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3.2.1 • Public • Published

A complete toolkit for setting up independent Web Push notification.

Everything you need to enable Web Push Notification in your Node.JS web application. Uses the browser's delivery channel to send push notification(Free of cost), which means no extra third-party service (except for the browser's own delivery channel). Works with Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

🌍 Check the client example

🚀 Check the server example and tester

Generate your VAPID keys first:

Before starting the setup, you need to create own own VAPID key pair. This is extremely easy. There are many ways to do it:

  1. Generate it from Pushkit Server example and Tester
  2. Generate online from this site
  3. Using this tool: web-push

Once you have your VAPID key pair (Public and Private key). You need to store them carefully. you have to use them to setup your web push implementation in server and client.


This package contains both the client and server tools packaged in their own module loading format. To install the package run this:

yarn add pushkit

Client Setup:

Pushkit works with the Service Worker API. It's journey starts when the service worker gets registered. Below is an example code that sets up pushkit with the service worker registration and sends the Push Registration information (URL and key to send push notification payload) to the server using the fetch API. You can use it like this, or use a different method to preserve the Push Registration object. (Which is Serializable). Once a browser generates this, it can be used to send push notification to that browser.

import {PushKit} from "pushkit/client";
// create an instance
let pkInstance = new PushKit("PUBLIC_VAPID_KEY", true);
// register service worker
function startPushReg(){
        // start push registration after service worker registration
            // Once push registration is done
            // Send the registration data to the server
            // You can implement this part in your convenient way
            // The below example uses `fetch` API to do it.
            let regData = JSON.stringify(pushreg);
            fetch("/reg", {
                method  : "POST",
                body    : regData,
                headers : {
// Run this after at least one user interaction.
// e.g: a button click. Otherwise there's a chance that it will fail.
document.querySelector(".subscribe").addEventListener("click", startPushReg);
// You can hide this button using `pkInstance.granted` property. granted === already set up
    document.querySelector(".subscribe").style.display = "none";

The above code creates a PushKit Instance, The constructor takes two arguments, The first argument is required. The second argument is false by default, setting it true will generate logs in console.

let _pk = new PushKit("<PUBLIC_VAPID_KEY>", [verbose = false]);

The registration of service worker is not included in the plugin itself. This is to avoid getting in the user's way. Besides it's simple. The method navigator.serviceWorker.register takes the service worker file (more in this later) and returns a promise. This promise is resolved with a ServiceWorkerRegistration object.


this also returns a promise that resolves either with a null if the user denies, or push is not supported or there's any error. Or the push registration.

The registration object is different for every user and every browser. You have to send this registration object to the server and store it there for that user. In the example, fetch was used to do it. This registration object will be used to send push notification to that user. See this section

Pushkit Instance

Once created, a PushKit instance has these following properties:

Property Type Description
granted Boolean Determines if push permission is already granted.
Can be used for hiding prompts
handleRegistration Function Helper function to handle push registration
reg serviceWorkerRegistration
The PushRegistration object.
Available after calling handleRegistration
sub PushSubscription
The pushSubscription object.
Available after calling handleRegistration
subscribed Boolean Determines if the user is subscribed.
Available after calling handleRegistration
supported Boolean Determines if push notification is supported by the browser

Using from a CDN:

If you are not using a module bundler, or you'd like to use a CDN for the frontend part instead, you can manually add the script tag in your HTML file like this:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/pushkit@3.2.1/client/dist/index.js"></script>

If you chose to include the JavaScript file in your HTML, instead of calling new PushKit() you have to call new pushKit.PushKit(). Every other frontend API are the same.

Server Setup

To set up the server, install the pushkit package on the server as well and then it can be imported like this:

const createSender  = require("pushkit/server");
let sender     = createSender({
    publicKey  : "PUBLIC_VAPID_KEY",
    privateKey : "PRIVATE_VAPID_KEY"

The Email Address is requred for web push API. Once instance of sender is enough for one set of vapid key (one application).

Sending Push Notification from server sender.send:

sender.send(pushRegistrationObject, title, [config]);
let config = {
    body: "Street dogs don't want anything more than love and shelter."
// Here, the `pushRegistrationObject` is the object sent from the client that was stored on the server.
// Make sure to parse the pushRegistrationObject from JSON string
sender.send(pushRegistrationObject,"Adopt a street dog today!", config);

Configuring Push Behavior:

The config object can be used to customize the behaviour of the push notification. These can be sent from the server as per-message basis or can be set in the service worker binding as default. Settings sent from server will always get precedence over default settings.

property Data Type description
body String Text to show in the notification body
badge String URL of an image to be used as badge,
mostly in mobile devices
dir String Useful if you want to determine the text direction,
default is auto.
It can be set to ltr, or rtl
icon String URL of an image to be used as the
icon of the notification
image String URL of an image to be showin in the
notification body (for notification with image content)
lang String A BCP47 Language code
for the notification language
renotify Boolean Used with the tag property,
if set to will renotify for all the
notification on the same tag
requireInteraction Boolean Determine if the notification REQUIRES user
to interact before it disappears, use it responsibly
silent Boolean When set to true, notifications will
not play notification sound or vibrate
tag String Useful when you want to group notification
on the same topic. e.g: chat from the
same person, just set a common tag
timestamp Number Determines when the notification is created,
useful for figuring out how long it took to deliver
vibrate Array of Number Determines a vibration pattern to use,
each number represents milleseconds
of vibration e.g: [200,100,100]

A more detailed documentation on the config options are here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ServiceWorkerRegistration/showNotification

Setting up the service worker

The last piece of puzzle is to set up a service worker. Now if you are using a boilerplate/generator there's a chance that you already have a service worker. A service worker is a JavaScript file that gets loaded in the client in such a way, that it can still remain active even after you've left the web application. That's why Service workers can receive push notifications. In the client setup section we used a service worker file called sw.js, the URL should be accessible from the browser and have to be on the same domain (for security reasons).

If you don't have a service worker, create one, if you have one, open it, and import the piece of code required to initiate the service Worker. You can either use it from CDN, or download the worker/binding.js file from the repository and import it.


Then you can attach the pushkit listeners with your service worker like this:

attachPushKit(self, pushConfig, [defaultTitle = "", defaultURL = "",customClickHandler = null,  verbose = false]);
Argument Required Default Description
self true n/a The service worker context
the value will always be self
pushConfig false null Default behavior of push messages.
See Configuring Push behavior
defaultTitle false "" Default Title for Push Messages
defaultURL false "" Default URL to open or focus
when push message is clicked
this Will not work if the default click
handler is changed
customClickHandler false null If you want to change the default
click behavior of the push click event. Takes
a function and passes the event object.
verbose false false If set to true, console logs
will be generated

Sample Use in service worker:

var pushConfig = {
    icon  : "ICON_URL",
    badge : "BADGE_URL"
attachPushKit(self, pushConfig);

The PushConfig object can have any properties from the Configuring Push Behavior section above.If the same properties are also sent from the server, server values will get precedence. You can read the full documentation of the available config options here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ServiceWorkerRegistration/showNotification

Using a different backend:

If your backend is written in a different language, and you want to use Pushkit in the frontend only. You can definitely do that. Pushkit only knows JSON push data. You have to send JSON string as push data in the following format:

    "title"   : "Push Notification Title",
    "url"     : "https://where-to-go",
    "config"  : {
        "body": "Push notification body"

This config here can have any value from here, Pushkit will be able to parse this and work without any issues.

One more thing, Make sure your application is served from a secure origin https. otherwise push notification will not work.

This tool is released under the MIT License. Feel free to contribute.

Made with 💙 and JavaScript

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