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Dharan Ganesan
Dharan Ganesan

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Day 82: Service Worker

What is a Service Worker?

A Service Worker is a JavaScript file that runs separately from the main browser thread, acting as a programmable network proxy. It intercepts and manages network requests, allowing for control over how resources are cached and served. It enables offline access to previously visited web pages by storing cacheable resources and handling network requests even when the user is offline. 👩‍💻


Understanding the lifecycle of a Service Worker is crucial for effective implementation:

  1. Registration: A Service Worker is registered in the main JavaScript file using navigator.serviceWorker.register('serviceworker.js').
  2. Installation: The Service Worker is installed and triggers the install event, allowing pre-caching of essential resources.
  3. Activation: Once installed, it goes through the activation phase, and the activate event is triggered, allowing for cleanup of old caches.
  4. Fetch Events: The Service Worker intercepts network requests through the fetch event, enabling dynamic caching and responses.
  5. Update: Periodically, the Service Worker will check for updates and go through the installation and activation process again.

Implementing a Service Worker:

Let's create a simple Service Worker to cache resources and serve them when offline.

// sw.js (Service Worker file)

const CACHE_NAME = 'my-site-cache-v1';
const urlsToCache = [
  // Add other assets to cache

self.addEventListener('install', event => {
  // Perform install steps
      .then(cache => {
        console.log('Opened cache');
        return cache.addAll(urlsToCache);

self.addEventListener('fetch', event => {
      .then(response => {
        // Cache hit - return response
        if (response) {
          return response;
        // Clone the request for use
        const fetchRequest = event.request.clone();

        return fetch(fetchRequest).then(response => {
          if (!response || response.status !== 200 || response.type !== 'basic') {
            return response;
          const responseToCache = response.clone();

            .then(cache => {
              cache.put(event.request, responseToCache);
          return response;

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  1. Cache Strategies: Implement various caching strategies like Cache First, Network First, or Stale-While-Revalidate to optimize performance based on resource types.
  2. Precaching Essential Assets: Pre-cache essential resources during the installation phase to ensure they're available offline.
  3. Cache Versioning: Utilize cache versioning to manage updates effectively and avoid serving outdated content.
  4. Background Sync: Use the Background Sync API with Service Workers to perform tasks, such as sending data to the server when the user's device comes back online.

Use Cases

  1. Offline Access: Provide offline capabilities for web applications, ensuring users can access content even without an internet connection.
  2. Improved Performance: Implement caching strategies to enhance performance by serving cached resources quickly.
  3. Push Notifications: Enable push notification capabilities, engaging users even when they're not actively using the website.

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