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A purge, also known as a cache purge (but not to be confused with your local client-side cache that your browser has for assets like CSS), refers to the action of using the purge action on a page (?action=purge), either directly or via some tool using the MediaWiki API.

When & why should you purge a page?

Purging a page updates the server's visual display of the page. It does not accomplish the same thing as a null edit, and if you need to update both displayed and stored data at the same time, you may have to perform both actions.

Here are some example scenarios when you would want to purge a page:

  • You have a page called Items that queries a Cargo table also called Items, displaying a wikitable with one row per item in the game (there are only 70 items in this game right now so this is a reasonable thing to do). The devs release a patch adding 30 new items, and you create all the needed pages. But Items (the page) isn't updated! Oh no! You can purge the page to fix this.
  • You redesign your Quote template from scratch, so that it now uses brand-new CSS classes. You remember to Ctrl+F5 your browser to update your client cache, but the change still isn't applying. You right-click the quote and open the Element Inspector by clicking "Inspect," and you see it's still using the old classes! Oh no! You can purge the page to update its HTML to use the new version of the template and fix this.
  • You redesign your |format=template template in a Cargo query to show an image thumbnail next to the text in the Name column. Since file names are deterministic based on item name (e.g. [[File:Item {{{Name|}}}.png]]), you don't need to adjust any stored data or the query itself. But, the change still isn't applying. Oh no! You can purge the page to fix this.

How to purge a page?

  • The method that you can use on any wiki is to append ?action=purge to the URL and press enter. The wiki will then either purge the page immediately or prompt you for confirmation; if it prompts you, accept the prompt and the action will go through.
  • You can also visit Special:Purge and type or paste in the name of the page you want to purge.
  • If you have Cargo installed, you will automatically get a button in the "More" dropdown menu that says "Purge cache." You can click this to perform a cache purge on that page.
  • You can also use the Purge gadget.
  • AutoWikiBrowser does not support purging pages, unless you use a plugin.
  • In PyWikiBot, you can use python3 pwb.py touch -purge -transcludes:"Template:MyTemplate". Notice that this is the same script as blank editing, but with the -purge parameter attached to it.
  • You can write your own Python script using mwcleric or mwclient, both available on PyPI.

See also