Building a Real-Time Chat Application Using Pusher

WebSockets is an advanced technology that makes it possible to open an interactive communication session between the user’s browser and a server. With this API, you can send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses without having to poll the server for a reply. In this tutorial we are going to create a simple chat application using Pusher. Pusher is a simple hosted API for quickly, easily and securely adding realtime bi-directional functionality via WebSockets to web and mobile apps, or any other Internet connected device.

Scripts we need for our Chat Application

  • jQuery
  • Pusher
  • Bootstrap JS and CSS (For the UI)
  • Bootbox (For our alert box)
  • Custom Styles
Create a Pusher Account

  • Create an account at
  • Login to your pusher account then create an App, name it anything you want.
  • After you have successfully created your app – the following will be generated: app_id, key, and secret.
  • Go over the codes in this tutorial and replace the following: ‘your_app_id’, ‘your_app_key’, ‘your_app_secret’ with your app_id, key, and secret.
  • Test the chat application in your server or local machine. Use 2 different browsers for the testing.

The Tutorial

add the following code in the header part of your file

<script src="//" type="text/javascript" ></script> 
<script src="//" type="text/javascript" type="text/javascript" ></script>    
<script src="//" type="text/javascript" ></script>   
<script src="//" type="text/javascript" ></script>

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="" />
<style = "text/css">
.messages_display {height: 300px; overflow: auto;}      
.messages_display .message_item {padding: 0; margin: 0; }       
.bg-danger {padding: 10px;} --> 

Create the chat form

<div class = "container">       
    <div class = "col-md-6 chat_box">                       
        <div class = "form-control messages_display"></div>         
        <br />                      
        <div class = "form-group">              
            <input type = "text" class = "input_name form-control" placeholder = "Name" />          
        <div class = "form-group">              
            <textarea class = "input_message form-control" placeholder = "Message"></textarea>          
        <div class = "form-group input_send_holder">                
            <input type = "submit" value = "Send" class = "btn btn-primary input_send" />           

Client Side script:

<script type="text/javascript">         
// Enter your own Pusher App key
var pusher = new Pusher('your_app_key');
// Enter a unique channel you wish your users to be subscribed in.
var channel = pusher.subscribe('test_channel');
channel.bind('my_event', function(data) {
    // Add the new message to the container
    $('.messages_display').append('<p class = "message_item">' + data.message + '</p>');
    // Display the send button
    $('.input_send_holder').html('<input type = "submit" value = "Send" class = "btn btn-primary input_send" />');
    // Scroll to the bottom of the container when a new message becomes available

// AJAX request
function ajaxCall(ajax_url, ajax_data) {
        type: "POST",
        url: ajax_url,
        dataType: "json",
        data: ajax_data,
        success: function(response, textStatus, jqXHR) {
        error: function(msg) {}

// Trigger for the Enter key when clicked.
$.fn.enterKey = function(fnc) {
    return this.each(function() {
        $(this).keypress(function(ev) {
            var keycode = (ev.keyCode ? ev.keyCode : ev.which);
            if (keycode == '13') {
      , ev);

// Send the Message
$('body').on('click', '.chat_box .input_send', function(e) {
    var message = $('.chat_box .input_message').val();
    var name = $('.chat_box .input_name').val();
    // Validate Name field
    if (name === '') {
        bootbox.alert('<br /><p class = "bg-danger">Please enter a Name.</p>');
    } else if (message !== '') {
        // Define ajax data
        var chat_message = {
            name: $('.chat_box .input_name').val(),
            message: '<strong>' + $('.chat_box .input_name').val() + '</strong>: ' + message
        // Send the message to the server
        ajaxCall('message.php', chat_message);
        // Clear the message input field
        $('.chat_box .input_message').val('');
        // Show a loading image while sending
        $('.input_send_holder').html('<input type = "submit" value = "Send" class = "btn btn-primary" disabled /> &nbsp;<img src = "loading.gif" />');

// Send the message when enter key is clicked
$('.chat_box .input_message').enterKey(function(e) {
    $('.chat_box .input_send').click();

Server Side Script (message.php)::


// Change the following with your app details:
// Create your own pusher account @
$app_id = 'your_app_id'; // App ID
$app_key = 'your_app_key'; // App Key
$app_secret = 'your_app_secret'; // App Secret
$pusher = new Pusher($app_key, $app_secret, $app_id);

// Check the receive message
if(isset($_POST['message']) && !empty($_POST['message'])) {     
    $data['message'] = $_POST['message'];   
    // Return the received message
    if($pusher->trigger('test_channel', 'my_event', $data)) {               
        echo 'success';         
    } else {        
        echo 'error';   

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