works (so we think). People will look at that web page…not see the changes…and move on without questioning what they see.
As you look over your project, don’t make that mistake. Question everything.
Thanks for listening.