Hotjar Pricing: Is It Worth Your Investment? [+ Better Alternatives]
Investing in product analytics software can be a worthwhile investment as it helps you attain deeper insights into user behavior. That said, the Hotjar pricing model can be both expensive and confusing if you don’t familiarize yourself with all its quirks.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through each subscription tier to help you find the right option for your needs!
- Hotjar is a product experience insights platform with heatmaps, surveys, and interviewing capabilities.
- Hotjar’s heatmaps can track clicks, scrolling, and cursor movements to help you analyze or interpret user behavior on your website.
- Hotjar offers free versions for each of its solutions but these are quite limited.
- Hotjar’s paid plans range from $39/month to $599/month depending on which product and tier you need.
- Hotjar offers a 15-day free trial on its paid plans.
- Hotjar’s expensive pricing, narrow feature set, limited data retention, and subpar support access hinder its usefulness as a product experience insights platform.
- Online reviews show multiple Hotjar customers who dislike the pricing model and/or price point.
- If you need advanced analytics and product usage data, then a digital adoption platform like Userpilot would be a better alternative to Hotjar. Get your free Userpilot demo today!
- If you need a Hotjar alternative with simpler pricing and better dashboards then you should check out FullStory.
What is Hotjar?
Hotjar is a product experience insights platform that lets you map the ways that users interact with your website or application and visualize this data in an actionable way. Its interactive heatmaps are capable of tracking clicks, scrolling, cursor movements, and rage clicks anywhere on your website. Hotjar also includes session recording and multiple days to collect user feedback.
Is Hotjar free or paid?
Hotjar offers both free and paid options for customers who’d like to use its product(s). Each product — Observe, Ask, and Engage — has a Basic plan that is free forever but limits the number of website sessions, feedback responses, or customer interviews in a certain period.
What is Hotjar pricing?
When attempting to grasp Hotjar’s pricing, it’s helpful to group its subscriptions into two camps.
The first consists of its Ask and Observe products with plans that start at $39/month and $59/month, respectively. These products are priced like most other SaaS products with different features, integrations, and capacities as you go up their subscription tiers.
Hotjar Engage — its user interview solution — is priced significantly higher, with the entry-level plan starting at €350/month (which is equivalent to $380/month at the time of writing). Hotjar Engage lets you recruit respondents, schedule research sessions, and conduct interviews using native conferencing.
Note: We do not know why Hotjar uses euros for its Engage plans while using dollars for the Ask and Observe products.
The sections below will give you a closer look at the Ask, Observe, and Engage options from Hotjar.
Hotjar Ask and Observe pricing
Hotjar’s Ask and Observe solutions let you visualize user behavior.
You’ll be able to track custom user interactions and events such as:
- What users click on
- How far down your users scroll
- Key features they interact with*
*Hotjar can only show you which buttons or elements users repeatedly click on. It doesn’t have native product usage or feature adoption capabilities, so we’d recommend using another analytics tool for product analytics.
Hotjar Ask plans
Here’s an overview of the features and pricing of each Hotjar Ask plan:
- Basic. The free version of Hotjar Ask lets you collect up to 20 survey responses per month. You’ll be able to create up to three surveys, embed three feedback widgets, and automatically generate survey summaries using OpenAI.
- Plus. The Plus plan (starting at $59/month) increases capacity to 250 survey responses per month and unlocks Hotjar’s Events API. It also lifts the restriction on surveys and feedback widgets, which means you’ll be able to create unlimited surveys/feedback widgets.
- Business. The Business plan (starting at $79/month) increases capacity to 500 survey responses per month and up to 100k monthly responses if you’re willing to pay $1,379/month. You also get AI-powered sentiment analysis, custom branding, survey analytics, integrations, and the Identify API.
- Scale. The Scale plan (starting at $159/month) also starts at 500 responses per month but can go as high as one million monthly responses with custom pricing. It also lets you automatically export responses, send responses to third-party tools using webhooks, and use single sign-on (SSO).
All Hotjar Ask plans let you request feedback in over 40 different languages, choose from 40 unique survey templates, store unlimited responses indefinitely, and ask unlimited questions per survey. You’ll also be able to filter through responses using date ranges, keywords, URLs, or survey completion rates.
Hotjar Observe plans
Here’s an overview of the features and pricing of each Hotjar Observe plan:
- Basic. The free version of Hotjar Observe lets you track up to 35 sessions per day. You’ll be able to automatically capture data on user actions, create unlimited heatmaps, and use the HubSpot integrations to watch session recordings from your CRM timeline.
- Plus. The Plus plan (starting at $39/month) increases capacity to 100 sessions per day and unlocks Hotjar’s Events API. You’ll also unlock the ability to filter your heatmap data, session recordings, and user responses to hone in on the user insights you need most.
- Business. The Business plan (starting at $99/month) increases capacity to 500 sessions per day and up to 270k daily sessions (users report paying four or five figures per month for this volume). You’ll also be able to track frustration signals, use integrations, and access the Identify API.
- Scale. The Scale plan (starting at $213/month) also starts at 500 sessions per day with a maximum capacity of 270k daily sessions (but costs twice as you’ll also get funnel/trend reports, automated user lookup/deletion requests, single sign-on (SSO), and priority support*.
*Priority support is only available for subscriptions with 4,000+ daily sessions.
Hotjar Engage pricing
Whereas the Ask and Observe solutions help you conduct user surveys or analyze user behavior, Hotjar Engage focuses on letting you collect direct feedback during user sessions (which are hosted through the built-in video conferencing feature).
- Basic. The free version of Hotjar Engage lets you conduct up to five interviews per month. One of these interviews will come from the Hotjar participant pool while five need to come from your own network. Interviews can last up to 30 minutes with one moderator and spectator present.
- Plus. The Plus plan (starting at €350/month) increases capacity to 15 interviews per month and increases recording retention from two weeks to two years. Five of these interviews will come from the Hotjar participant pool while 10 need to come from your own network.
- Business. The Business plan (starting at €550/month) increases capacity to 30 interviews per month. 10 of these will come from the Hotjar participant pool while 20 need to come from your own network. Interviews can last up to 60 minutes with two moderators and spectators present.
- Scale. The Scale plan (using custom pricing) increases capacity to 60 interviews per month. 20 of these will come from the Hotjar participant pool while 40 need to come from your own network. Interviews can last up to 120 minutes with four moderators and 10 spectators present.
How long is Hotjar free trial?
Hotjar offers 15-day free trials on its Plus and Business plans. You can also request a 15-day free trial for the Scale plan if you choose the “contact sales team” option. You do not need a credit card to get started with your free trial.
What is the downside of Hotjar?
There are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before committing to a Hotjar subscription:
- Expensive pricing. Hotjar can get quite pricey as the number of sessions, responses, or interviews you need to accommodate increases. For instance, you’d need to pay more than $7,000/year to conduct 30 monthly interviews with Hotjar Engage.
- Narrow feature set. Unlike all the tools that compete with Hotjar, Hotjar’s feature set narrowly focuses on heatmaps that track your users’ behavior. This can make it less than ideal for teams that want to go beyond website analytics and actually see product or revenue metrics.
- Retention periods. Hotjar’s limited data retention periods (which will vary depending on which plan you subscribe to) can make it difficult to retain insights long-term. Being forced to upgrade in order to extend the retention period will further inflate the Hotjar cost you pay each month.
- Lacking support. The Hotjar support team is all but inaccessible to freemium users, and even paying customers need to upgrade to the Scale plan to receive priority support or get a dedicated customer success manager.
One last thing to consider is how restricted Hotjar’s freemium plans are — limiting data to 35 daily sessions and deleting user interviews after two weeks. This stands in stark contrast to something like Google Analytics which is free forever regardless of how much traffic your website gets.
What do users say about Hotjar’s pricing?
Multiple Hotjar customers have complained about its pricing model being too complex, expensive, or both:
“I dislike the new pricing model and the separation of the various analytics across observe, ask, etc. They are all important for product analytics. It would have been much better to keep an option for bundled deals. I am currently reviewing options at my new company and considering not implementing Hotjar due to the change in their pricing model.”
“Some limitations due to the pricing, it’s not like it’s expensive but a bit annoying to have so many limitations on the free version”
“Pricing can start to get costly as you scale up.”
“The costing pattern is scattered, and I think they should have more categories for the pricing model.”
“The pricing structure is a bit steep for what they offer and how much is overlapped by Google Analytics.”
Are there better analytics tools than Hotjar?
With all the tools available for gathering actionable insights based on user interaction, there’s no reason to believe that Hotjar is the best choice for every digital marketing team. This is especially true because of how quickly the cost of a Hotjar account can inflate as your usage increases.
Let’s take a look at two Hotjar alternatives: Userpilot and FullStory.
Userpilot – Hotjar alternative
Userpilot is a better option for product teams as, in addition to letting you create engaging experiences, it has more advanced features and broader coverage. Let’s quickly go over some of the features that Userpilot has to offer:
- Event tracking. Userpilot’s no-code event tracking features can be used for a wide range of use cases such as tracking product usage, feature adoption, or gathering event data for segmentation purposes. You can even use feature heatmaps to better visualize user adoption.
- Flexible analytics. Userpilot has a diverse array of analytics features for you to leverage such as:
- Funnel analysis reports that help you identify friction points and reduce user drop-off.
- Trend analysis reports trends that visually represent changes in data over time.
- In-app surveys. Userpilot lets you build in-app surveys without writing a single line of code. You’ll be able to tweak advanced configuration options — with custom triggers, multiple languages, and 14 different templates to choose from.
- A/B testing. Userpilot’s A/B testing capabilities let you run product experiments and collect growth analytics. You can A/B test in-app messages, resource centers, onboarding flows, user surveys, landing pages, and product features.
The fact that all of these features — with the exception of A/B testing — are available in Userpilot’s entry-level Starter plan ($249/month) makes the product better value for money than Hotjar. Our pricing tiers are more transparent and straightforward as well.
FullStory – Hotjar alternative
If you’re looking for a similar feature set to Hotjar but with a simpler subscription tier structure then you should consider FullStory. FullStory combines behavioral data with session replays, product analytics, and third-party integrations to provide a holistic digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform.
Its digital experience analytics features include:
- Product dashboards. FullStory’s product analytics dashboards let you combine multiple cards to monitor the metrics that matter most. These include sessions per user, paid traffic by source, session volume by device type, conversion rates by category, and more.
- Usability insights. If your users drop out of a contact form or start thrashing their cursor while on your landing page, this is a clear sign that your users feel negatively about it. Tracking these frustration signals ensures you won’t end up like the one million other websites that underperform.
FullStory uses quote-based pricing but does offer a 14-day free trial for its Business plan.
As you can see, Hotjar is more than capable of keeping tabs on your website visitors and seeing how they interact with different web pages. That said, its overcomplicated (and expensive) pricing model, coupled with the lack of product analytics, severely limits its usefulness.
If you’d rather track custom user actions without writing a single line of code then it’s time to get your free Userpilot demo today!