Bringing Push Notifications To Your WordPress Blog

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in Wordpress and Blogging Tips | 0 comments

Roost enables WordPress sites to send push notifications to users of mobile devices, including iOS and Android, as well as to a number of different browsers.

Getting push notifications right can be tricky. There’s a fine line between keeping your subscribers up-to-date and spamming them with intrusive and unnecessary interruptions.

For most bloggers and business users of WordPress, push notifications are unnecessary. There are plenty of other mechanisms for getting the word out to subscribers, including the sadly declining RSS feed, email, and social media channels — particularly Twitter, which has taken the place of RSS for many.

But, there are some use cases where it’s important to give up-to-date information immediately.

  • A news site that publishes time sensitive information, the value of which degrades with time.
  • A close-knit blogging community whose members want to be kept apprised of recent post publications.
  • A WordPress eCommerce site that runs frequent promotions that users want to be made aware of.

Push notifications, to mobile devices in particular, should adhere to a few simple rules in order to avoid alienating users. They should be:

  • Used infrequently.
  • Only used for important updates.
  • Used minimally for marketing purposes to avoid spamming.
  • Easy to subscribe to and even easier to unsubscribe from.

Introducing Roost

Roost is a notification service that can send push notifications to iOS and Android devices as well as some web browsers.

The Roost service provides a collection of tools that make implementing push notifications on various platforms relatively straightforward. Roost provides a WordPress plugin, which put the registration box in WordPress site’s header or footer, allowing users to easily opt in to push notifications. It will automatically send notifications with custom text to subscribers on the publication of blog articles.

The fly in the ointment is that users who want to receive push notifications will have to install Roost’s native app on that device, which means that your users become Roost’s users too, but there’s really no way of getting push notifications on to mobile platforms without this step.

A particularly useful feature of Roost is that it provides a detailed analytics dashboard, so that users can track the effectiveness of their push notifications.

Roost is a solid solution for businesses that prefer to put their development effort towards creating a mobile web presence, rather than investing in the development of a web app for multiple platforms. It allows them to make use of some of the marketing advantages specific to mobile platforms without going fully mobile native.

About the author
Graeme Caldwell works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess and check out their tech/hosting blog.

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