Introduction to Web Push Notifications

Explore web push notifications to engage users with timely messages.


Web push notifications have become essential for web apps and sites to reengage users and provide timely updates. Push notifications allow sending messages from the server directly to users’ browsers without them needing to visit the site. This increases engagement by alerting subscribers of new content, sales, or other timely updates.

Benefits of push notifications

The main benefit of using push notifications is that they engage users even when they are not actively using your site. This leads to various advantages, such as:

  • Increased engagement: Notifications reach users when new content is available, driving higher engagement because users click through to see the updates.

  • Improved conversion: Timely notifications about sales, discounts, or deals can improve conversion rates by reminding users of opportunities.

  • Sense of urgency: Web push notifications create a sense of urgency that can encourage immediate action from users.

  • Reach inactive subscribers: Push notifications can reengage subscribers who haven’t visited your site in a while.

  • Quick updates: Push notifications quickly notify users of breaking news or urgent updates.

Overview of push notifications

Let’s discuss the following aspects of push notifications to get an overview of the feature:

  • Support: Push notifications are supported by all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. However, browser support varies, and some features may differ. Safari, for example, has partial support for push notifications.

  • Limitations: There are limitations on notification length and size of the data payload to optimize performance.

  • Delivery: The delivery of push notifications is best-effort. This implies that the browser handles queuing and displaying the notifications. Therefore, there are no guarantees that all the messages will be delivered immediately.

  • Channels: Multiple channels can be established to send different types of notifications to the same user. For example, an application can have separate channels for alerts, updates, and deals.

  • User control: Users have full control over accepting notifications, can disable them at any time, and usually have options to modify the notification settings.

The APIs used by push notifications

Push notifications mainly use the Notification and Push API.

The Notification API

The Notification API allows us to create and show notifications in the web app. We can customize the notification with many options, including the title and the body. The Notification API can be used via the JavaScript page and the service worker.

Here is a simple code to show notifications from the JavaScript page:

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