django-nomad-notifier is not functional by itself. You must do your homework to get it running. This app is meant to provide only the essential parts for the sole purpose of exposing a model and a mixin. Those minimal code helps you build notification models that will inherit the functionality and will hold the information needed in order to send email notifications (and show them on web as well).

What we do at Nomadblue, for instance, is adding a new app notifications that will store the models, templates, and any other related files.

Creating notification models

You must do three things to successfully create a new type of notification:

  • Subclass models.Notification to get the model fields and basic methods.
  • Use the NotificationMixin to get the basic methods.
  • Override some methods to provide the minimal functionality.

For this documentation we are going to create a simple welcome message notification that will be attached to a Django User model whenever a new user is created (i.e. a user signs up). It will be a notification that will be sent via email and also displayed on a web notifications list.

Subclassing models.Notification

First of all, the code for the impatient:

class WelcomeNotification(Notification, OurNotificationMixin, NotificationMixin):
    """Welcomes the user after signup"""

    # This is the model instance that the notification will reference to. In this
    # particular case, it has to be the user model who just signed up.
    obj = models.OneToOneField(settings.AUTH_USER_MODEL)

    # Template for web notification list
    web_noti_tmpl = 'notifications/includes/welcome_notification_list_item.html'

    # Templates for email notification
    email_subject_tmpl = 'notifications/email/welcome_noti_subject.txt'
    email_plaintext_body_tmpl = 'notifications/email/welcome_noti_plaintext_body.txt'
    email_html_body_tmpl = 'notifications/email/welcome_noti_html_body.html'

    def get_obj_url(self):
        This method is used to specify URL to redirect user after
        notification is been cleared (a.k.a 'mark as read')
        return self.obj.get_absolute_url()

As you can see, we must provide the template paths for the two notification types (web and email), the get_obj_url method (used in the views.ClearNotificationView) and, the most important, adding the NotificationMixin so our model inherits the methods defined there and which will help us sending the email notification.

But wait! You surely have taken into account on another mixin we are using, OurNotificationMixin. This mixin, whose code we provide below, holds some other mandatory methods we must implement if we want to send notifications via email:

class OurNotificationMixin(object):
    from_email = settings.DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL

    def get_email_headers(self):
        # Replace 'Your name' with your real name or project name
        return {
            'From': 'Your name <%s>' % self.from_email,

    def get_recipients_list(self):
        # Here we include only the notification user email but
        # in fact the recipient/s could be whichever.
        return []

These two methods are conveniently stored in a mixin because tipically we end up creating many notification models with different templates but the same common functionality.

Finally, we need to create our web and email templates. The property names are rather self-descriptive, but here it is defined what must each template contain:

  • web_noti_tmpl: template that renders the web notification snippet (each item on a notification list).
  • email_subject_tmpl: template that contains the email subject (e.g. “Thanks for signing up”)
  • email_plaintext_body_tmpl: template containing the plaintext version of your email.
  • email_html_body_tmpl: template containing the HTML version of your email.

Sending email notifications

OK, now what? As the example we are describing is a notification message a brand new user receives after the registration process in our site, we want firstly to send the email. So, we could for instance create a new instance of our WelcomeNotification from our signup view:

    user.welcomenotification  # In case user is re-visiting the view by mistake
except WelcomeNotification.DoesNotExist:
    WelcomeNotification.objects.create(user=user, obj=user)

Last step is to make the call to the NotificationMixin.send_notification_email method. We fancy using the post_save signal here:

def send_email_notification(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
    if created:

post_save.connect(send_email_notification, sender=WelcomeNotification)

Displaying web notifications

What about showing a list of notifications in the user interface, where they can review them and clear them (mark as read)? We can go straight using the urls and views powered in the app. Include the calls in your root

url(r'^notifications/', include('notifier.urls')),

Assuming that you have already created your template (its path stored in web_noti_tmpl), if you visit http://localhost:8000/notifications/ you should see a list of notifications. Of course you can go ahead and override the notifier/notifications_list.html template.

Types of notifications

In our previous example we created a web and email notification, i.e. a notification that is sent via email and displayed on you website. But perhaps you want to send an email but not show the notification via web. No problem! The Notification object supports specification of types of notifications with its noti_type field. Adjusting the creation of the notification above, we would end up with:

    user.welcomenotification  # In case user is re-visiting the view by mistake
except WelcomeNotification.DoesNotExist:
    WelcomeNotification.objects.create(user=user, obj=user, noti_type=WelcomeNotification.EMAIL_NOTI)