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We had unordered list for social media icons that had ahrefed images. We swapped them out for text links that used CSS background images.

If a user just loads the page, they'll get the old version. I thought HTTP status codes is suppose to be sent for the browser to reload using the new html and CSS images. Any ideas?

Of course the user can just reload the page but at first the list will look funny.

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CSS and JS resources are not checked by browsers every time. Browsers may check with an "if modified since" request and get back a "not modified" response, but they won't do it every time.

From a practical standpoint, it means that webmasters often version their CSS and JS for releases. See: What is an elegant way to force browsers to reload cached CSS/JS files?

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