“301 Redirects: The Horror That Cannot Be Uncached”

Sometimes all you need is a good article title to let you know what your problem is.

I’m putting in a number of 301 redirects for a client this morning, and one of them keeps breaking. Other redirects work fine, but this one stays broken—even when I try to delete the redirect rule entirely.

Okay, an effect that outlives its cause: This is a caching problem. But what kind of caching?

  • Caching by the redirect plugin itself, through some sort of hard-to-clear transient?
  • Server-side caching by the unknown web host?
  • Caching of some kind (…?) through WP Super Cache?

The article title above brought me to truth: My browser is caching these redirect rules, and it’s very, very hard to get it to stop.

Opening the same link in a new browser (actually, in an incognito window still within Chrome) was enough to confirm that the redirect works just fine. It’s only my default browser, on my device, that’s still seeing the old bad caching.

What a relief! Not bad for an article from 2010 whose contents themselves I barely read.

Image credit: anarchosyn

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