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Hotjar Reviews

& Product Details

What is Hotjar?

Hotjar is a user data aggregation tool that uses website heatmaps and user activity recordings to understand what drives user engagement. The data is then used by product managers, designers, and researchers to remove hurdles in the user experience.

The shining example is the below-the-fold principle. Researchers have long known that 80% of website visitors judge a website without scrolling down the page. First impressions matter; in the case of a website, it’s whatever is in the top left corner of the page. Interestingly, visitors from countries using right-to-left languages have a mirrored scan pattern — they start in the top right corner and scan the contents right to left, going down the page. If the landing page does not have the needed information, the visitor will move on without a second thought.

A Hotjar heatmap will reveal which website areas aren’t attracting enough attention. You can then create a survey to gain insight into user behavior and narrow down why.

Found in these Categories

Best For

Understand how users behave on your site and what they need.
  • StartUps
  • Freelancers
  • Small Business
  • Medium Business
  • Large Enterprise
  • Non-profit Organization
  • Personal
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Mobile - Android
  • Mobile - iPhone
  • Mobile - iPad
  • Desktop - Mac
  • Desktop - Windows
  • Desktop - Linux
  • Desktop - Chromebook
  • On-Premise - Windows
  • On-Premise - Linux
  • Company Name


  • Located In


  • Website

Starting from:

$39 /month

Pricing Model: Subscription

Pricing Details:

Hotjar Pricing is divided into two sections: Observe & Ask. You can build your package by choosing plans from both of the products. Observe helps you visualize user behavior with Heatmaps and see what your users see with Recordings. Ask lets you discover how your users feel with Feedback and hear from your users with Surveys. The Observe Basic plan is free forever and gives access to up to 1,050 sessions/month, automatic data capture, and unlimited heatmaps. In addition, when choosing the annual payments, you will save 20% of the monthly cost. The Ask Basic plan gives you access to create and store three surveys & 3 feedback widgets, and Feedback in 40+ languages.

  • Conversions
  • Custom Reports and Dashboards
  • Engagement
  • Funnels
  • Multiple-site Management
  • Real-Time Reporting
  • Sessions - Digital Analytics
  • Tracking & Reporting
  • User, Role, and Access Management
  • User Data

Additional Features

  • Behavioral Analytics
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Customizable Forms
  • Data Import/Export
  • Data Visualization
  • Engagement Tracking
  • Feedback Management
  • Funnel Analysis
  • Heatmaps
  • Negative Feedback Management
  • NPS Survey Structure
  • Multi-Channel Communication
  • Multi-Channel Data Collection
  • Performance Metrics
  • Problem Area Alerts
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Screen Activity Recording
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Session Recording
  • Surveys & Feedback
  • Templates
  • Text Analysis
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Trend Analysis
  • User Journeys
  • User Research Analysis
  • Visitor Tracking
  • Website Analytics
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Online, humans act like wild animals — they sniff for prey and track it. This is the “information scent” theory of human behavior, which states the conversion rate of website visitors is dictated by their user experience. They will stick around if they find the information they’re looking for; if not, they’ll move on. Hotjar to the rescue! It is a website analytics tool that gathers user feedback and provides behavior analytics. Sounds too complicated? Read this Hotjar review to the end, and you’ll figure it all out.

Hotjar — understanding your users’ behavior

Website visitors are swimming in information and stimuli. They have a fraction of a second to choose where to go and what to do. Unfortunately, they make these choices without realizing how, so asking them can’t reveal the truth. Instead, website owners need to employ a tool like Hotjar, which provides a visual way to understand web analytics while also providing heat maps and user feedback tools. By understanding their visitors and customers, website owners can remove sources of frustration and make for a better user experience.

HotJar Dashboard

How to use Hotjar?

Sign up with an e-mail address or a Google account. After confirming the 6-digit PIN, you will be asked to provide your organization’s name, size, and role. There are seven organization size tiers, with the largest intended for 5,000+ employees. There are also seven user roles, such as analyst and store owner. Past the Hotjar login, enter a web address you own, and install the Hotjar code on the corresponding page. You will get three options:

  • enter code manually
  • install on the platform
  • Share the code

The code has 11 lines. First, you install the tracking script by copying/pasting this code into its HTML’s <head> section. After the installation, you can have Hotjar verify it’s properly installed. This automatically opens the Hotjar dashboard and starts the 14-day free trial, but the first results will only come after seven days of monitoring.

Details of Hotjar Features

Now let’s discover some of its best features, and then you can decide if this is the tool you need or not.

  • Dashboard

Upon logging into Hotjar, the user is welcomed by the dashboard. It has six sections in the left-hand sidebar:

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Heatmaps
  • Recordings
  • Incoming
  • Surveys

Highlights Overview

Overview and Highlights are for reviewing all the data captured. Heatmaps and Recordings review the involuntary user interactions, while Incoming Surveys are for voluntary user feedback.

  • Unique insight into user behavior

To understand a person, we should walk a mile in their shoes. Hotjar lets you experience a first-person view of what the user did, revealing cursor movement, mouse clicks, and the feedback sent as if you’re the user. This is provided under the tab “Recordings” as a video file with regular video controls, allowing you to rewind, fast-forward, speed up, or slow down the playback.

Recordings - User behaviour

User activity is captured by recording the cursor position on the web page 10 times a second and when a click happens. In addition, Hotjar uses the MutationObserver API, a feature in all modern browsers, to check for changes on the web page, parse, and send them to the WebSocket.

The system can detect “rage clicks,” multiple fast clicks on the same area when the user is stuck and about to give up. The rage-click moments and other notable events are denoted with appropriate emoticons in the progress bar in the recording.

Interacting with the recording is delightful and easy, like using a YouTube video.

There is no way to download these recordings; you can only export a list of their URLs in the .CSV or .XLSX file format. The limit is 100,000 recording URLs per file. In addition, Hotjar supports tracking on single-page applications (SPA) that infinitely load content as the user scrolls and other custom-made web pages that tinker with the URL.

  • Custom trigger events

By default, Hotjar captures only sessions longer than 30 seconds, but you can toggle this off and set the capture to trigger when an event happens. To do this, you will have to add an event in the Hotjar dashboard and a corresponding code snippet in the HTML of the target web page. For example, triggers can be clicking a survey, starting, completing checkout, etc. People can use Google Tag Manager to set them.

  • Limitations and restrictions

Hotjar will not capture sessions where:

  • the web browser is not supported
  • JavaScript is disabled or blocked
  • cookies are disabled or blocked
  • Do-Not-Track is turned on
  • the browser is in private/incognito mode
  • browser’s local Storage or session Storage is disabled
  • the browser uses script blockers or adblockers, such as Ublock Origin
  • the internet connection to Hotjar is blocked or interrupted

Websites that don’t support custom third-party JavaScript, such as Dribble or Google Sites, won’t let you use Hotjar. If the Content Security Policy prevents the Hotjar connection, the code won’t work. In addition, you can’t track through Hotjar websites built in a cross-platform development environment, such as Cordova.

When a user lands on a web page, Hotjar takes a full-size screenshot measuring 15,000 pixels. Hotjar will render any page stretching further up to 15,000 pixels. Heatmaps are also limited when the page has a scrolling element on the DIV container. The software cannot detect the scrolling element or properly track the interaction with contents inside the container.

Pages with iFrames and Adobe Flash content will also not generate a heatmap. Finally, it will not generate the heatmap if the web page is over 10 MB in size due to code and/or images.

  •  Lackluster surveys

Hotjar offers various ways to create surveys, including manual creation, using provided templates, creating your own templates, or requesting Hotjar to create a new one. You can also add surveys to your workflow through Zapier. However, some users feel that surveys do not fit well with the rest of Hotjar’s features, as they are just plain form fields where users enter their answers.

On the other hand, the Incoming Feedback widget is an innovative and intuitive feature that allows users to provide feedback and send a screenshot of the area they are referring to. This is a significant improvement over the traditional rating system. However, some users wish that Hotjar would innovate and improve its survey features as well. It seems that despite being a company that deals with user feedback, Hotjar struggles to understand what its users really want.

Survey Responses

Within two minutes of signing up, two Hotjar surveys were nudging me to complete them. One even promised a $50 gift card if the answers were valuable enough for Hotjar to warrant a follow-up survey.

  • Results depend on the data set

It is uncommon to encounter such a flaw in services, but Hotjar is not an exception. The tool cannot guarantee accurate results since it solely depends on the data provided by the user’s activity. If the data set is biased, Hotjar will produce biased outcomes, and no one will be aware of it. Without thoroughly analyzing your data, you may arrive at plausible but illogical conclusions.

Survey responses overview

Understanding the root cause of a problem is essential to solve it effectively. When it comes to human behavior, it changes over time and is influenced by contemporary trends that shift like dunes. Therefore, to make sense of individual behavior, we need to analyze it in the context of current trends.

When using Hotjar, the results we obtain might not be meaningful or may only apply within a specific period or trend. It is important to note that psychological research faces the same challenge of being hard to replicate outside of its societal context.

To obtain reliable results, we must conduct thorough research, gather as much data as possible, and seek the guidance of statisticians and psychologists to interpret it. However, Hotjar’s features are limited for serious research, and tinkering with pretty colors is not enough to achieve significant findings.

  • User Attributes

You can assign user attributes if you install another code snippet in your HTML’s <head> section below the tracking one. Some of them are:

  • last purchase category
  • total purchases
  • last purchase date
  • last refund date

User attributes allow you to segregate visitors or customers based on their actions during a certain period, such as a refund made within the last 30 days. You can have up to a hundred attributes on any website and target any number of users.

This technique is known as “user segmentation”. It is only available for Business and Scale pricing plans.

The user attribute data from your website is passed on to Hotjar via an asynchronous AJAX call, where it’s matched against a user ID. Hotjar enables you to filter users by their IDs or attributes, making it easier to analyze and understand user behavior.

  • User IDs

Hotjar allows you to collect data anonymously and turn it into a personal profile without revealing any personally identifying information (PII). This satisfies GDPR and other privacy-related legislation. The tool originally had a strict policy against collecting any PII, but it later made an exception for its API users. As long as they don’t collect any PII, Hotjar allows them to use the API without any issues.

Hotjar can gather the following data from a website where you install its code snippets:

  • user identifiers
  • name, e-mail address, and other similar data
  • protected classifications (race, gender, etc.)
  • records of services or products bought
  • user interactions (buttons clicked, mouse movements, etc.)
  • current or past job history and/or performance assessments
  • education data


Hotjar collects data through cookies, but you can disable them to prevent data gathering. Additionally, Hotjar respects the Do-Not-Track headers, which is a pleasant surprise.

The Do-Not-Track feature is a setting in modern browsers that allows users to remain anonymous. Although it is not enforced by the Internet Police, Hotjar honors it.

Privacy legislation permits web users to request and receive all personal data collected by a website, and Hotjar offers the User Lookup tool to access user information by email addresses and/or user IDs in case of such requests.

Users segmentation in Hotjar

  •  Learning user secrets

It’s remarkable how much information can be gleaned from just tracking customers’ shopping history. In a 2012 New York Times article titled “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” it was revealed that Target analyzed the shopping records of female customers to identify those who were pregnant, even if they were unaware of it themselves. This was done in the early 2000s, without the use of advanced computing power or AI, only basic math and statistics.

Today, with the abundance of data available, marketers and statisticians have access to more information than ever before. However, this is also true for anyone with internet access and some determination.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2014 showed just how much of our likes and interests can reveal who we are, even if we don’t consider it personally identifiable information (PII). Researchers were able to correlate liking certain Facebook pages with specific life choices and events, allowing them to guess a person’s sexual orientation, drug use, and mental health history based on their likes.

Using Hotjar’s session recordings, one could potentially estimate the likelihood of dementia, as reaction speed and click precision are thought to be related to the state of a person’s nervous system. The data could also reveal if a person is left-handed and indicate various personality traits, such as the tendency to become easily enraged or emotional.


Hotjar Business and Scale plans support seven integrations:

  • Google Optimize
  • HubSpot
  • Omniconvert
  • Optimizely
  • Segment
  • Slack
  • Zapier integrations

Details of integrations

Google Optimize is a tool that tests the performance of HTML code on web pages. It also has the Google Marketing Platform, an online website analytics suite. HubSpot is a marketing platform that helps you find new customers, draw them in, sell them stuff, and see if they’re happy about it. Provides features for marketers, developers, and support staff.

Hotjar Integrations

Omniconvert is a growth platform for eCommerce businesses. From acquisition to conversion and retention, Omniconvert helps you define and build your ideal audience, improving the conversion rate for your website(s). In real terms, it lets you cut down on your marketing costs.

Optimizely is a user experience platform that lets you experiment with data and test your ideas. You can introduce multiple calls to action to a single product, observing which converts more and why. The platform also lets you manage your digital content.

The Segment is a product and customer analytics tool. Applied to marketing, Segment lets you track the customer’s journey across products, platforms, and devices.

Slack is a mass messaging platform for tightly woven teams. Integrated with Hotjar, Slack can funnel feedback to you straight away. Zapier is an automation and integration platform. It links together systems that would normally be incompatible.

Hotjar Review Conclusions

Hotjar is a behavior analytics tool that can enhance the functionality of other analytics tools like Google Analytics. However, Hotjar on its own may not be as useful. It focuses on presentability rather than long-term usability, which can lead to misinterpretation of data. The tool provides features such as heatmaps, recordings, and attractive designs. But to extract the context, one needs a scientific inclination and research skills.

Understanding your customers is vital for any business to thrive. Observing their behavior and choices without interfering can help you know them better. However, Hotjar alone may not be sufficient for this purpose. It can only provide a glimpse of user behavior and can be used as a starting point for further research.