lucy24 - 7:55 pm on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
Whoops! We always forget this detail. If there is still room on the wall above your computer, post this:
clear your cache
It is one of the top three fixes for what ails you. It is also useful to have many browsers. Try something in a browser you don't use often, where the request can't possibly be cached.
The other very useful thing is to keep a complete test site on your own hard drive. Download and install MAMP or WAMP or, uh, Linux equivalent. I don't know about WAMP, but the people who coded MAMP made a mistake and set it up so you can install it like a normal Mac program and run it like a normal Mac program and never have to go near a command line ;) This is a sort of pseudo-server that runs off your own hard drive, so links with leading or trailing / will work just like on the "live" site.
Now since this is your own "server" you can change the config file-- but you don't want to. (That is both a prescriptive and a descriptive statement :) ) What you want to do instead is make an htaccess file-- with leading . dot --and put it in the directory where your site's local files live. (WAIT! Before you do this, make sure you know how to make files with leading . visible. Otherwise you may not be able to find the htaccess later.) This will work just like a "real" htaccess except that you need to change one thing. Anywhere that your htaccess would normally give the full http://www.example.com/ your WAMP version must say only / so the redirect stays on your own computer.
One more thing you can do in htaccess. You can do this in MAMP/WAMP and you can also do it on a test site if you've got one; you can't do it on your real site. Add these lines:
ExpiresByType text/html "access"
ExpiresByType text/php "access"
If your browser is obedient, it will now make a fresh request every time, instead of caching pages. So you don't have to hit the Reload button all the time, or empty the cache every two minutes.