How 400+ beta readers helped us write our best content (PS: you can do the same)

December 20, 2017 by Fio Dossetto
For decades, software developers have been using beta testers to get feedback on products ahead of their official release. For centuries before them, novelists and literary writers used beta readers to get opinions on late drafts before preparing manuscripts for publication. At Hotjar, we are not new to using beta testers for our software, but we only recently decided to learn a lesson from literature and apply a beta reader approach to our content.  

Hotjar’s Approach to Privacy

November 29, 2017 by David Darmanin
In 2005, after spending 5 years in Law school, I submitted my legal doctorate thesis entitled ‘Privacy and Electronic communications’. Little did I know that this experience would deeply impact the decisions my team and I took when building Hotjar (the business and the product) nine years later. Today we are proud to say that, since launching in 2014, we have taken important decisions that prove our commitment to Privacy, and we’ll continue to do so over the coming years.   

6 Lessons Learned as the Co-Founder of a €10M SaaS Startup

October 25, 2017 by Marc von Brockdorff
I’m Marc von Brockdorff , co-founder and Director of Engineering at Hotjar. I have been building online products for the past 15 years and now spend most of my days planning the Hotjar product roadmap, interviewing candidates, and helping our product teams. We recently reached a big milestone :  €10,000,000 in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), just 30 months after launching publicly in April 2015. Here are some things I learned throughout the process.

Death by 'Best Practices': Why They Can Kill Your Business

October 11, 2017 by Louis Grenier
It was my first job in digital marketing and I wanted to make an impression as quickly as possible. I was working for a SaaS company in Dublin and one of my objectives was to increase the conversion rate from visitors to paid customers. I really had no clue where to start.

19 ways Hotjar's remote team stays focused and productive

August 4, 2017 by Fio Dossetto
There are days when the simple act of getting stuff done requires a lot of effort. We’ve all been there: a deadline is looming, there are too many distractions, burnout is approaching fast. Sometimes, even finding the self-discipline to start work can be... a lot of work.

Turning your career around: the real-life stories of 7 Hotjar team members

July 19, 2017 by Louis Grenier
Beeeeeep! Beeeeeep! That's the sound of your alarm going off. Beeeeeep! Beeeeeep! Oh come on, one more minute! I need to sleep a bit more... I really don't want to go to work...

How we're re-investing €4 Million in 2017 to make Hotjar even better

July 5, 2017 by David Darmanin
Hotjar was founded in 2014 with a bold vision to ‘Change the way digital experiences are built and improved by democratizing user analytics and feedback’. In less than three years, we went from running a 9-month beta program, to making Hotjar available to the public, to experiencing tremendous growth by finally reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €8 Million as of June 2017.

Opening the gate: how we’re using open-access content for trust and growth

June 6, 2017 by Fio Dossetto
Sticking an opt-in gate in front of your content and counting how many people go through it has become the go-to solution to measure lead generation and marketing success. But is inundating people with pop-ups that promise mind-blowing content in exchange for their email address really the best way to go about building your brand/business?

The Hotjar Story (Part 2) – From Beta to €1 Million ARR in 6 Months

May 29, 2017 by David Darmanin
Data from Chartmogul - March to September 2015 Last year we wrote about how Hotjar went from idea to 60,000 beta signups in 6 months. As we inched closer to the end of the 6-month Hotjar beta phase, we had no idea what would happen once we started asking for payment. 

3 awards, 9 talks, 18 startups: Hotjar’s XAwards round-up

May 18, 2017 by Fio Dossetto
Back in February, we launched the XAwards for early stage startups (2 to 5 members) to discover some of the world’s most innovative and exciting teams, and learn about the products and services they are building. We also wanted to give back to the startup community with three XAwards cash prizes: €20,000 for Best Overall Experience, €5,000 for Best Tech Achievement and €5,000 for Best Mobile App Experience.

How to Go to Market Quickly and Fail Fast

October 29, 2016 by David Darmanin
If you’re building a startup or digital business (or want to), the worst thing you can ever do is fail slowly.

The Passion Fallacy (or, Why You Need More Than “Passion” to be Successful)

September 22, 2016 by David Darmanin
“Follow your passion!” At some point in your life, you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say that all you need to do to succeed is to “follow your passion.” While it’s true in some cases, it doesn't always (or often) translate into automatic success in the startup world. And, in many cases, following your passion can lead you straight into a failed business. So, what’s the solution?

Hanging Out in the Mediterranean - How Hotjar Does Remote Team Meetups

August 11, 2016 by Brian Lenney
In June 2016 the Hotjar team flew in from all over the world to spend a week together on the gorgeous island of Malta (click here in case you’re wondering where it is). Hotjar Headquarters is in Malta so we figured - why not hold our bi-annual company meetup there? The weather is perfect, there’s a lot do, and when you see how breathtaking the island is you’ll understand why movie and TV show producers like to film there (e.g. movies/shows like Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Troy, 13 Hours, The Da Vinci Code, and much more were filmed in Malta). Hotjar has always been a 100% remote/distributed team. We live all over the world and the benefits of this, we believe, outweigh the challenges. Of course, the main challenge of being part of a fully distributed team is getting to know each other in person. Stuff like body language, nuances, and quirks that don't come across over a Google Hangout. Team bonding even from a workshop setting tends to not happen when you're fully remote and we can't really toss a ball around over the Internet to learn agile (more on that later). So twice a year we meet in person to achieve three things: To get to know each other (most of us haven’t met in person before) Have fun together (as Roald Dahl said, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.") Work together and share ideas/knowledge (much easier in person)

What Kind of Product Creator Are You - Facilitator, Peddler, Entertainer, or Dealer?

August 4, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Building a SaaS product, app, or site? If you’re a Product Creator in any capacity, the way you build your product will dictate the level of success you'll achieve. Like me, you’ve seen products and apps come and go. Some disappear as quickly as they arrive, and some (like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, et al) have achieved incredible success. But, why is it that people get hooked on some products while others don't even make a ripple in the pond?

How to Discover What Your Users Want to Read (So You Can Write It for Them)

July 22, 2016 by Brian Lenney
At Hotjar, we use Hotjar in everything we do. Whether it’s building, writing, scaling, designing, or hiring - Hotjar helps us make Hotjar better. We’re firm believers of practicing what we preach (and we 100% believe in our product) so using Hotjar to grow Hotjar is a must for our team. Now to the problem: most content marketers struggle with "creating more engaging content," as evidenced by this phenomenal study put together by The Content Marketing Institute: We’ve learned some really great tips over the past few years when it comes to producing content and here's the secret: you already have everything you need to create great content at your disposal.

Advanced Q&A Webinar Replay 6/18/16

June 13, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Wednesday June 08, 2016 In this webinar, our founder David Darmanin and others from the Hotjar team discussed things like: "I am keen to learn how to use Hotjar as a service for my clients, as well as cut through the overwhelming amount of data (often too much!) to create a prioritised action plan for optimisation." "How do I detect bot traffic?" "I want to learn about polls and surveys and what makes for an engaging conversation. Any tips?" How do make sense of heatmaps? What do I do with them?"

How to Nudge for Good (and Not Evil)

June 8, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Have you ever wondered what your users think of your website? Sure you have. But have you let your users inform (even dictate) your design process? If you're like a lot of website owners in the world, your answer might be: maybe. There’s a lot that goes into designing with your user in mind. If you want to truly understand them, you need to take their opinions and feedback into account. When you do you can lay out a path for them that’s clear and helpful - one that nudges them in the right direction. So in this post, we’ll be looking at how user feedback informs good design and empowers you to lay out your user’s journey in a way that makes it easy for them. But...a nudge?

9 Lessons Learned Scaling Hotjar's Tech Architecture To Handle 21,875,000 Requests Per Hour

June 1, 2016 by Marc von Brockdorff
We’re extremely ambitious - our goal is to have Hotjar installed on 10 million sites. Having such a bold vision whilst taking a freemium approach presents huge technical challenges. How does an engineering team build a platform that can handle hundreds of millions of requests per day knowing that the majority of that traffic is coming from free users? Early on, we knew the key was to do things differently and focus on building a platform that can scale. So just how much data and traffic are we dealing with? As of writing this blog post, Hotjar has been installed on 151,036 sites. Over the past few days, we had an average of 525 million requests to our script per day. That’s 21,875,000 per hour. And 364,583 per minute. Our databases contain 37.25TB of data and grow by around 5GB per day. We write 1,500 requests to the database per second.

The Hotjar Demo + Q&A Webinar 5/24/16

May 26, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Wednesday May 24, 2016 In this webinar, the Hotjar team brought a bunch of our our users onto the webinar with us to ask questions. We did a demo of the product and talked about things like: "Can I keep my heatmaps when I make new ones, or do they get deleted?" "What can you do to prevent bot traffic being recorded?" "How do Polls work with other languages? Are they dead set in English ?"

The Hotjar Advanced Q&A Webinar 5-18-16

May 23, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Wednesday May 18, 2016 In this webinar, our founder David Darmanin and others from the Hotjar team brought a bunch of our our users onto the webinar with us to ask questions. We talked about things like: "Does Hotjar work with dropdown menus?" "What's next in the product roadmap?" "Can Hotjar be broken down by device resolution?" Watch the video:  

The Hotjar Q&A Webinar May 10th, 2016

May 16, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Tuesday May 10, 2016 In this webinar, our founder David Darmanin and VP of Marketing Tara Robertson gave a general overview of Hotjar and discussed things like: "What's the best way to choose which recordings to watch? Out of 2,000 I'm not sure which ones are important and which ones are not?" "Funnels - What happens if you have a non linear funnel, so what if customers can enter mid way through the funnel, can this be differentiated in your funnels?" "Some clients seem to get worried about recording, in terms of privacy. Any tips on selling it to clients?" Watch the video:  

5 Ways Hotjar Recordings Help You Understand Your Users

May 12, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Websites, landing pages, SaaS tools. All of it. We want to facilitate a digital revolution to help designers, programmers, and marketers build user-centric platforms and tools. But this only works if you understand your user in the first place:

The Hotjar Q&A Webinar May, 03 2016

May 4, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Tuesday May 03, 2016 In this webinar, our founder David Darmanin and others from the Hotjar team discussed things like: "How can I 'sell' Hotjar to my clients?" "Funnels - What happens if you have a non linear funnel, so what if customers can enter mid way through the funnel, can this be differentiated in your funnels?" "Some clients seem to get worried about recording, in terms of privacy. Any tips on selling it to clients?"   Watch the video:  

The Hotjar Q&A Webinar April 26th, 2016

April 26, 2016 by Brian Lenney
Tuesday April 26, 2016 In this webinar, our founder David Darmanin and other members from the Hotjar team give a general overview of Hotjar and discussed things like: "What's the difference between Google Analytics and Hotjar?" "How can I optimize my checkout process to see where people are dropping off?" "Are there any great examples of organizations that have used Hotjar's capabilities with A/B testing?" Watch the video:   

A Guide For Startups: Giving Your Users The Customer Support They Deserve

March 23, 2016 by Marc von Brockdorff
At Hotjar, we firmly believe that the user always comes first. Online startups can no longer get away with offering a mediocre product or a sub-par customer experience. Users expect a great user experience and responsive, quick customer support and the companies that will succeed are those who can provide exactly that. As soon as customers get good support somewhere (regardless of the industry), anything less is sub-par. Chris Duell from

The Questions We Love to Ask Users (And You Should, Too!)

March 5, 2016 by David Darmanin
We are often asked what questions are the ‘right’ questions to ask your users in polls and surveys. Our answer: it varies. It really depends on the experience of the user and what you are trying to achieve... To get you started on the right track, we've put together a list of questions that we've found to be the most successful and engaging with visitors – organized by your business type:

How to Grow and Run a Remote Business - The Hotjar Way

February 4, 2016 by Tara Robertson
When Hotjar was initially built the founders knew they wanted to grow and flourish the company in a remote environment. Rather than be held back, they wanted to allow the flexibility to find the best people in the world while also providing the opportunity for Hotjar employees to live wherever they wanted, spend time with their families and friends at their leisure, and control their own working schedules. This belief system quickly grew into what we all call 'The Hotjar Way' internally. We have been able to grow, manage, and maintain an awesome culture across the world. So we wanted to share with you how we did it!

The Hotjar Story (Part 1) – From Idea to 60,000 Beta Signups in 6 Months.

January 12, 2016 by David Darmanin
I failed miserably in 2 startups before Hotjar. In both cases we built a product for months before we took it to market and started ‘selling’ it at scale. We thought that a well planned and complete user experience together with a top notch design were critical requirements before launch. We were completely wrong.

Mastering the Art of Prioritization: How Hotjar Decides What to Work on Next

November 24, 2015 by Robyn-Dale Samuda
Building a killer app is not a simple feat and requires relentless focus on what’s important not only for driving business but making our users happy. Our focus is on what will help them achieve their goals and eradicate pain points - their success is ours. With limited number of resources at hand, how do we build a product that keeps our users happy without getting carried away with projects and features that add very little value? Making the right choice when deciding what to work on next is crucial. A bad decision now could have a huge impact on how quickly you are able to scale or pivot later on. At Hotjar we ask ourselves three simple questions when deciding what we want to focus on: 1. What's our vision? The Hotjar Roadmap Hotjar has a very clear vision - we want to change the way the web is built and improved by democratizing user analytics and feedback.

Case Study: How Poll Questions Can Be Optimised To Get Better Responses

September 15, 2015 by Robyn-Dale Samuda
Delivering superb user experiences for your website’s audience is not simply about creating stellar designs that captivate and inspire awe. In reality, the best experiences go unnoticed because they make work so simple and intuitive that everything flows naturally. We certainly know, as business owners and marketers, that we may at times be disappointed by the absence of the audible “wow.” However, sometimes the wow factor comes from just offering something that works and provides for your end users’ needs. As a prerequisite to this accomplishment, David had to do some work to get feedback on what visitors needed in their visit to his client’s website, a website for wedding inspiration. He started this journey with the Hotjar Poll feature.

How we (Hotjar) communicate with our 17,385 users

March 11, 2015 by David Darmanin
With 17,385 users in Hotjar and only a small team to build and support the product, as well as run the company – we quickly realized we have to be smart and efficient in the way we communicate with our users. We're also obsessed about delivering great service. So how do we deliver top notch service with limited resources? Here is the setup we use: The Tools We use 6 key tools to manage communication with our users:

We Analysed The Homepages Of 20 Awesome Startups And Here Is What We Learnt

August 7, 2014 by Marc von Brockdorff
Your startup's homepage or landing page may be the one most important page of your site. Think of it as an empty canvas which you, as a business owner or web designer, can use to engage your first-time visitors. Primarily, your homepage's job is to explain what your product or service is all about. But of course, it needs to do much more. It needs to provide your visitors with re-assurance that you are trustworthy, reliable and real. It needs to tell your visitor where to go next. It needs to provide enough information to keep your visitors from pressing the back button. And it needs to do all this in as little time as possible.

8 Skills You Need to Become a UX Design Rockstar

August 7, 2014 by David Darmanin
If you are expecting this to be a list of tools, devices or platforms then be prepared to be disappointed! Being a rockstar at UX design means that you can deliver bankable and measurable results with your work... not eye-candy that impresses your friends and colleagues. So understandably, I chose to base this list on what I have learnt from seeing UX specialists at work on hundreds of projects, split tests and experiments. Mastering these 8 skills might not be a simple feat - but the returns of achieving this will be worth the while. Every competitive organisation will pay handsomely for a UX rockstar!

A 5 Minute Guide To Cloud Hosting For Startups And Web Designers

August 1, 2014 by Erik Näslund
Cloud hosting is used by almost everyone today, ranging from the newest startup companies to some of the biggest players in the industry (Pinterest, Airbnb and Netflix all run on publicly available clouds). Before the advent of cloud hosting, you had to buy or rent your servers and manage them yourself. This is still a viable approach if you have very specific needs, but for most use cases the cloud works remarkably well...however not without a couple of caveats.

5 UX Mistakes That Will Make Your Visitors Click The 'Back' Button

July 29, 2014 by Jonathan Vella
The very basis of UX Design is effective qualitative user research which is for the most part not achieved by reading - it's achieved by asking the right questions. When it comes to UX mistakes, more often than not it's the habits and processes we ourselves dictate that lead to a bad user experience. Let's explore some of the mistakes which might be easy to overlook but can have big negative consequences for your website.

Solving The Pricing Challenge - How Today's Startups Charge Their Customers

July 24, 2014 by Marc von Brockdorff
Throughout the past few years, I have had the pleasure of working with extremely talented individuals on a number of tech startups. I love the process of taking an idea and turning it into a product that users are actually happy to pay for - it's incredibly rewarding to see that happen. But there is one part of that process that I find extremely frustrating: choosing the right pricing structure for your startup.

Form Design For Dummies: 10 Simple Tips On Designing A Form That Converts

July 14, 2014 by Jonathan Vella
Web forms have become an integral part of most websites and the internet in general. Their primary purpose is to help both users and businesses achieve their separate goals by establishing a relationship or initiating a conversation between the two. Registration forms are what allows people to become members of online communities or services. Think of Facebook - their 1 billion+ users all joined through a registration form; Checkout forms allow transactions to happen through the web. Subscribing to a paid service and people purchasing products are a couple of examples which happen through a checkout form; Data submission forms are how people share knowledge, post information and communicate online. Forums, blogs and social communities all rely on users posting these forms for their websites to grow. Even with their extensive importance online, it is surprisingly common to come across very poorly made forms - which is a shame. Here are some simple guidelines which are a good foundation for most types of forms.

8 Trello Keyboard Shortcuts You Must Learn Today To Plan And Collaborate More Efficiently

July 4, 2014 by Marc von Brockdorff
Fog Creek Software, the makers of Trello, recently announced that their incredibly simple collaboration tool recently hit over 4 million users. Considering Trello was released just under 3 years ago, one thing is clear: The majority of users love simple, intuitive tools that purposely limit the functionality of their tools to avoid unnecessary bloating and complexity. If you currently use Trello, there is one way you can quickly double your efficiency: shortcuts. Below, we're highlighting the top 8 shortcuts you should definitely learn today to plan your projects and collaborate more efficiently.