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Web Push Notifications with Realtime

This project shows how to use the Web Push Notifications API in a website, allowing easy engagement with users that are currently not browsing the website. This project uses the Realtime Messaging JavaScript SDK and requires Chrome 50+ or Firefox 44+.

Realtime + Web Push Notifications guide

  • Register to get your free Realtime Messaging application key at

  • Create a Firebase Cloud Messaging project. Follow this tutorial.

  • Open the index.html file and replace the Firebase initialization code shown below with the configuration code you got in the previous step:

        <script src=""></script>
          // Initialize Firebase
          var config = {
  • In the index.js file replace the Realtime demo application key (K4xqxB) with your own Realtime application key:

      var RealtimeAppKey = "K4xqxB"; 
  • Edit the service-worker.js file enter your Firebase Sender ID in the messagingSenderId property:

        'messagingSenderId': '915139563807'
  • Map a webserver to folder where you have cloned this repository, open http://localhost/index.html in your Chrome/Firefox browser and try it out. If it doesn't work as expected have a look at the limitations and troubleshooting sections below.


  1. This will only work on Chrome 50+ and Firefox 44+
  2. If you are not using localhost you must use the https protocol (it will work on localhost with http)
  3. At least one Chrome/Firefox tab must be opened in order to receive push notifications


  • If you get the following error message it means you have changed the gcm_sender_id in your manifest.json file. Please update your manifest and enter the exact value shown in the message:

      Messaging: Please change your web app manifest's 'gcm_sender_id' value to '103953800507' to use Firebase messaging. (messaging/incorrect-gcm-sender-id).

Not receiving push notifications

  • Check that you are running the example from a webserver (e.g. http://localhost) and not from the file system (e.g. file:///C:/web/WebPushNotifications-master/index.html);

  • Check that you have entered the right Firebase configurations;

  • Don't forget to give permissions for the push notifications when your browser requests them;

  • Make sure your webserver is properly configured to serve the file manifest.json (check if there are no 404 errors in your browsers Developers Tool network tab). IIS users may need to add the MIME type;

  • If you're not using localhost make sure you are using the https protocol with a valid SSL certificate for the domain you are using;

  • Check if you have any other browser tab opened using the website you're testing. If you do, make sure that page has a Realtime connection established and is subscribing the push notification channel. Push notifications won't be displayed to users that are currently browsing the site that originated the push.

Private channel vs Global channel

If you want to control to which users you are sending each push you should use a private channel for each user. If you want to broadcast a push notification to all users you should use a global channel that every user subscribes.

A mixed private/global channel strategy can also be used, it really depends on your use case.

On-line example

You can test the Realtime Web Push Notifications here.

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