Safari loading old pages?

If I’m understanding your issue right, have you tried pulling the page down to reload it? Apple added that to Safari in some iOS release in the last year or three.

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No I haven’t tried that - I didn’t know about that feature but reloading won’t help. I have an iPad Pro 10.5 running iPadOS 15.6.

I don’t know exactly when this problem started, but I believe less than a year ago. Most web pages aren’t affected but very many are. So it must be related to their HTML although even the affected websites often work correctly. When they don’t, what happens is: I go to the website and click on a link (possibly always a link in the website domain) and the linked to page seems to start to load but it’s immediately interrupted and the original page reloads instead (or a recently visited page in that domain loads out of nowhere). So I have to keep clicking, possibly after navigating back to the original page also repeatedly. Eventually, I’ll get to where I wanted to go. This has happened at least a thousand times in Safari.

Another bad thing that happens, although far less frequently, is when I enter text in the address bar and hit enter (or go), nothing happens. Usually it’s a search string I put in there and in any event, I’m forced to copy my entry and select a search engine (like Brave) so I can reenter the text and have it work. My default search engine is set to Ecosia which could be part of the problem. I was going to change it but the search engine I wanted isn’t an option so so far I haven’t tried something else.

I just tried the pulling down reload (that you mentioned) a couple times. It seems like the page content has something to do with whether it works or not. If one can easily accidentally cause a reload with this gesture, then I think it’s a bad idea (and I often don’t want a reload when I haven’t yet seen yesterday’s links). I’ll now find out how useful it is. It might be helpful since they recently jammed a puzzle piece control right next to the reload control - and I hit the puzzle piece plenty when I don’t intend to. But what’s really bad is when you try to position in the address bar and instead get the (three) window position selector control. This drives me mad.

Browsers should tell you when a existing page has just been reloaded because unless you selected reload, you can’t be sure of anything - which forces you to reload when you might not need to. A reload-complete status indicator could display for 10 seconds - or a page-was-updated status indicator (when the page partially updated itself) could similarly display for 10 seconds. Why hasn’t at least one industrious programmer implemented this yet to put on their resume?