Using WordPress push notifications is a remarkably efficient way of engaging with your users even when they are not browsing your website. They have existed for some time on smartphones, but they are gaining increasing momentum on other device types.
Push notifications have various uses, ranging from informing users that new content is available on your website to sending limited-time offer coupons from eCommerce sites. The only proviso is that users must have opted in to your push notifications, but that also applies to email notifications anyway.
Benefits of Push Notifications
Push notifications offer website owners many benefits:
- They are seen and potentially acted upon immediately, unlike emails which can suffer from low open rates.
- They have a personal feel to them, being presented directly to the user rather than just dropping into an inbox full of other messages.
- Users will be more engaged and will feel that the experience on your site is personal to them. This can really help with user loyalty.
- Push notifications help ensure that loyal users don’t forget about you!
- eCommerce sites will see better conversions as people take more notice of ‘personalized’ offers sent by push notifications compared to emails.
Best of all, generating these alerts from your website is super easy, thanks to – you guessed it – WordPress push notification plugins. Using those, you can easily send short messages to users’ desktop or laptop devices, subject to them being online and their browser open. That said, some plugins will also allow you to send push notifications to mobile devices such as smartphones, in which case it may not be necessary for the browser to be open.
Opt-in can occur as soon as a visitor lands on your site, or it could be when they register as a user. The secret is not to be too pushy when encouraging opt-in and subsequently not to barrage them with loads of irrelevant notifications, as that will just be seen as ‘spammy’ and scare them off forever. It’s purely a matter of finding the right balance of giving enough information without being obtrusive.
Best WordPress Push Notification Plugins
We have searched high and low on the internet to bring you eight of the best push notifications for WordPress plugins available in 2021. All have been tested up to version 5.7.2 of the platform and are up to date.
OneSignal is a hugely popular push notification plugin for WordPress, boasting over 100,000 active installs and a user rating of 4.3/5.0 stars.
This plugin allows you to send notifications to desktop, laptop, and Android devices via Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Firefox. Safari is supported, so Mac users are also covered
The free plan has a 10,000 subscriber limit, which may be sufficient for most purposes. It comes packed with the following useful features:
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- Send notifications automatically whenever a new post is published.
- Automatically send reminders to users who have not visited your site for a few days.
- Notifications can be sent to specific visitors based on language, number of site visits, or you can set up your own user attributes for targeting purposes
- Configure when and how your visitors are asked to opt-in
- Customizable first opt-in prompt
- Real-time analytics to monitor the conversion of notifications into visitors.
- Basic A/B testing to test different messages on a small set of visitors to help identify which messages are most effective before sending them to a broader audience
- Scheduled notifications for delivery in the future, for example, based on user time zone or on the same time of day their last site visit
OneSignal also has premium plans available. The first of these, ‘Growth,’ costs $9 plus $3 for every 1,000 subscribers or in-app impressions per month. Therefore, if you have 100,000 subscribers, you will be paying $309 per month. The Growth plan adds the following features:
- More personalization options depending on the plan selected
- Advanced in-app messaging
- Delivery confirmation
- GDPR compliant and DPA
- Advanced A/B testing
- Time delay for sending notifications
- Message throttling
- Custom data uploads
- Active in-app, multi-card carousel, automated in-app, and recurring in-app messages
- No code tagging
A further plan called ‘Professional’ is also available. That costs $99 per month plus the $3 per 1,000 subscribers or in-app impressions mentioned above. It supplements the features of the free and Growth plans with:
- Export notification data to CSV
- Custom outcome tracking
- Push retargeting
- Advanced analytics
- Notification history API
- Priority email support 24/7
The paid plans may appear expensive on paper, but if your site enjoys huge volumes of visitors, the advanced features could help convert many of them into loyal users.
It may not have amassed the same number of active downloads as OneSignal, but Webpushr is still a much-loved WordPress push notification plugin. It has an impressive user rating of 4.7/5.0 stars and over 8,000 active downloads in operation.
Webpushr covers all popular browsers, and HTTP and HTTPS sites are supported too. Additionally, it allows you to quickly view your total subscriber count and see which browser and device types they are using.
In its free form, Webpushr is limited to 10,000 users. However, it gives you an impressive portfolio of features, like:
- Automatic and scheduled notifications
- Automatic notifications for WooCommerce, e.g., when adding new products or changing product prices, abandoned cart reminders, etc.
- User segmentation to divide your audience into segments based on various attributes such as geolocation, interests, page visits, etc. for sending personalized notifications
- Subscriber data enhancement for collecting CRM data, e.g., contact details, email addresses, etc. for sending notifications to specific users
- Automatic event-triggered notifications, e.g., send one when someone makes a purchase or when a new user subscribes
- Customizable opt-in prompt
- Use on unlimited websites
- Unlimited push notifications, in-browser messages, team members, segments, API access, integrations, and custom user attributes
- Real-time web push delivery analytics including opt-in funnel and in-browser messaging Analytics
- Uptime monitoring of your website(s)
- Supports clickable images and emojis
That’s pretty impressive for a free plan. If you have over 10,000 users, you will need to upgrade, and the available plans are:
- Individual – $29 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers
- Startup – $49 per month for up to 100,000 subscribers
- Growth – $99 per month for up to 150,000 subscribers
- Enterprise – for sites with more than 150,000 subscribers, and pricing is custom
Each paid plan has the same features as the free one; all they add is extra subscriber volume.
Push Notifications for WP & AMP
Push Notifications for WP & AMP is a relative newcomer in the world of push notification plugins for WordPress. That said, it is proving to be a popular one, too, as already it has accrued 3,000 active installs and a 5.0/5.0 user star rating.
This is an entirely free plugin with no paid plans currently on offer, so it does have limited features. That said, it could be an ideal starting point for push notification newbies or those with basic, low-traffic sites. The features it offers are as follows:
- Fast setup
- Progressive web apps (PWA) friendly with offline push notifications
- Compatible with accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
- Native WordPress integration
- Notifications appear as message alerts.
- Automatic push notifications upon publication of a new post – updates or drafts will not trigger notifications
- Dashboard showing system status to help to understand the push notification setup
The developer is continuing to add new features to the plugin and is actively seeking suggestions for those.
PushAlert allows you to send unlimited web push notifications to opted-in users directly from your WordPress site or WooCommerce store. To make things super-easy, the plugin’s interface is situated next to the WordPress editor, and you can automatically send notifications when you publish a post.
The free version of the plugin is rather basic, although it does let you send unlimited notifications to up to 3,000 subscribers. It also offers the following features:
- Supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera browsers on desktop and mobile devices
- Supports HTTP and HTTPS
- Automatic welcome notification for new subscribers
- Up to two CTA buttons (specific browsers only)
- Unlimited custom segments for advanced, personalized targeting using custom parameters
- Send notifications to individual customers via email or user ID
- Email support
To use this plugin to its full potential, you will need to upgrade to a premium version, three of which are available, costing between $12 and $69 per month. Extra charges are levied on a sliding scale depending on the number of subscribers you have. So, for example, with the basic plan, $12 a month allows you up to 3,000 subscribers, but if you have 10,000, then the monthly price rises to $29. Opting for an annual plan will reduce the costs a little.
Depending on which plan you choose, you will get some or all of the following extra features:
- Additional domains
- Welcome drip campaign for new users
- Scheduled, automated recurring, event triggers, and time zone-based notifications
- Automatic and/or dynamic segmentation
- Push via email, RSS to push, and newsletter
- Notifications with images, emojis, and buttons
- Create funnels based on products that subscribers have viewed
- Automatic eCommerce notifications for abandoned cart, in-stock, price drops, and shipment
- Multi-language notifications
- A/B testing
- Detailed analytics
- Multi-user login
- Premium Support
PushAlert is probably better suited to larger, more heavily trafficked sites where some budget is available to purchase a premium plan. Over 1,000 active downloads are in operation, and the plugin enjoys a 4.6/5.0 user rating.
Beamer is a little too basic in its free form, particularly given its rather miserly 1,000 monthly visitor limit. That said, if you have a personal website and only want to send the occasional push notification, it could be enough for you. For example, you may have a website for your upcoming wedding and want to send push notifications to guests.
However, for most sites, the sensible option would be to purchase a premium plan. Three are available: Startup, Pro, and Enterprise, and they cost $49, $99, and $249 per month, respectively, with discounts available for annual payment. Those plans will bring you some or all of these features depending on which you opt for:
- Advanced customization options
- Post scheduling and pinned posts
- Dynamic contents
- Boosted announcements
- Advanced user segmentation, including custom and multiple categories
- Filter by URL
- Single-user notifications
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- User feedback
- Advanced analytics
- Multi-language support
- Synchronization across devices
- Unlimited team members
- Custom CSS and scripting
- A/B testing
- Premium support
Beamer has an average user rating of 4.7/5.0 stars, and over 600 active installs exist, so it should be a safe option for you.
PushEngage is a push notification plugin that supports all browsers regardless of device type. However, like Beamer, it offers a very basic, free plugin with all the best functionality understandably reserved for the premium plans.
In its free form, PushEngage’s features are limited to just the following:
- Limited to 500 subscribers and 30 campaigns per month
- Smart opt-in reminder
- Targeted opt-in
- GDPR compliant
Those features are only really of any use on small, personal sites, as is the case with the free version of Beamer. If you need a full range of features with fewer limitations on the number of subscribers and campaigns, one of the premium plans is the only sensible way to go.
Three premium options are available: Business ($19/month), Premium ($59/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing), with annual payments attracting significant discounts. Features included with each plan vary, and have some or all of the following:
- Additional subscribers (100,000 to unlimited depending on the plan)
- Unlimited monthly campaigns and more monthly sending volume
- Drip autoresponders
- Custom segments
- Personalized smart tags
- Send notifications based on customer time zone
- Goal tracking
- Abandoned cart and price drop notifications
- Custom triggered campaigns
- Advanced analytics
- A/B testing
Perfecty is a relatively new but very promising plugin for sending push notifications from your WordPress site. While only 300 active downloads exist, it has managed to maintain a consistent 5.0./5.0 star rating so far. What’s more, the reviews show that the developers seem to have got this one right, and it is encouraging to read they are quickly fixing reported issues.
The best thing about Perfecty is its price; there isn’t one – it’s completely free. Of course, it is not as feature-packed as some paid plugins, but it does offer better features than the free versions of most of those:
- Unlimited subscribers and push notifications
- Automatic push notifications on post publishing (with either the featured image of the post or a customized title)
- Send customized push notifications (title, message, image, icon, and URL)
- Analytics and stats
- Customizable public widget for users to opt-in/out of notifications
- Self-hosted with no API keys or third-party integrations necessary
- Easily migrate users from other providers such as OneSignal
- PWA friendly and AMP plugin compatible
- Open-source and overridable CSS styles for customization purposes
- Offline browser push notifications possible via Push API
- GDPR compliant, with all notification data processed and stored in your WordPress
That’s pretty impressive for a freebie.
Perfecty is an excellent option if you have no budget to play with or don’t want to pay a sliding scale based on the number of subscribers or notifications. It’s also ideal if you are entirely new to the world of push notifications.
Smart Notification WordPress Plugin
Smart Notification WordPress plugin packs great features for just $99. That includes six months of support and updates, but you can extend that to a full year for an additional $35.25. One wonderful thing about this plugin is that there are no extra costs linked to the number of subscribers or notifications you wish to send – once you have purchased it, you have no future expenses to worry about as your site grows.
The features list of this plugin is extensive, and here is just a fraction of what you get for your $99:
- Unlimited subscribers and push notifications
- Supports most platforms and browsers
- Supports Facebook Messenger, Facebook Notifications, and WordPress Newsletter
- Geo-fence for automatic sending of messages to any device located in a selected area
- BuddyPress, WooCommerce, and bbPress support
- Many methods of sending messages, e.g., scheduled, upon post publishing, to user groups, desktop notifications to Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
- Message preparation and sending can be paused or resumed at any time
- Notify author of events such as when the administrator approves and publishes their post or comment, etc
- Notify a user of replies to their comments
- Sent message archive
- Detailed reports, stats, and analytics
- Translation ready
Head over to the plugin website to see the complete list of features.
To date, over 2,000 Smart Notification WordPress Plugin licenses have sold on Code Canyon, where it has an impressive user rating of 4.6/5.0 stars. We think it is an ideal plugin if you have a growing site and wish to retain a tight grip on costs.
What is Your Favorite WordPress Push Notification Plugin?
We have listed eight plugins that will add push notifications to your WordPress site. From that list, you should be able to find something suitable for you, whether you have a fledgling site and no budget or a huge eCommerce store with thousands of registered users.
Are you already sending push notifications from your website? If so, which plugin are you using, and what do you like or dislike about it? If you are not currently using one, have any of the ones we suggested caught your attention? Either way, please do share your thoughts in the comments section.