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Dharan Ganesan
Dharan Ganesan

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Day 83: Push Notifications

What Are Web Push Notifications? 🤔

Web push notifications are messages that are sent from a website to a user's web browser, even when the user is not actively using the website. They appear as small pop-up notifications on the user's screen and can carry a variety of information such as news updates, reminders, promotional offers, or just about anything a website wants to communicate to its users.

Web push notifications are an effective way to re-engage users and keep them informed about relevant content or events. They can be a powerful tool for driving user retention and increasing user engagement on your website.

How Do Web Push Notifications Work? 🛠️

The underlying technology behind web push notifications is a combination of service workers, the Push API, and Notification API. Here's a simplified step-by-step overview of how web push notifications work:

  1. User Subscription: When a user visits a website that offers web push notifications, they are prompted to subscribe. If the user agrees, their web browser generates a unique identifier and shares it with the website.

  2. Service Worker: A service worker is a script that runs in the background, separate from the web page. It's responsible for receiving push notifications and showing them to the user, even when the website is not open.

  3. Push Server: The website's server sends push notifications to a push server. This server then routes the notification to the user's browser using the unique identifier generated during subscription.

  4. Displaying the Notification: The service worker intercepts the push notification and displays it as a pop-up on the user's screen. The user can click on the notification to open the associated webpage.

Setting Up Web Push Notifications 🚀

To enable web push notifications on your website, you'll need to follow a few key steps:

  1. Service Worker Setup: You need to create a service worker script and register it in your website's code. This script will handle incoming push notifications.

  2. User Subscription Prompt: You should trigger a prompt to ask users if they want to receive push notifications. This usually happens through a native browser dialog.

  3. Subscription Management: You need to manage user subscriptions, keeping track of who has subscribed and handling any unsubscribes.

  4. Push Server Integration: Connect your website's server to a push notification service like Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) or Apple's Push Notification Service (APNs).

  5. Create and Send Notifications: Using your push server, you can send notifications to users based on their preferences or actions.

Crafting the Perfect Notification 📣

Creating effective push notifications is an art. Here are some tips to make them engaging and non-intrusive:

  • Personalization: Use user data to create personalized notifications. For instance, if you have an e-commerce site, send product recommendations based on a user's browsing history.

  • Clear and Concise: Keep your message short and to the point. Users should understand the value of the notification at a glance.

  • Timing: Send notifications at appropriate times. Avoid waking users up in the middle of the night.

  • Custom Icons and Images: Use attractive icons and images to make your notifications visually appealing.

  • CTA (Call to Action): Include a clear call to action. Whether it's "Read More," "Shop Now," or "View Offer," make it easy for users to take the next step.

// Check for browser support
if ('Notification' in window && 'serviceWorker' in navigator) {
  // Request permission for notifications
    .then(permission => {
      if (permission === 'granted') {
        // Register service worker
          .then(registration => {
            // Subscription
              userVisibleOnly: true,
              applicationServerKey: urlBase64ToUint8Array('YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY')
            .then(subscription => {
              // Send subscription to the server
            .catch(error => {
              console.error('Subscription failed:', error);
          .catch(error => {
            console.error('Service worker registration failed:', error);

// Sample code for showing a push notification
self.registration.showNotification('New Article Published', {
  body: 'Check out our latest article on web push notifications!',
  icon: 'notification-icon.png',
  actions: [
    { action: 'read', title: 'Read' },
    { action: 'dismiss', title: 'Dismiss' }
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Advanced Techniques 💡

Here are some advanced techniques to take your web push notifications to the next level

  • Segmentation: Divide your users into segments and send notifications that are highly relevant to each segment.

  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different notification formats and content to see what works best for your audience.

  • Automation: Set up automated notifications for events like abandoned shopping carts, birthdays, or special occasions.

  • User Feedback: Allow users to provide feedback on your notifications to continuously improve their quality.

Tips 🎯

  • Opt-In, Don't Intrude: Always ask for user consent to send notifications.

  • Frequency Matters: Avoid bombarding users with too many notifications.

  • Monitoring and Analytics: Keep an eye on delivery rates, click-through rates, and user feedback.

  • Fallback Strategy: Plan for users who have blocked notifications or are using browsers that don't support them.

  • Respect User Preferences: Allow users to easily unsubscribe from notifications.

Usage 🌐

Web push notifications have a wide range of real-world applications

  1. News Websites: Deliver breaking news, sports scores, or weather updates.

  2. E-commerce: Notify users of flash sales, abandoned shopping carts, and product restocks.

  3. Social Media: Inform users about friend requests, messages, or new followers.

  4. Blogs: Promote new articles, newsletters, or upcoming webinars.

  5. Travel Sites: Send flight updates, hotel booking confirmations, or travel recommendations.

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