Sends purge request to Varnish cache upon entry submission/deletion
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Purge is an extension for ExpressionEngine 2 that sends a purge request to the Varnish cache upon entry submission/deletion. There is also an accessory option to manually send the request.


I'd set the TTL of the objects in my Varnish cache to like a week if I could. The only problem is when I or the client needs to update the site, the changes are preferred to show up immediately. So I needed a way to automatically purge the cache whenever an entry is submitted, edited or deleted. And then Purge was born.


Add the "purge" folder inside your system/expressionengine/third_party directory, and then install the extension and accessory.

Prepare Varnish

Purge assumes your Varnish cache is accessible at $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] through port 80. To change these settings, edit purge/helpers/varnish_helper.php (this may be added to a Settings screen in a later update). Purge will send an EE_PURGE request to Varnish. To get Varnish reacting to this request, add this to your VCL file in vcl_recv:

if (req.request == "PURGE") {
    ban("req.url ~ "+req.url);
    error 200 "Purged";

The above example assumes you want to purge everything under the domain. For more examples on how to purge specific objects, see this nice blog post.

For now, Purge cannot decide which parts of a site need updating and which can stay the same, nor will it probably ever unless EE provides this data. So for now, it's best to purge the entire site.

Config Variables

Varnish will attempt to figure out the host name and port to send the purge request to. If this fails for some reason or you want to specify it on your own, you can set it via these config variables:

$config['varnish_site_url'] = ''; //can also use ips. Note this can also be an array as mentioned below.
$config['varnish_port'] = 80;

varnish_site_url can also be an array for purging multiple URLs.

Control panel

If you click into modules > Purge you can now set URL patterns to purge when entries are saved in different channels.


  • 1.1.1 - March 13, 2015
    • Added support for MSM for URLs patterns in Purge Addon Admin settings. Can specify manual URLs in accessory.
  • 1.1 - February 13, 2015
    • Changed addon to only purge via url patterns when entries are saved. All cache can still be purged using the accessory.
  • 1.0.4 - March 17, 2014
    • Fixing issue #11 where there were bugs with purging multiple Varnish servers and purging by IP address.
  • 1.0.3 - November 2, 2013
    • Fixing issue #8 where the Purge accessory wasn't working for sites using sessions in the control panel.
  • 1.0.2 - November 7, 2012
    • Fixing issue #6 where output from purge request may be sent to the browser.
  • 1.0.1 - May 22, 2012
    • Added ability for multiple URLs to be purged.
    • Added varnish_site_url and varnish_port config overrides.
  • 1.0 - December 12, 2011
    • Initial release!

Licensed Under: MIT