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[2020] Hotjar Review: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

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If you’re looking for a thorough Hotjar review, you’re in the right place.

Offline stores have a huge advantage many online stores don’t have–that’s because they can physically watch how their visitors engage with the layout of their store. They have cameras, most have a staff, and they may have inventory to manage. As a result, they know where they’re traffic is and whether the layout works well for their visitors or not. Unfortunately, most online business owners don’t know they can have the same data.

They may or may not know how to use their Google or Microsoft Analytics dashboards, and they also may not know they can record their website visitors activity! If you’re here, it’s likely, you have an online business and you’re looking for ways to understand your website visitors better. Hotjar is one solution that offers to help you learn your website visitors better, and I’m hoping this Hotjar review helps you decide if this is a good option for you.

In this Hotjar review, I’ll be telling you:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • What it does well
  • What it doesn’t do well
  • My Recommendation
  • And some alternatives (in case you want to do comparison shopping)

What is Hotjar? An Overview

Hotjar says they are a “fast and visual way to understand your website users”. I agree and I’ve found that Hotjar is a software company that offers you the ability to record your website visitors, interpret your analytic data better, and form more accurate hypothesis that can help to improve your website user experience.

How Does Hotjar Work? 

Hotjar has several components that make it valuable to website visitors. Here are a few:

Hotjar Recordings

Hotjar has various account sizes: the free account and the upgraded account (which records more visitor activity). Once Hotjar is installed on your website, you can record your website visitors and watch the recordings to analyze problems that might be hindering your sales or engagement with your content.

Hotjar Funnels

You can also track the conversion rates of your visitors from various landing pages to your conversion goals. Hotjar will give you data like how many of your visitors went thru the various steps in your funnel, and what percentage completed your conversion goals.

Hotjar User Feedback

Hotjar also provides the option for on-site user feedback. You can turn on a tab that will enable your website visitors to leave their feedback about their experience on your website.

Hotjar Heatmaps

Another cool feature of Hotjar is the heatmaps. With the heatmaps, Hotjar will visually show you how your website visitors are engaging with your content. They use color-coding to show you how far your users usually scroll on your page, where most click, and so on.

With the data from the heatmaps, you can optimize your website. You can discover if your calls to action are located in the wrong place, if customers expect a button where there isn’t one, and so on.

How Do I Get Started with Hotjar ?

Hotjar is installed as a line of code inside of your website. When you create your free Hotjar account and set up the websites you’d like to track with Hotjar, you’ll be given some code to add onto each tracked site in the <Head> of every page and post on your website.

Who is Hotjar For?

Hotjar is best for:

  • Those who are doing paid traffic campaigns
  • Website owners who have traffic but are concerned about the user experience
  • Those who might be having problems with converting traffic into buyers
  • Those who have products and services to sell on their websites, but aren’t seeing optimal results
  • Or, those who simply want to be proactive and ensure stable engagement with their website content

Hotjar Tools & Training

Hotjar has a resource center that helps you to get started with their software. It tells you how to install the tracking code, how to set up the recordings and snapshots, how to stop and start recordings, and much more.

Hotjar Support

Hotjar offers a ticketing support system where you enter the problem type and a comment, and the support team will respond within 2 business days. They also offer webinars and guides to help you use Hotjar.

What Does Hotjar Do Well

  • Hotjar helps you understand your website users better
  • It helps you visualize user activity
  • It helps you to make hypothesis that can improve your website performance

What Doesn’t Hotjar Do Well

They don’t offer any real-time support like live chat or phone support

Hotjar Review Roundup

I know it helps to hear what customers of Hotjar have said about the software. Here are the positive and negative feedback I’ve compiled from Hotjar customers.

Common Positive Feedback

I’ve taken courses on conversion optimization or paid advertising and Hotjar is constantly recommended as the #1 tool to use. Users say:

  • They offer a great freemium plan
  • Great interface and UI
  • GDPR compliant

Common Negative Feedback

  • Doesn’t work well with Javascript
  • Doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics
  • No ability to download recordings
  • High traffic sites can use the recordings quickly
  • You can’t analyze several site’s data easily from one interface

Most Helpful Positive Hotjar Review

Hotjar is a very intuitive and easy-to-use tool that allows you to run quick surveys and to measure user intention through heat maps, for example. The integration with the website is smooth and the surveys created have a good response rate. Their reporting tool is also solid and provide actionable insights for UX and product improvements.


Marcelo R., G2Crowd

Most Helpful Negative Hotjar Review

Cannot track logged in User. There is no option to deanonymize if the user signs in. If this feature is there it will be helpful for the marketing purpose. Integration with Google analytics would be a plus point. Ability to download the session recordings would have helped a lot. Ability to download the heatmaps would have helped a lot. Direct login from Google or social media. I really hate logging with password. Hotjar wants us to login with a password even after being logged in using Google OAuth. This is a double job for the users. Something that is not recomended.

Dheeraj M., G2Crowd

Hotjar Price

Hotjar offers a free plan that records 2k daily sessions. If 2k sessions isn’t enough, the upgraded plan is the 10k session plan for $29/mo, and other plans are 20k sessions to 15 million pageviews at $9,589/mo.

My Final Opinion of Hotjar

I’ve been using Hotjar for over 1 year now. It’s the #1 tool I use to optimize my website for conversions. When people give me feedback on my website and say “maybe you should change this or that”, I verify things with my Hotjar recordings to validate that a change needs to be made.

I also found Hotjar extremely useful with my paid campaigns. I think it can save you lots of money if you watch the recordings, the heatmaps, or the funnels to make sure the users are making it to your conversion goal and engaging with it well.

If you’re a website owner, then I’d recommend checking out Hotjar to help optimize your website for conversions. You can create your free Hotjar account here.

VERDICT: Recommended


Popular Alternatives

Wealthy Affiliate

If you want a website, hosting, the ability to learn how to get more customers to your website, and how to create a good user experience, then this could be a great option. Learn to interpret website data: analytics, search console, or other data.

Google Analytics

If you want data to analyze where your website visitors are coming from or how they're engaging with your website, Google Analytics can help for free.

Google Search Console

If you're looking to understand where your website visitors are coming from in the organic search rankings, the search console can help you out.

HotJar | Website User Testing Software




Ease of Use


Customer Support







  • High customer satisfaction ratings on sites like TrustRadius, G2Crowd, and others
  • Very easy to use
  • It helps you to understand your website visitors better
  • It can save you lots of money and time by letting you visualize how customers are engaging with your website


  • It doesn't integrate with Google Analytics
  • No live customer support options

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