In desperate times, when all seems lost, all chance of transcendence gone, there is only one choice. No, you don’t have to join my cult, all you need is a little rewiring to go back to your better self. Similarly, many nagging issues in a Moodle installation can be sorted out with a little purge.
In computation, a cache is a place for temporary allocation of frequently accessed data. Cache is what avoids redundant downloads of images or content when you visit the same page on your web browser. Cache limits bandwidth usage and reduces the amount of resources needed to fulfill a request, which redounds to faster loading and less feeling of lagging. Cache is a critical element of performance as much as it is of user experience.
Oftentimes cache can generate a number of issues. It can fall out of sync with the server and fail to send the right piece of data, or any data at all. Excessive reliance on the cache can increase latency, defeating its purpose. Complex caching algorithms on an application can be understood differently by each users’ client, dramatically altering the experience for two given users. Cache without security compliance could be accessed to steal sensitive user data. The list goes on.
Fortunately, Moodle includes a simple tool to fix cache related issues: purging. In a Moodle site, it is located at
Administration > Site administration > Development > Purge all caches.
Purge all caches clears changes on customizations made to appearance, languages, filters and any information where the web browser intervened. When applied, it forces the web browser to start accessing resources directly from the server. This means that for a while after purging, the Moodle site will feel slow.
Sometimes themes have their own cache and they are stored in the server. However, most themes are set up to include their caches on the
Purge all caches option.
How do you make sure your Moodle server keeps in fit shape? Enlighten us in the comments!
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