Web push notifications offer a new way for people to subscribe to your site updates. What’s good in this kind of service is that the readers do not need to give away any of their personal information like email address, which makes them feel safe and comfortable.
There are two things needed to make web push notifications for a WordPress site – a third-party push notification service, and a web browser that supports push notifications. The first web browser announcing support for push notifications is Safari, and then Google Chrome. Firefox will be in the list soon.
When notifications are turned on, your site visitors will see a browser prompt asking whether they allow you to send updates. Those who choose “Allow” will start receiving push notifications when new posts are published or you manually send a notification, and those clicking on “Don’t allow” will not opt in.
Since web push notifications are good for getting traffic and visitor engagement as well as increasing the conversion rate, in below we will show you how to add this function to your site by using Roost, an easy-to-use third-party service which supports both Chrome and Safari.
Roost is an all-in-one solution for setting up web push notifications. It is well integrated with multiple CMSs including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and comes with a bundle of helpful features. Below are the good reasons for using it.
- Roost supports on-page and off-page notifications for both desktops and mobile devices.
- You can choose to send messages automatically or manually.
- It offers API access and RSS integration.
- It is compatible with MailChimp.
The only concern is that Roost was free but it is now a paid solution. The Starter plan, which allows 10,000 push notifications and the use on one domain, is priced at $29/mo. If you want more messages and some other advanced features like notification scheduling and A/B testing, you can contact the sales team to buy a custom plan.
Luckily, now Roost is offering a 30-day free trial of the Starter plan, so you can have a try at first to see whether it is worth the money.
Make Web Push Notifications for WordPress with Roost
It is easy to integrate and use Roost, and the step-by-step guide is in below.
Step 1: Open a Roost account
First of all, go to Roost official site and click on the “Sign Up” button to create a new account. The signup form is simple, since you only need to enter your email address and a password.
When the account is created successfully, you will be redirected to the dashboard where you can make some custom settings, manage notifications, and see the subscribers.
Step 2: Configure Roost for your WordPress site
Now you need to add your site to Roost by clicking on the Settings menu and then open the General Settings tab. Fill in your site name, upload the site logo, and then click on the “Save Changes” button. Depending on your preference, you can also turn on the welcome notification though we do not suggest doing so.
Step 3: Configure the opt-in settings
Roost uses a bell icon to show notifications to users, and you can customize the appearance of the bell as you like with the available options under the Opt-In tab. Here you can:
- Choose to show the bell or not.
- Change the prompt behavior.
- Select your own color of the bell and the unread count.
- Make the notifications sharable.
You can see a preview of the bell on the right side of the page, and once you have finished the settings, save the changes.
Step 4: Add Roost to your WordPress site
Now, log into your WordPress site, navigate to Plugins > Add New, search for Roost Web Push, and then install the plugin. Upon activation, you will find a Roost Web Push menu is added to the admin dashboard.
You should click on the menu and sign into Roost with your account.
Then you will see a dashboard with statistics like total subscribers, total notifications sent and total notifications read. You can also see daily, weekly and monthly reports for subscribers, reads, notifications and unsubscribes.
Step 5: Change the plugin settings
Opening the Settings tab, you will see a number of extra settings of the plugin which allow you to:
- Set up auto push, so that a push notification is sent every time a new post is published. If you publish multiple posts every day, we recommend not turning auto push on as too many notifications can annoy your readers. Also, you can exclude certain categories from auto push.
- Use the featured image of the new post as a custom image.
- Decide when visitors are prompted with notifications. If you want to focus on the target audience, we suggest you send the opt-in notification only for visitors who have visited your site for at least 5 times.
Step 6: Send your first push notification
As everything is ready, you can now send out the first notification by opening the Send a notification tab. There is nothing complicated because you only need to enter a notification text and the post URL. The notification text can be exactly your post title. At last, click on the “Send notification” button to get the job done.
If you have turned auto push on, just ignore this step.
Later, you can come back to the dashboard to see the detailed reports.