Verizon DSL as interconnectivity ISP: How to get around their caching web pages

Posted on 2006-10-30
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
As a web designer, i have about a half dozen clients who use Verizon DSL to connect to the web.
One of my workflow techniques is to design in real time on the phone with the client, uploading edits and they Refresh/Reload to see the updates.  (and even aside from this "interactive/instant" design process, i have one client that wants to guarantee that other people in the world with Verizon will see his latest content [a valid point, altho low probability that someone else in that leg of the Verizon network would view the old cached copy])

Unfortunately, consistently for the past several years since i started working with clients who have Verizon, Verizon caches the web content and i have to have them change the URL in order to see the updated results.  (URL change means using one of several techniques to fool Verizon not to use the cached page:  "incrementing" the filename, or changing the domain, using the apache ~user syntax to fool verizon (at my servers apache resolves back to the intended file to be served up)).   In addition i'd rather not change the TTL for the DNS.

Verizon is the only connectivity ISP that i have this problem with, amongst the many ISPs that my clients use across the country.
Verizon refuses to talk with me since i'm not their client, and i think it's tacky to do a con call to take up my client's time to wait to speak with a tech support person who probably will deny the situation, etc.

So, my question is:  does anyone have an alternate workaround?

(I'm also considering using a tool like VNC to let the client see my live screen; however, i have one client who is incredibly difficult to deal with and blames the Refresh/Relad on me and doesn't want to deal with anything other than his web browser)

Question by:willsherwood
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

pjtemplin earned 250 total points
ID: 17839066
Set the Expire or Cache headers in the pages?  
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

moorhouselondon earned 250 total points
ID: 17875969
Use your webspace to prototype their site, (web forwarding from Verizon) using cloaking to hide the actual url, and then move it to their server once tested.  The client will have a long-term problem with Verizon#, so setting things up like this might convince them to use Verizon for their connection, but space on a different provider for their website.

#If they need to make a change in a hurry, months down the line, then they will have people viewing the old page for an undesirable period after this.

Author Comment

ID: 17877742
Sorry i wasn't clear, the hosting is on my servers.
The problem is that Verizon connectivity ISP caches static web pages (i assume for anyone/everyone viewing ) without responding to REFRESH/RELOAD (F5 in most browsers).  I believe this is called a proxy cache.  

But even if i mapped your suggestion above, the problem is that no matter what web space, they won't see  updates.
And for some picky clients, i can literally have 20-30 refreshes in a 1-2 hours design session over the phone.

I'll be trying the header Expires header tag to use FOR THE PERIOD DURING the weeks when we are designing like this.

I was hoping someone would have an idea maybe like a way to use https://  to trick Verizon into not using its cache.
(note that this particular client that triggered my asking the question (finally) is not on a server with SSL however)
Or I'll also try the next time to have her tag on an innocuous/irrelevant    ?x=1   or other parameter (that will be ignored by apache) that will foil Verizon's cache.

thanks all

Author Comment

ID: 18391655
I've started naming the html pages with a PHP extension (even tho on these pages, i don't use any PHP code).
Verizon seems not to cache these.
I've always wondered why people named static/nocode pages this way.


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