Build Real Time Chat App Using Laravel and Pusher: The Ultimate Guide

Real-time communication is a must-have feature for many web applications in today’s fast-paced digital world.

Whether it is for customer support, social networking, or collaborative work, building a real time chat app using Laravel, Pusher, and jQuery can be a powerful way to create interactive and engaging communication platforms.

Let’s move on to a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Introduction to Pusher

Pusher is a cloud-based service that uses WebSockets to give web and mobile applications real time functionalities. 

Firstly, please note that Pusher and Laravel are both different technologies – where Laravel is a web application framework based on PHP, Pusher is a service to integrate messaging and communication capabilities in your app.

Pusher Developers frequently use it to create real-time features like chat, notifications, live updates, and more for web and mobile applications. 

The WebSocket technology used in Pusher enables developers to concentrate on the functionality of their applications by handling the underlying infrastructure when implementing real time features. 

Here is a closer look at Pusher and the benefits of using it:

1. Real-time Communication

Real-time communication stands for data sending and receiving immediately, making it suitable for applications like chat, notifications, live updates, and collaborative features.

Pusher provides a real time communication platform aiding developers to establish instant connections between clients such as web browsers or mobile apps and servers.

2. Easy Integration

Pusher offers clear APIs and libraries that cater to a broad spectrum of programming languages and frameworks. For instance, it provides specific integration options for PHP-based frameworks like Laravel. 

This versatility aligns well with the preferences of PHP developers who are increasingly adopting Laravel, driven by various other factors.

Also, even if you have an existing application, Pusher makes it very easy to integrate real time functionalities without building complex infrastructure from scratch.

3. Support for WebSockets

Pusher utilizes WebSocket technology, which is a widely adopted integration for real time communication services.

Over a single TCP connection, a WebSocket connection provides a full-duplex, bidirectional communication channel, ensuring efficient and low-latency data transfer.

4. Scalability

Pusher simply Automates it! As it is a cloud-based service, Pusher can ensure higher scalability and easily handle higher audience loads.

It can scale to accommodate a large number of concurrent connections and messages, ensuring that the real time chat application remains responsive and performant.

5. Cross-Platform

When considering building a chat application, ensuring its rich functionalities on each device on each device is a major concern. Pusher helps developers wrap up this too, by offering support to multiple platforms and devices.

By including such features, Pusher has become a versatile choice for building real-time features in web applications, mobile apps (iOS and Android), desktop applications, and IoT devices.

6. Security

Pusher offers several built-in security features, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS), Private Channels, and encryption to protect data transmitted over WebSocket connections.

Keep in mind that these features may evolve over time, so it’s essential to refer to Pusher’s official security documentation for the most up-to-date information on their security offerings.

7. Presence Channels

Pusher Presence Channels are designed to enhance real-time applications by enabling developers to track and manage the presence of users within a particular channel. 

These presence channels are especially useful for applications that require user awareness and interaction, such as chat applications and collaborative tools.

8. Event Driven Architecture

A bit complex term! But let us help you with simpler terms – it is basically an architecture that is bound around events or messages. When something important happens in an application (an event), Pusher helps notify other parts of the application that need to know about it.

Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) is like sending out updates or alerts, ensuring everyone stays informed and reacts accordingly in real time. These Pusher notifications can be shared with both the app development team and the other users as client events having previous interactions within the app.

9. Analytics and Monitoring

Pusher offers analytics and monitoring tools to track the performance and usage of real-time features in applications.

This Analytics and Monitoring functionality is essential for understanding how users interact with your real-time features, identifying potential issues, and making data-driven decisions to improve your application’s real time functionality.

10. Developer Community

Pusher did have an active developer community, and this community often played a crucial role in providing support and assistance to developers using Pusher services. 

Developer communities are valuable resources for sharing knowledge and learning, such as documentation, tutorials, and resources to assist developers in implementing real time functionality effectively.

Verdict: Pusher is a powerful tool for adding real time functionalities to Laravel applications. Its ease of integration, scalability, and WebSocket support make it an excellent choice for developers looking to create interactive and engaging user experiences.

Pusher allows you to provide features like live chat, real-time notifications, collaborative editing, and more without any complexity of building and maintaining the underlying infrastructure.

Types of Pusher Channels

Pusher offers different types of channels catering to various use cases while implementing real-time functionality in the Laravel application. Here are the six main types of Pusher channels:

1. Public Channels

Anyone who knows their name has access to public channels. They are suitable for scenarios in which you need to broadcast updates or information to all connected clients.

(a) Use Cases: Public channels are often used for broadcasting general notifications, live updates, or announcements to all users.

(b) Example:

// Broadcasting on a public channel 
broadcast(new MyEvent())->toOthers();

2. Private Channels

Private channels are restricted to authorized Pusher users. The user must be authenticated and have the appropriate permissions to access data on private channels.

(a) Use Cases: Private channels are ideal for implementing one-on-one messaging, private group chats, or any real time features that require user authentication.

(b) Example:

// Broadcasting on a private channel 
broadcast(new MyPrivateEvent())->toOthers();

3. Presence Channels

Presence channels are an extension of private channels and provide additional features for tracking and managing connected users. You can see who is currently online on a presence channel.

(a) Use Cases: Presence channels are commonly used in each Laravel application with user presence features, such as online user lists in chat applications or collaborative tools.

(b) Example:

// Joining a presence channel 
broadcast(new UserJoined($user))->toOthers();

4. Encrypted Channels

Encrypted channels provide an extra layer of security by encrypting the data transmitted over the channel. This ensures that sensitive information remains confidential.

(a) Use Cases: Use encrypted channels when you need to transmit sensitive data, such as private messages or confidential documents, over a real time connection.

(b) Example:

// Broadcasting on an encrypted channel 
broadcast(new MyEncryptedEvent())->toOthers();

5. Global Channels

Global channels are not tied to a specific user or context. They are available to all connected clients and can be accessed without authentication.

(a) Use Cases: Global channels are useful when you want to broadcast data that is relevant to all users, regardless of their individual authentication status.

(b) Example:

// Broadcasting on a global channel 
broadcast(new GlobalEvent())->toOthers();

6. Custom Channels

Laravel allows you to define custom channels with specific authorization logic based on your application’s requirements. These channels can be tailored to suit unique use cases.

(a) Use Cases: Custom channels are suitable for scenarios where the predefined channel types do not meet your application’s needs.

(b) Example:

// Defining and using a custom channel 
  function ($user, $id) { 
  return $user->id === $id; 

Steps to Build Real time Chat App Using Laravel, Pusher, and jQuery

Building a real time chat app using Laravel, Pusher, and jQuery involves several steps. Mind well, each of them should be precisely performed and one by one after receiving the mandated results. 

Before we begin, we suggest to ensure that you have the following prerequisites:

  • PHP and Laravel are installed on your system.
  • A Pusher account. You can sign up for free at Pusher.
  • Basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. If not, you can help take from dedicated JavaScript developers who have adequate experience in each of them.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Laravel Project with the Pusher 

(a) Start by creating a new Laravel project. We are assuming you have set up your Laravel project. If you haven’t, then you can go through the Laravel setup process.

(b) After completing the Laravel setup, we can move forward. Navigate to your project directory for the second step.

cd chat-app

(c) Install Laravel Echo and Pusher PHP SDK

composer require pusher/pusher-php-server laravel/echo

(d) Configure your Pusher credentials in the env file


(e) Next, set up the broadcasting configuration in ‘config/app.php’.

'providers' => [
      // ... 

(f) Enable broadcasting in the same file

'broadcasting' => [ 
    'default' => 'pusher', 
    // ... 

Step 2: Creating the Chat Interface

(a) Create a chat interface with HTML and CSS. If you are not so familiar with front-end tactics or have other complex projects to work on then you can also outsource this designing portion to scalable HTML development services providing firm.

If you are designing it, make sure to have input fields for usernames and messages and a chat area for displaying messages.

(b) Include jQuery in your project if you haven’t already

<script src=""></script>

(c) Create a JavaScript file, e.g., ‘chat.js‘, and initialize Laravel Echo

// chat.js 
import Echo from 'laravel-echo';       
window.Echo = new Echo({          
     broadcaster: 'pusher', 
     key: process.env.MIX_PUSHER_APP_KEY, 
     cluster: process.env.MIX_PUSHER_APP_CLUSTER, 
     encrypted: true, 

Step 3: Sending and Receiving Messages

(a) Use jQuery to send messages to the server when the current user submits the chat form

// chat.js 
$('#chat-form').on('submit', function(e) { 
     const message = $('#message-input').val(); 
     $.post('/send-message', { message }, function(response) {

(b) In your Laravel routes file (‘routes/web.php‘), create a route for handling message submission

Route::post('/send-message', 'ChatController@sendMessage');

(c) In your ChatController, implement the ‘sendMessage’ method to broadcast the message to all connected clients

public function sendMessage(Request $request) { 
     $message = $request->input('message'); 
     event(new MessageSent($message)); 
     return response()->json([
         'message' => 'Message sent successfully',

(d) Create an event called `MessageSent` and broadcast it

php artisan make:event MessageSent
In the `MessageSent` event class, define the broadcast data
public function broadcastWith() { 
     return ['message' => $this->message] ; 

(e) Create a channel for your chat in the `channels.php` file

Broadcast::channel('chat', function ($user) { 
  return true; 

Step 4: Displaying Messages in Real-time

(a) In your JavaScript file, listen for the `MessageSent` events and display the message in real-time

// chat.js'chat') 
  .listen('MessageSent', function(data) {
   $('#chat-area').append('<div>' + data.message + '</div>'); 

(b) That’s it! Your chat app should now be able to send and receive real-time messages.

FAQs About Building Real time Chat App Using Laravel, Laravel Pusher, and jQuery

How do I install Laravel Pusher and set up my Laravel project for real-time chat?
You can install Laravel Pusher via Composer by running `composer require pusher/pusher-php-server`. Once installation is completed, configure your Laravel app to use Pusher by adding your Pusher API credentials in the `config/broadcasting.php` file.
Do I need to use jQuery for the front end of my chat app?
No, it is not a mandatory JavaScript library. You can use any of the other JavaScript frameworks or libraries for the front end of the chat app. However, due to its lightweight, ease, and standard compatibility with Laravel - jQuery is a popular choice for such projects.
What security considerations should I keep in mind when building a chat app?
Security is crucial in real time chat apps. You should implement authentication to ensure that only authorized users can access chat rooms. Additionally, validate user input to prevent XSS attacks. Ensure that your server-side code is secure to protect against potential vulnerabilities.


Thus, from customer support to collaborative workspaces, real time communication can improve user experiences and can be applied to various of web applications.

Assuring your web application gets benefited with the same. In this blog, we demonstrated a step by step guide to ‘How to build a real time chat app Using Laravel, Pusher, and jQuery?’

With this knowledge, you can add numerous features like user authentication, message history, and much more to your chat app.

Besides that, if you get stuck in any programming complexities or errors along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us. With a team of 50+ experts in each of those technologies, we guarantee efficient and seamless chat app development assistance.

Mayur Upadhyay is a tech professional with expertise in Shopify, WordPress, Drupal, Frameworks, jQuery, and more. With a proven track record in web development and eCommerce development.

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