iPage: CSS Changes Not Taking Effect Due to Cache (you’re not crazy and it’s not your fualt)

I thought I was losing my mind.  About half the time, when making adjustment to a stylesheet, the site would not update.  This was causing development work that should take about ten times as long.  Not good.

UPDATE: I got a comment from someone named ‘Whit’ which reads:

I have also had this problem. Though you guys might like a clearer answer as I got from iPage. They told me the following, “We use Varnish Caching technology. Hence, your website may not display the changes immediately.”

Very annoying. Either way, the simplest answer is to add no cache code to your .htaccess file like below:

Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0?
Header set Expires: 0
Header set Pragma: no-cache

Thanks, Whit!!!  [now back to my story]

After finding this, I finally called iPage. After debating with their “tech support” person about whether or not this could be their fault (which it clearly is), the person finally found that he could turn off some sort of caching that iPage has running by default on shared hosting accounts.  Eureka!  Unfortunately, it took 20 minutes to get thru to support.  More unfortunately, I had to plea and argue with the person for fifteen minutes before I could inspire him to discover that indeed, the caching is happening.  And most unfortunately of all, before I finally convinced the person to to look for the solution, the person tried to convince me that I should be willing to put up with it taking “ten minutes” or more  for a CSS update to take affect.  His words, “ten minutes.”  Seriously?  Ten minutes for a CSS tweak to take effect?  I can’t believe someone would say such a thing.  We’re talking about changes that take five seconds to make.  We’re talking about the workflow that virtually every web developer relies on: upload a change to the server, view the change in a browser, rinse repeat.  Ugh!

Oh, and the kid also said that this caching that he turned off on iPage’s end might take up to 24 hours to actually turn off… WTF!

So while I’m at it let me just say this about iPage also:  FTP times out a lot with them.  Very annoying, but I can deal with that.

I don’t think the money  you save by going with iPage (a few dollars a month) rather than another hosting provider ( bluehost or hostgator, for instance) is worth it.

I’m angry at them for

  1. Having support staff that are completely ignorant to the daily reality of all developers
  2. Having caching turned on by default and not making this known to their support people
  3. Having slow servers that drop or stall ftp connections constantly

OK.  I’m done now.  Back to work.

 

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43 Replies to “iPage: CSS Changes Not Taking Effect Due to Cache (you’re not crazy and it’s not your fualt)”

  1. I have run into the problem. Not just with CSS but also with images. Thanks for pointing out a solution!

  2. So glad I found this. Have finally stopped pulling my hair out!

    Not that I cba to call customer support. Guess I’ll just make the changes and hope they update in the next hour or so. Rubbish.

  3. Man, I hate iPage too and for the same reasons… I wish I would have seen your post before. The iPage people are just simply ignorant. I hate this company! You should post some review on some “web hosting review” web sites like I did. I truly don’t understand why iPage is almost all the time the first of TOP TEN hosting companies! It makes me sick!

    Anthony

  4. Yes i agree there support system is rubbish however if it is a cahce problem then this should do the trick.
    make a .htaccess file in the root and put this in there

    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

  5. My hour job just turned into two hours tonight. Glad I am not alone :/ I am getting a rash. Super slow FTP also. 10 seconds for a super small CSS file is typical with them.

  6. I understand, I went to Ipage on the recommendation of a computer science guy I know. Obviously, he did not do much with them. My problem is the refresh rate with images. Though, I test my own code before posting the delay is too long. Their support is slow to pick up and not very knowledgeable.

  7. me to also having the same problem need to create a new folder within my ftp and new files just to know that my files is working correctly and put it in my main website.

  8. I have also had this problem. Though you guys might like a clearer answer as I got from iPage. They told me the following, “We use Varnish Caching technology. Hence, your website may not display the changes immediately.”

    Very annoying. Either way, the simplest answer is to add no cache code to your .htaccess file like below:

    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

  9. That’s great, Whit.
    I wish the person I spoke with knew what was going on. I was on the phone for a long time arguing with that kid.
    -A

  10. Whit, how did you edit the .htaccess file in iPage? I open up the .htaccess editor from the control panel and it doesn’t let me manually edit the file. It only gives me like 5 different choices to edit the file. Please help, this problem is literally driving me crazy. Definitely moving to another host when my subscription is up.

  11. Alex,
    I’m not sure why you’re having trouble.

    I was only able to get my stuff straightened out after calling them and getting them to do something on their end.

    Although one of my commenters (which I quoted) says you can turn off this caching in .htaccess. If this is true, I can tell you that if you don’t have a .htaccess file, you can just create one. They are ‘hidden’ by default (because they start with a period)… Most ftp clients have a ‘show hidden files’ option. Then, keep in mind that a .htaccess file applies to the directory it’s in, and everything else in that directory, including other directories and directories inside of those. Then, if a directory within a directory has its own .htaccess file, it can override the one that’s higher up in the food chain, but you have to specifically set those settings that you’re overriding.

    so try creating a file named .htaccess in / or whatever folder is the main folder for the website, and inside the file, put:
    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0?
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

  12. I created an .htaccess file in my root and added the code that Whit suggested but it makes my site kick out a 500 external error. What am I doing wrong?

  13. Glad everyone has been able to use the htaccess code. I wanted to update…um…my update. @Nate, you might have the 500 error because the htaccess file was not formatted correctly. If you created it on your computer and then uploaded, their might actually be some hidden elements that are not playing nice with your server.

    The code I’ve used for a while is this:

    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

    I have expanded it for a different (re:horrible because iPage screwed me again) website cache issue. I used the following code in my htaccess file:

    # Begin cache control #
    ExpiresActive on

    Header unset Cache-Control
    Header unset Expires
    Header unset Last-Modified
    FileETag None
    Header unset Pragma

    # End cache control #

  14. Can the anti-caching code just go anywhere in the .htaccess file? I’ve found the file, but it has stuff in it already and I don’t know if the code that turns off the caching should go before it, after, or somewhere within.

  15. I just had a decent experience with their tech support chat.

    I logged into chat for this very problem expecting to go through a process with them. When I asked them to disable caching for my site, the guy on the chat IMMEDIATELY stuck an .htaccess file in my root directory with the settings to disable the caching in place.

    It seems to be working but I will know as I get into developing this site.

    I’ve had problems with ipage and I only went with them for this site because it is cheap, I’ve used them before, and I know the ins-and-outs of their control panel, dns settings etc and I am in a hurry.

    Thought this would help anyone who ALSO finds their way to this page as it was the most helpful link I found on Google when I ran into this issue!

    Maybe they have gotten enough complaints about the caching issue that their prompt-readers know what to do now when people gripe about it!

  16. You have no idea how much you have just helped me!! I really thought I was going mad.!!

    I contacted iPage via the live change and this is the reply I got.

    We use Varnish Caching technology. Hence, your website may not display the changes immediately. But I’ve added the server cache disable code in .htaccess file. Please update the file again after 15 minutes. You should be able to access the newly updated contents.

    I hope I see an improvement asap but I really am going to move to a new host pronto

  17. YOU’RE A LIFE SAVER. ipage sucks. Unfortunately, some of my clients use it.

    Add this code to your .htaccess file to disable caching and solve the problem:

    # ipage needs it or theres a 90 second+ delay to css file changes from “Varnish Caching technology”!!!
    # disables cache
    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0?”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

    Make sure its regular double quotes surrounding the first Header line, NOT the slanted Word double quotes!

  18. If you have that 505 error, you will need to enter in this code in .htaccess file in your root directory.

    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

    It will take a couple of hours before it to becomes instant.

  19. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have no clue how much this was frustrating me! Anyone have an idea of what host provider would be best for very dynamic websites with content that changes constantly?

  20. I was really getting frustrated by the caching!! I’m so glad you wrote this. Thanks so much!! I am waiting to see if it works. I noticed some people’s code has double quotes after age=0. I also changed mine to regular quotes (not “smart quotes”).

  21. I had the same problem and they confirmed they use Varnish Caching, the person from the Chat Support gave the solution on the spot, I guess that saying right from the bat that I knew what the problem was helped :), here it is:

    Header set Cache-Control: “private, pre-check=0, post-check=0, max-age=0”
    Header set Expires: 0
    Header set Pragma: no-cache

    Cheers

  22. iPage was a nightmare to use for a web developer/designer. I had a client who used ipage for hosting and it was sick. No cpanel, ridiculous caching system etc. Their so called “easy-to-use” file manager didn’t even come with ‘archive uncompress’ option for which we need to use another tool on the control panel, something like archive gateway or so. Now you know why I’m on this page – their rubbish caching system. I tried turning off the cache on their cache settings menu, but no luck. My css and images are not updating and this is annoying from a designing side.

  23. iPage sucks, I’ve just got a trick with their cheap price….but everything else is sucks…cPanel, archive gateway etc….and finally this cache system, I blowed my mind, before found this article, why my changes are not visible. So thanks you a lot! You are the Man!

    P.S> How come, that I can’t upload directly style.less file, it’s crazy, I need to zip it, upload, then go to gateway to unzip it…..and they just told me that their server can’t accept such files…..:facepalm:

  24. Honestly, dennis, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Most of us would just be dealing with a style.css or something.css or something.php Etc file… I don’t know what .less is… never heard of it.
    Perhaps you are using weird software and they block certain file extensions?

  25. I’m having the same problem and I tried the fix above but my changes still aren’t updating. What a time waster! Even repeatedly refreshing the page and clearing the browser cache doesn’t fix things.

  26. You can easily turn off caching in the iPage control panel without contacting tech support or modifying .htaccess file

    Additional tools tab > Web Cache Control Tool

    regards,

    mroussin

  27. To disable caching for one or all of your websites hosted via Ipage all that is needed is to go to your ipage control panel and scroll down to the addition tool section. From there you will need to use the “web cache control tool” link and disable caching for what ever website you don’t want cached.

    Hope that helps.

  28. That just leaves my homepage with a ‘something Server Error.’ Does it matter where exactly I plug it into the .htaccess code? A little help?

  29. I ran into the same trouble, even removed the stylesheet altogether and still it was rendering the stylesheet, support was useless. You need CSS cache turned off on the server side. Here is a simple solution you can use in the mean time if PHP is enabled (that was another problem).
    Add this to the stylesheet link
    ?
    example
    <link href="style.css?” rel=”stylesheet” />

  30. as someone pointed.. “NOT ONLY CSS” images and .js does too..

    worst of all!! i deleted the css and a.js file and the page still look like the same, and it seems to me more than 10 minutes….

  31. switch to another hosting provider bluehost has the best tools. updates take effects instantly and they enabled compression for your entire account and live tech support via chat.

  32. I almost got into problems with my client because of this especially clients who just want it to work there and then.

    This better be fixed.

    Have already lost faith and trust in them.

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