ISSUE: Mobile site isn't updating to reflect changes to the desktop site

If you've made changes to your site and are seeing those updates reflected on the desktop site, but not your mobile site, this is likely a caching issue in your mobile browser, or perhaps due to a caching plugin you have installed. Similarly, some hosting services implement server level caching which may impact which version of the site you see across various devices.

All EmPress themes are mobile responsive, meaning that the code for them is the same across desktop and mobile devices—there's no separate mobile theme running. This means that changes you make to the site are committed to your database globally. On smaller screens, the themes are built to automatically resize, with elements wrapping and stacking based on the width of the screen. So, if you’re seeing variation between your desktop and mobile site, it's due to caching. Other than providing styling and a framework for you to create and customize your content, your theme code has no bearing on how frequently your site refreshes or is updated in a browser or device.


Here are some steps you can take to clear browser cache and view the most recently updated version of your site on any device:

  • If you were previously using a plugin to create a mobile version of your site, you will need to deactivate it to see your EmPress theme on mobile. The most common is the mobile theme included in Jetpack, which you can disable under the settings for Jetpack.
  • Check that you do not have any plugins installed which impact caching. Commonly installed cache plugins include Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache, or WP Super Cache. If you do, check your plugin settings for options to flush the cache, or temporarily deactivate your plugin.
  • Check that your hosting plan does not have server-side caching enabled. Additionally, if you have a CDN feature applied to your hosting, this may impact caching and what appears on your live site. If your server is caching your site, you can usually flush the cache at the server level by logging in to your hosting service account.
  • Be sure to clear your browser cache
    • For Chrome desktop users: Hold down the shift key while clicking the reload button in your browser window. This will clear cache on the page.
    • For Chrome mobile users: Find instructions on how to clear mobile browser cache here.
    • For Safari desktop users: Hold down the shift key while clicking the reload button in your browser window. This will clear cache on the page.
    • For Safari mobile users: Find instructions on how to clear mobile browser cache here.

Confused about cache? Be sure to read our blog post which describes caching and its impact in greater detail.


Other issues that may impact the mobile version of your site:

  • If you have CDN (Content Delivery Network) active on your site via your host, where that reader is accessing your site from geographically can impact how quickly they see changes made to your site. With CDN, if a reader is further away from a server geographically, it may take longer for them to see updates.
  • Keep in mind that how often a user looks at your site (you included!) may influence the version they see — even more so if you have cache turned on. If you are seeing an old version of your site on mobile, but aren't getting reports from readers with the same issue, it's likely that the frequency with which you check your own site is influencing what you see.
  • Are all the issues related to Instagram? The Instagram browser is notorious for having aggressive cache. If you are getting messages like “I can’t see the new post” from followers trying to look at your site via an IG Story swipe up, or from clicking through your link in profile, this is related to the IG browser cache.
  • In some cases, it is possible the quality of your hosting plan overall may impact what is served to readers. With hosting, it is unfortunately true that you often get what you pay for. While it can be more expensive, we often recommend managed WP hosting, which can prevent a lot of issues related to hosting, whether this one, or load time, or a whole host of other things.