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All-In-One Analytic Tool – Hotjar

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  • 4:05 reading time (ish)
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Tracking users is a massive business in the web industry, the more information you can gather about your visitors when they’re on your website, the more you can potentially increase conversion, leading to a successful website and business.

I often use a combination of different tools depending on the ultimate goal of the website, for example on my own website, search ranking and referrals are both important to me so I use Google Analytics to track referrals and SEO Edge to track ranking.

Recently I heard about Hotjar from the guys over at Web Designer Depot:

“By combining analysis and feedback, Hotjar lets you review a bigger picture than other analytics tools, at a more affordable price.” Web Designer Depot

Intrigued by their tagline, “All-In-One Analytics And Feedback”, I quickly signed up for an account and starting testing.

So what is Hotjar?

Hotjar logo

Taken straight from their website, Hotjar is a new and easy way to truly understand your web and mobile site visitors. You can use Hotjar to identify your hottest opportunities for improvement using:

  • Heatmaps
  • Recordings
  • Funnels
  • Forms
  • Polls
  • Surveys Recruiters

What’s even better is that Hotjar currently offers three different plans, Basic, Business and Pro. I opted to take advantage of the free basic option as it was perfect for testing my own website due to the size. I found the limits set for the basic plan were no problem at all and still provided some fantastic feedback. I would perhaps be tempted by the larger data limits offered on the Pro plan if you were running an ecommerce or event based website for example.

My experience of Hotjar

I unfortunately neglected to take full advantage of all the services Hotjar offers as I was only really interested in their recording and heat map service at the time. That said, I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised at the results it managed to capture and at how well the whole experience is designed.

Within minutes of setting up my account I had my first recording to watch, a few visitors later provided me with even more recordings to watch as well as a useful heatmap. I have to admit, it’s quite funny how much joy I took from seeing someone actually using the website, clicking where I wanted them to click, stopping on the pages that were key to the website.


Recording screenshot from hotjar.com

So onto the recordings, it has to be said, I absolutely loved this feature! I had access to all sorts of testing equipment during university, including some rather expensive eye tracking software aimed at testing website usability. I really did miss using the software as it assisted with improving the overall experience of websites I designed. What I found Hotjar does really well, is give you pretty much the information as expensive software and does so without interfering with your visitors.

I did a little testing myself and picked this particular recording out (Unfortunately the link will expire in three months): 

View Recording

This particular recording shows a visitor exploring the website and doesn’t run into any problems at all. It also shows that this particular user has no issues locating the links that they’re interested in and decides to email me after they were done exploring the website.


Recordings are one thing, being able to see popular hotspots on your website is another. It gives you a great understanding on what is working well and what isn’t. Heatmaps give you an understanding as to what users want, care about and do on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behavior – which are the strongest indicators of visitor motivation and desire.

Below is the collected heatmap from Hotjar  (Again, the link will expire in three months): 

View Heatmap

Immediately I can tell that the projects page is being viewed the most, followed closely by the about page. What’s great about this particular feature is you can track any page you want (I chose the homepage for this test). What the map also shows is that my users are exploring the website, even below the fold! Not so useful for me on my particular website, but if you had a series of action buttons I can definitely see how this could be an incredibly useful tool!

Great Scott!

Throughout using Hotjar I’ve been none stop surprised at how well the features work and at how well put together it is. It’s a pleasant experience simply viewing the dashboard – hats off to the design team involved! It’s not trying to replace Google Analytics but instead it’s focusing on providing tools that ultimately help the end user (via the designer/developer).