Web Push FAQs

Created by NotifyVisitors Team, Modified on Wed, 05 Jul 2023 at 04:07 AM by NotifyVisitors Team

In this article we answer the frequently asked questions regarding the NotifyVisitors Web Push Notifications.

What are the requirements to employ Web Push

iOS specific requirements

  • Device must be running iOS 16.4 or newer
  • Website must have the requirement to be considered a Web App
  • Web App must have a manifest, normally referred to as a manifest.json
  • The end-user must have saved the website to the device’s home screen as a Web App
  • The end-user must have opened the Web App that is saved on the device's home screen
  • Users must be prompted as usual for the notification permissions after opening the Web App

Browser requirements

  • Push API
  • Notification API
  • ServiceWorker API
  • The web browser cannot employ the incognito mode
  • The user must accept the notification permission prompt
  • The web browser must be able to connect to its push server
  • The web browser can make API calls to notifyvisitors.com
  • The browser’s site data must not be cleared or else the web push will become unsubscribed

Requirements in case the NotifyVisitors subdomain is not in use

  • Website should be HTTPS and the browser must consider it secure
  • The website must be a registered cert or part of the system's root certificates
  • The requisite service worker as per the NotifyVisitors setup document should be added
  • In case the website already has a root service worker then the ‘Customizing Your Service Worker Integration’ section of the ‘NotifyVisitors Service Worker’ article must be followed

Note

Push notifications are a powerful means of advertising for any brand since they appear on the receivers’ device screen even when they are not actively surfing the brand’s website or using the brand’s application.

Additionally, push notifications can be sent on multiple platforms such as desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and even on wearables like smart watches. Subscribers can be anywhere on their browser and still receive notifications as long as they’re online and have their browsers running.

- Chrome Developer Relations Blog

What platforms support Web Push notifications

Web Push is supported on all major desktop and mobile platforms viz. Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. It is also supported by all major browsers namely Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Opera.

This widespread support of web push makes it an effective and standardized channel for organizations to communicate with their customers. Web Push needs to be implemented only once and it works smoothly across all browsers and operating systems.

Browser support by operating system

BROWSER

MICROSOFT WINDOWS

ANDROID

macOS

iOS

Google Chrome

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Mozilla Firefox

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Safari

No

No

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Edge

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Opera

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Samsung Internet

No

Yes

No

No

Yandex

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

UC Browser

Yes

Yes

No

No

Internet Explorer

No

No

No

No

DuckDuckGo

No

No

No

No

Note

Incognito Mode, Private Browsing Mode, and Guest Browser Mode do not support Web Push.

In order to use web push on iOS devices, Apple Inc. requires users to first save the website to their devices’ home screen as a web app.

Internet Explorer no longer receives feature updates since Microsoft has switched browser development to the Edge platform.

Support by browser version

BROWSER

MINIMUM VERSION

Apple Safari

Safari 10+ on macOS

Safari 16.4+ on iOS and iPadOS 16.4+

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox v47+
Firefox ESR versions do not support web push notifications.
Firefox v44+ is when web push notifications started being supported, but it uses an older payload that is no longer supported by NotifyVisitors. More information regarding this is available here. In case you are testing support in this particular browser, visit this webpage and let us know if you spot any supported: false or errors.

Google Chrome

Chrome v50+
Chrome v42 is when web push notifications started being supported, but it uses an older payload that is no longer supported by NotifyVisitors. More information regarding this is available here.

How do I change my domain

Browsers have set up web push in a manner that ties subscribers to a specific domain or website URL.

Browsers do not allow subscribers to switch to other domains or URLs for security purposes and because of the browser’s same origin policy

In case you come across any claims that you can transfer subscribers from one site origin to another then this means that the subscribers are not tied to your site origin / domain / URL.

Switching domains means changing from:

  • HTTP to HTTPS
  • www.yoursite.com to a non-www version
  • domain1.com to domain2.com or sub_domain1.com to sub_domain2.com

In case you changed your site’s origin then there exists an option:

Set up a new NotifyVisitors account

Set up a new NotifyVisitors Account and have your users subscribe to the new site origin or domain associated with the new Account. You won’t be able to import subscribers from one origin to another. You can however, continue sending push notifications to your subscribers on the old origin i.e. the domain associated with your previous NotifyVisitors Account, but your users will need to re-subscribe to the new origin in order to receive push notifications from the new domain.

The following steps are recommended for the purpose of migration:

  1. Set up a new NotifyVisitors Brand ID for the new site domain.
  2. Continue sending push notifications from the old NotifyVisitors Account which has the old site domain associated with it, but in the ‘Launch URL’ of the notifications, use the new site domain instead of the old one.
  3. After two weeks to two months (depending on the number of notifications you send per day and the number of subscribers you get on the new origin) you can stop sending from the old NotifyVisitors Account and use only the new NotifyVisitors Account.
  • For instance, in case you send more than one notification per day, then two weeks should be enough time to get your users to subscribe to the new domain. However, in case you send two or more notifications per week, then two months should be enough time.
  • If you send the same message from the old NotifyVisitors Account as well as the new NotifyVisitors Account, any subscribers under both will receive duplicate messages. This is the reason why timeframes are recommended.
  1. You can send a couple of alert messages such as "We have moved, click here to visit our new website to subscribe again and stay updated". This will help notify people that they may not receive push from your website if they don't return to resubscribe. As a best practice, send such alerts at the beginning of the move and send the final message from the app. Kindly note that you might lose subscribers in the short term since all websites and user-bases are distinct.

Can I set up multiple websites with a single NotifyVisitors account

Web Browsers implement web push in a way that works best exclusively with one main domain/origin/URL. Separate origins of a site cannot be merged to one NotifyVisitors Account.

For instance, web browsers won’t allow both https://manage.yoursite.com and https://www.yoursite.com to collect the same subscribers. Due to this browser limitation, it is not possible to unify multiple origins into a single NotifyVisitors Account. This inturn can cause issues with duplicate notifications, and a poor user experience.

Generally, your options would be to subscribe users on only one origin. In case you have subdomains or landing pages using multiple origins, you can redirect users to the ‘main’ origin to subscribe and subsequently redirect them back to the other origin to continue browsing.

Can I transfer subscribers from one site to another

In case you change your website's origin, your users will need to subscribe to that new domain. Kindly check the ‘How Do I Change My Domain’ section for details.

What if my website supports multiple languages

The main notification permission prompt will be in the English language. However, notifications can be configured in different languages as per the URL.

In case your website supports multiple languages through subdomains such as https://en.yoursite.com, then these would be separate origins and would require multiple NotifyVisitors Accounts. Each origin will need its own NotifyVisitors Brand ID.

Can I have multiple NotifyVisitors accounts for the same domain

Although, you can have multiple NotifyVisitors Accounts using the same domain / origin, it is not recommended.

Each NotifyVisitors Account creates unique VAPID keys for the Site Origin linked to the Account’s Brand ID. VAPID keys expedite the subscription process to the subscriber's browser and to your site origin.

If you add multiple Brand IDs to the same site origin, NotifyVisitors will auto-resubscribe the user to the last visited Brand ID. So you will see subscribers bounce back and forth between Brand IDs in case they are able to visit web pages associated with different Brand IDs.

For instance, in case users subscribed to https://yoursite.com/home using ‘Brand_ID_1’, then visited https://yoursite.com/products using ‘Brand_ID_2’, NotifyVisitors will unsubscribe them from ‘Brand_ID_1’ and subsequently auto-subscribe them to ‘Brand_ID_2’. You will notice many unsubscribed devices on each account, as users bounce between them.

What if my website is in a subfolder

Web push is configured at the origin level.

If your website is hosted in a subfolder, like https://example.com/resources (where ‘resources’ is the subfolder), your web push domain will be https://example.com. Simply continue the setup process with your main site origin. If required add the service workers to the subfolder, check the ‘Customizing Your Service Worker Integration’ section of the NotifyVisitors Service Worker guide.

Can NotifyVisitors SDK files be served from a subfolder of my website

Yes, kindly check the NotifyVisitors Service Worker guide for more details.

Can I host the NotifyVisitors SDK files myself

This is not recommended. Web browsers are constantly changing and updating how users and websites employ web push notifications. NotifyVisitors ensures that these changes are implemented as soon as possible in order to make sure your site is working correctly. You should use the NotifyVisitors CDN URL supplied in the Web Push Settings instead of hosting the files yourself, unless our documentation specifically tells you to do so.

Can NotifyVisitors integrate with another Service Worker on my website or a Progressive Web App

Yes, you can merge the NotifyVisitors service worker file with your existing service worker.

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