The Best Way to Add Push Notifications to Your WordPress Site

One of the problems in maintaining a successful site is to retain the visitors rate. If you are not a big gun in the industry, most people usually forget about your site as soon as they leave. Getting traffic to your site is hard and will cost you effort, time and money. And sadly, those efforts might be wasted for no reason because it’s very likely that nobody will come back for a second visit. Not many visitors are willing to go the extra mile often to check back with your site to see whether you have new entries that might interest them.

Unless you give them a reason to come back by informing them about new content. And a great way to do that is by using push notifications.

A push notification is a message sent to your subscribers to inform them of any new update on your website. If you enable push notifications on your site, a pop-up will appear asking every new visitor if he/she would like to receive notifications from your site in the future. Those who like your content will be likely to accept the invitation, and they will receive a notification every time you publish new content or advertise an event or product.


When your site sends a push notification, your subscribers will receive a message on their desktop or mobile devices even when they are not visiting your site. Clicking on the notification will immediately take them to the promoted content in the message.

In addition to acquiring new traffic sources, the system will help web owners increase engagement to sites by inviting previous readers to come back. And the effect will be compounding over time.

Adding push notification features to your site is not a walk in the park, especially for the non-technical site owner. Building one from scratch is definitely out of the picture for most of us. Even using one of the available push notification services requires you to meddle with scripts installations and pay a hefty service fee to use it.

If you are a WordPress user, you are lucky because there are several plugins that you can use to add the push notification feature to your site. However, you need to use extra effort to choose the best one since each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The questions that we should ask before making our decisions are:

  • What devices does it send push notifications to?
  • Can you customize the opt-in form and notification?
  • How many push notifications does it send?
  • What control do you have over the messages sent?
  • Does it provide analytics?

There are several options available at WordPress’ plugins repository, such as Push notifications for WordPress (Lite)OneSignalRoost, PushEngagePushCrewHookPressPushover Notifications for WordPress, and many others. You are welcome to try them, but for brevity sake, the one that I think has it all regarding features is OneSignal.

The advantages of using OneSignal are the push notification setup is fairly easy, non-corporation users can send unlimited notifications for free, it supports real-time tracking, you can set segmented targeting and do A/B test, and the plugin will automatically send notifications whenever there’s a new post. It also supports all major browsers and platforms: Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari (Mac OS X and iOS), Firefox (Desktop), Windows Phone, and even Amazon Fire.

To add OneSignal to your WordPress blog, simply log in to your admin area and head to “Plugins -> Add New.”

Push Notification -mte- Add plugin

After activation, open the OneSignal Push menu at the bottom of the sidebar and click the Setup tab. Follow the step-by-step setup guidance to the end.

The process includes registering for a free OneSignal account and creating a New App within the member area.

Push Notifications -mte- New App

Configure each and every platform you want to support.

Push Notification -mte- configure platforms

While the whole process is long and scary, the step-by-step is straightforward. Just follow it from the beginning until the end. After checking all the required boxes, you’ll be able to produce something similar to this.

Push Notification -mte- Push Message

Use Incognito Window (Chrome) or Private Window (Safari) to check and make sure everything is working on the visitor side.

While you could opt in to activate all the supported platforms if you want to, it would take a lot of setting time, effort, and know-how. To avoid a lot of frustration and hair-pulling, regular users are recommended to activate only the bare minimum: the website push which contains Chrome/Firefox and Safari supports.

Anytime you need help with the plugin, you can contact the developer using the chat button at the bottom right of the page. The entire process should take about fifteen minutes.

Push Notification -mte- ask questions

If you are serious about managing and getting traffic to your WordPress site, enabling the push notification feature on your site is highly recommended. Using OneSignal is only one way of doing it, but its vast platform support and free plan are hard to beat.

Have you tried adding push notifications to your site? Do you think it’s necessary or just a useless gimmick? Share your thoughts, opinion, and experience using the comments below.

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