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Question About Cache
Problem with page updates..please help
cordless kettle

 7:56 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi, just a quick question which has got me puzzled. I hope someone will be kind enought to help me out with what I am sure will be a simple problem.

I have a site which sells widgets. Occasionally, I change the type of widgets which I sell. The problem is that on the odd occasion I get an order for something which isn't on the website anymore (i.e. an old style widget). For example, 1 month ago I was sell wedget 1 (W1), however, I sold them all and so have changed the item description to widget 2 (W2).

The mischief lies here...
People order something from pages which don't (or shouldn't) exist anymore.

Is this something to do with cache?
Should I have a tag of some discription in the 'Head' section of all my pages?

Any advice would be most welcome...


JAB Creations

 8:11 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Simple, blacklist older browsers. We as designers are partially responsable for stopping problems from occuring. A user can only go so far. You and I are aware that older browsers can cause trouble. In the case where we are unable to really and effectively do anything, we must force the client to change or update their browser.

You need to test browsers and decide if clientside scripting will do. There are a large array of things you can try but the goal remains the same, keeping the user from thinking something is that isn't.

An apache redirect based on the UA would be most effective if you can figure out how to do that.


 9:31 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not really clear on how the age of the browser might be a factor here. But any browser could be used to Save The Page - and one month later an order can be placed from that saved page. Even if you don't allow caching, this is a scenario I see come up from time to time.

cordless kettle

 9:54 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was a little confused by JAB's comments - although I attribute it more to my lack of knowledge that anything else.

Tedster, would you recommend that I disallow cache on my product pages or is such a move liable to have a negative effect on search engine placement.

I presume that it will have a substantial effect on bandwidth used per month!


 10:06 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whatever you use to process orders should be able inform the customer that item is no longer for sale.

cordless kettle

 10:21 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Afraid not. I just use the Paypal buttom system. Too small to warrant paying for professional shopping cart software at the moment.


 11:37 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

would you recommend that I disallow cache on my product pages or is such a move liable to have a negative effect on search engine placement

If you know a product is likely to change in the near future, you can try using a full Pragma no-cache treatment. You should know in a short time if that's going to create a bandwidth problem for your hosting contract. But that still won't stop the saved pages problem.

I would say definitely keep product pages with time sensitive prices and products out of the Google cache. And no, that won't affect search ranking. Time sensitive pricing and prodcut offers prices are one very common reason not to allow the Google cache.

Bottom line, no matter what, you will always have a few "sales" that you need to reverse because you can no longer fulfill them - the product is gone for example.

cordless kettle

 6:11 am on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info. It is interesting to hear that this is a general problem -as opposed to one caused my my lack of knowledge (learning fast, hopefully).

I'll try the 'no cache' option, although I suppose the best idea is just to try to keep more than a few of each item for sale.

This reminds me of an incident when I was a chef many moons ago. Evening came and the waiter responsible for organising menus had about 5 different menus to give out to customers. Not long before I was getting orders for food which I did not even have. Apparently, he had not being throwing out old menus, so for example, table 1 had the menu from Tuesday, table 2 had the menu from Friday, table 3 had...etc.


 8:41 am on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like the resemblence to the real world.

It happens on some of my pages too, except a few of my sites have a lot of images so it would be a bad idea not to cache.

However, I'm redesigning my pages soon so there will be less images.

Out of curiosity though, is there any way to not cache certain parts of a page? For example, let the browser cache from the first head command, to the end of the first table, then prevent it from caching the next two tables, but allowing it to cache the rest of the page? In short, preventing it caching a certain part of the script?

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