I carefully read the "I Make Changes And Nothing Happens" section, and I've checked that this isn't a cache issue.
Basically, if I make changes to anything on my site other than writing a post -- if I change sidebars, for instance -- it will not show up, even after being saved, until I either add a post or edit an existing post. I can even edit a post that's in Draft status and doesn't even show up on the page, but I have to edit or write a post, or it just doesn't take.
Is this the way it's designed to behave? If it is, that's okay, but my understanding was that rebuilding wasn't supposed to be necessary, and this is even less convenient than rebuilding. I can't check how anything looks unless I go in and edit a post (by, for instance, removing a letter and retyping it), and then saving the post, and then viewing the site again.
I was thinking that if it was designed to work that way, it would be mentioned on the "I Make Changes And Nothing Happens" page. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong, or if there's a setting off or what, but basically, the WP Dashboard doesn't put through anything I do except when I edit posts. I feel like the answer should be obvious, but nothing on the "I Make Changes" page addressed it. Can anyone help?