Running into a particularly menacing issue on one of our client's live servers. They have 2 facing servers in the farm (client facing), running as a balanced farm. We deploy our changes to FACING-01 and have replication to FACING-02 to replicate all the SharePoint specific changes, not web.config ans such.

Problem is, we're deploying changes to CSS files through SharePoint Designer onto FACING-01 which resolves their address http://www.clientweb.co.za, but when browsing the site on the given URL the changes do not pull through.

I've added a script to the root to show the name of the server we're browsing (http://www.clientweb.co.za/server.asp) to make sure that we're on FACING-01 which always seem to be the case, but browsing the CSS files pulls through a previous version.

We assessed output cache enabled in SharePoint and disabled it, did an IIS reset but still nothing. I tried appending ?ver=1 to the style links on our master page to force a refresh but still nothing. All code changes appear as expected, it's just Style Sheets.

Should we connect to http://www.clientweb.co.za/ through SharePoint Designer instead of using the server name (FACING-01)? Might this make a difference?


Thank you for all the pointers guys, you helped me in the right direction. In the end, it turned out to be an XSL file used to style a CQWP that was causing, what appeared to be caching, in regards to the CSS. Someone in the development team CTRL-C + CTRL-V the CSS link tags meant for the Master page, into the XSL as they where both open in SP-D. An honest mistake.



  • 1
    Have you checked that the file is checked in and published? And did you clear your browser cache?
    – Andy Burns
    Aug 31, 2011 at 12:30
  • Hi Andy, indeed. I forgot to mention. We did the basic caching checks before coming to StackExchange. I'm at a loss here, I completely removed the CSS file from within SharePoint Designer so the file physically does not exist, still brings back the previous styling. We've cleared the cache on the farm, done IIS resets and made sure that Output Cache in SP is disabled, still nothing? I'm assuming something environment related is at fault?
    – JadedEric
    Aug 31, 2011 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


A few things to check.

  1. I would access the site through fiddler2 to see where it's pulling the css from and to see if it's pulling a live or cached version to your browser.

  2. I would verify that blob caching is turned off.

  3. Just like Andy said, make 100% sure it's checked in and published. You might have to do this through SP designer and not the web interface.

Since you are using SP Designer, it sounds like you are storing the CSS as files in a sharepoint library, thus are stored in blobs in the DB. But from the way you decribed publishing files to one server and then replicating them to another, it sounds like you could be publishing the files to the _layouts folder, which if that's the case, maybe you should think about packaging it as a WSP, so you don't have to the replication yourself.

Can you clarify where you are storing the CSS in SharePoint?

  • Hi Steve. I'm storing the CSS through SharePoint Designer, thus a blob. Where do we check blob caching, excuse the ignorance as I'm very new to SharePoint. The files are more definately published. We tried to rename the CSS file and in the master pages as well, still the same CSS file is being referenced. I'm assuming the problem is replication related, but cannot prove this as the servers have no fail-over (bringing down FACING-01 does not resolve to FACING-02).
    – JadedEric
    Aug 31, 2011 at 13:33
  • Are facing-01 and facing-02 in the same sharePoint farm? As in, when you are in central admin, manage servers in this farm, both of those are listed??? Aug 31, 2011 at 13:38
  • Here's a link that talks about configuration blob cache: blogs.msdn.com/b/selvagan/archive/2008/12/11/… Aug 31, 2011 at 13:39

You might want to check your load balancer and any other appliances in the middle as most of those do have caching options as well and .CSS files are almost always on the cache list.

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