Cache Cleaner

Getting Started

Introduction

In this video we'll take a look at what Cache Cleaner is, and how you can use it in your Joomla website.

Cache Cleaner allows us to clean the Joomla cache fast and easily via a link in the Administrator panel. And not only that.

Cache Cleaner can also do a Global Check-in...
empty the temp folder...
And with the Pro Version, we can even empty custom folders, database tables, server cache... and more! All, with just 1 click.
Now, we'll take a look at the Free version of Cache Cleaner. We will get into the Pro version in the next video.

To use Cache Cleaner we will - of course - need to install it first.
You can view the Cache Cleaner installation video to see how to install it.

After installing Cache Cleaner, we can find the plugin and its settings here in the plugin manager.

As you can see, we now have the latest version of Cache Cleaner, which at the moment is version 7.0.0.
And what you see here is a Joomla 3.9.5 setup.
If you are using newer versions, things might look a bit different.

Core Cache Cleaning

When using caching in Joomla, we will need to clear the cache after making changes to the website.

Normally, this means having to navigate away from the edit page.
Go to the Joomla Cache Manager.
Delete all cache here.
And then going back to the page you were on.

This can be annoying and requires a lot of clicks and waiting time.

With Cache Cleaner, this can be done from any page at any time, and with just one click!

Administrator Quick Link

After installing Cache Cleaner, on any administrator page we can see a "Clean Cache" link in the bottom status bar here.
Let's click it.

That's it! The cache has been cleaned. It's that simple.

Cache Cleaner will show a progress bar at the top of the screen. When the cache is successfully cleaned, it will turn green.

The message also shows the total size of the cache and files that have been cleaned.

If for any reason you don't want the size to show, you can turn it off in the "Advanced" tab of the plugin settings.

As you might have noticed, Cache Cleaner doesn't even reload the page. This means we can literally clear the cache at any time, even while editing an article, without leaving the page.
This is because cache is magically cleaned in the background using ajax.

Toolbar Button

Alternatively, we can also choose to use a button in the Toolbar position of the backend.
This will first need to be enabled via the system plugin settings, in the "How to clean it" tab.

Once the setting is enabled, now in the toolbar of any administrator page we can also also see a "Clean Cache" button.

This does the same exact thing as the link in the status bar. You can use whichever you find the easiest!

What you can clean

And Cache Cleane is not just about ease-of-use. It also gives us the ability to clear a lot more additional stuff!

In the Cache Cleaner system plugin settings, we find the full list of things we can clear, in the "What to Clean" tab. And we can enable or disable each of them.

Joomla Cache

The cleaning of the Joomla cache is, of course, enabled by default. This includes the Global Configuration Cache, the Page Cache, expired cache, and the cache used for checking updates.

We can also make Cache Cleaner do a Global Check-In to unlock any checked-out items.

Temp Folder

And we can even select to automatically empty the Joomla temp folder during the process.

In the "Advanced" tab, we have an "Ignore Files/Folders" setting. This can be used to specify any file that we don't want to be removed from the folder.
We can enter one path per line, and the path should be relative to the root of the site.

Pro Version

The Pro version allows us to set the minimum age - in minutes - of the files to delete.

And, as you can see, the Pro version offers even more features.
It allows to:

  • Empty custom folders,
  • Database tables,
  • Server cache,
  • External CDN cache,
  • 3rd party cache,
  • and more...

We will get into these in the next video.

How to clean it

Now, we can see there is an option to enable certain features "Only via button".
Why?
Well, because there are also other ways to trigger the Cache Cleaning process.

Let's switch to the "How to clean it" tab of the settings.

We've already talked about the the most straightforward way of clearing the cache - using the quick link or button in the Administrator panel.
Here, we can also customise the display and text of the quick link.

Frontend Secret URL

But, believe it or not, we can even clean the cache without having to log into the administrator!

This is thanks to the "Frontend Secret URL" feature.

Here, we can define a secret word. We can then simply use this word in any frontend URL, to clean the cache directly from the frontend.

For example, let's set the secret word to: "magic".

Now, from the frontend of the site, we can simply add a "cleancache" parameter to the URL. A parameter is added by prepending it with a question mark. And followed by an equal sign. After the equal sign, we place our secret word, "magic".

And there we go. The cache has been cleaned. Magic indeed!

A message will show on top, confirming that cache has been cleared successfully.

If for any reason you don't want the success message to show, you can turn it off here in the settings.

Cron Jobs

This secret URL can be accessed at any time. So you could also set this URL to automatically clear the cache via a server Cron Job, if you'd like.

You can find more information about this in the Cache Cleaner documentation.

Automatic Cleaning

But don't worry if you don't know how to set that up.

Cache Cleaner already comes with the ability to clear the cache automatically.

Here in the settings, we can set to clear the cache whenever we save an article or apply something.

We can choose to enable this feature on the administrator... and in the frontend.

Here we see a list of tasks that will trigger the cache cleaning process.
By default Cache Cleaner will already be triggered when saving items, publishing or unpublishing items and when archiving, trashing or deleting items.
But you can add extra tasks you want here.

So after enabling this setting... When we save something, like this article, it will automatically clear the cache and whatever else we've set up to be cleaned.
So this also works when saving modules or anything else in Joomla.

If you don't want the success message to show every time, you can turn it off here.

Pro version

With the Pro version of Cache Cleaner, we can even set to clear the cache automatically at preset intervals.

In the next video we will get into the extra features that come with the Pro version of Cache Cleaner.

Recap

So just to recap.

We have seen how easy it can be to clear the cache using the quick link in the Administrator panel.

We looked at the additional things that can be cleaned or emptied.

And we have seen different methods to trigger the Cache Cleaning process, such as the Frontend Secret URL...

And the automatic cleaning.

Now we're excited to see what the Pro version can do!
Let's head over to the next video that will cover the Pro version.

Or, if you need, first watch the installation video to see how easy it is to get Cache Cleaner installed.