Learn / Blog / Article
Hotjar vs Crazy Egg: which one is the best for your needs?
If you’re hoping to see a stand-off with Hotjar versus Crazy Egg, we must ask that you stand down right now. The Crazy Egg team has done a great job creating a product that businesses use for heatmaps, user session recordings, and A/B testing.
Last updated18 Aug 2022
Both Hotjar and Crazy Egg can serve as complements to Google Analytics, so if you’re looking for deeper insights than what you’ll get from GA, then good job: moving past web analytics alone is a game-changer.
Crazy Egg vs Hotjar
If you’re comparing Crazy Egg’s and Hotjar’s free trials, you may be wondering which one you should go for. While Hotjar is the industry leader for heatmaps and behavior analytics, Crazy Egg may be better suited for tracking specific users.
There are some obvious differences between Crazy Egg and Hotjar when it comes to approach, benefits, and the markets and businesses each of us serve. And that’s what we’ll cover on this page:
TL;DR: what’s the difference between Crazy Egg and Hotjar?
We’ll get to the traditional feature-by-feature comparison in a second. Before that, here are the four main things that separate Hotjar from Crazy Egg:
1) Hotjar has a free forever plan that anyone can sign up for and keep using, well, forever. Crazy Egg did too, a few years back, but as of 2019 it only offers a free 30-day trial on all subscription plans.
2) Hotjar is focused on helping product teams create an amazing user experience. We’re especially loved by B2C companies like TomTom, Ryanair, Matalan, and many others who want to make the right website changes, improve UX, and increase conversions and revenue. Crazy Egg has a wider audience than ours, and might be a better fit for lead gen websites and education companies.
3) Hotjar gives you the full picture of user behavior with tools that help you not only reconstruct the actions that people take on your website (which Crazy Egg also does), but also situate them in a larger context: Hotjar gives you the opportunity to collect direct feedback about people’s intentions, needs, and issues with your website (which Crazy Egg does not).
4) Hotjar has a fully transparent approach to business and customers: we've been documenting our journey along the way, we take pride in being a fully remote team of more than 200, and we bring you in-house, localized support across EU and US timezones.
And now, for the comparison table:
Hotjar and Crazy Egg: (brief) history and mission
Crazy Egg started off as a design agency and then relaunched as a SaaS product in 2006. Here’s a snapshot of what the site looked like back then:
Founded by Neil Patel and Hiten Shah, Crazy Egg was one of the very first testing platforms to help businesses track, evaluate, and improve their conversion rates. Their aim was to make conversion rate optimization easy and give people a visual way to analyze website performance. The original free plan from 2006 was later retired in favor of a free 30-day trial on all subscription plans.
Meanwhile, Hotjar launched in 2014 with 5 co-founders and a mission to democratize analytics and feedback. This is what the site looked like in October of 2014, when we were still in public beta:
We, too, decided to offer a free version of our product so that teams of all sizes (including small teams and businesses without a lot of traffic and/or funding) could understand their website visitors better. We also worked to make our product affordable by building data collection processes around sampling and giving customers the option to use fewer data points at a lower monthly price.
Today, our team has grown from 5 to almost 100 members spread across the globe (we are a fully remote company), and our mission is re-focused around giving businesses of all sizes the insights they need to build experiences users love. However, our commitment to democratization is still very much in place—we still have the same free forever plan that anybody can sign up to.
From the beginning, there have been differences in the missions and pricing models of CrazyEgg and Hotjar. As both companies have grown, we also started seeing further differentiation, with Crazy Egg expanding their focus on A/B testing and Hotjar doubling down on better understanding user behavior.
At Hotjar, we’re 100% focused on building robust behavior analytics software that helps you understand user behavior and get the insights you need to make changes. That’s why we’re not investing into also offering A/B testing tools that can help you validate whether a certain approach is working or not. There’s Google Optimize or Optimizely for that—or, indeed, CrazyEgg.
Get in-depth, comprehensive data with Hotjar
Hotjar is used by businesses selling online and their UX teams, marketers, product managers, and owners when they have questions about ‘how’ and ‘why’ people use a website that traditional analytics tools can’t answer.
Crazy Egg can be used for that, too, but Hotjar brings you wider insight by pairing behavior and feedback data. So if you fall into one or more of the categories above, using Hotjar helps you:
Identify issues and pain points that make people leave your website
Better understand how your pages really perform (and why)
Better investigate what Google Analytics alone won’t tell you
1. Identify more issues and pain points that make people leave your website
How easy is it for your website visitors to find what they’re looking for? Why do many of them leave before converting? With tools such as Feedback Surveys and Session Recordings, Hotjar helps you investigate these scenarios—but you get more insight from Hotjar than from Crazy Egg here. Both let you review recordings of sessions where visitors experienced issues and pain points, but only Hotjar helps you also collect direct user and customer feedback about it.
These non-intrusive on-site surveys help you collect feedback from your visitors that alerts you to parts of your website that aren’t working as they should. You can then keep this qualitative data in mind as you review Session Recordings, which are playbacks of the actions your visitors took while navigating through multiple website pages:
A SESSION RECORDING EXAMPLE
Filters such as ‘rage click’ and ‘u-turns’ in Hotjar will let you zero in on sessions where users click repeatedly, likely out of frustration, or land on a page and immediately return back to a previous one. This helps you find relevant recordings from people who are struggling, so you can review them and find out what might have gone wrong.
2. Better understand how your pages really perform (and why)
Both Hotjar and Crazy Egg give you a powerful tool that helps you measure the effectiveness and performance of your site content: Heatmaps. But Hotjar doesn’t stop there: it also brings you website feedback widgets that help you dig deeper into the performance of specific pages and page elements.
Heatmaps come in three types. The first one, known as click map, shows you where users are clicking their mouse or tapping their fingers on a mobile device. This gives pretty immediate insights into which menu items, icons, links, buttons, CTAs, opt-in features, or other elements are getting the most action.
AN EXAMPLE OF CLICK MAP
The second type of heatmap, known as move map, aggregates mouse pathways to show where users are moving across the screen. This can help you gauge attention in certain areas and learn if users are moving their mouse in a place other than your main CTA buttons.
YES, THE PLACE ON THIS MOVE MAP WHERE MOST USERS STOPPED THEIR MOUSE IS… THE IMAGE OF A HEATMAP. META!
The third type of heatmap, known as scroll map, shows how far down the page your users are scrolling. If people aren’t getting past the top section, that means it didn’t hook them into reading/going further. Too little red on a scroll map is a definite red flag.
AN EXAMPLE OF SCROLL MAP
Whichever type of website you own or work on, knowing where the majority of your visitors drop off will help you focus your optimization efforts. And when you use Heatmaps, you can always pair the behavioral data points with direct feedback you collect on specific pages.
You can do this proactively through on-page Surveys that ask direct questions, as in the example below:
Or you can use yet another Hotjar tool, Feedback, to let customers express their feedback on a page (or section of it). In this example, Feedback is the little black button on the right-hand side of the screen; once clicked, it lets people express their thoughts on the page via a sad-to-happy emoticon range (which can be customized to a 1-5 star rating) and add specific feedback about what elements work or don’t.
3. Better investigate what Google Analytics alone won’t tell you
Here is something that happens a lot: you find a data point inside Google Analytics that looks interesting, but don’t understand why it exists or what it means. Is it a problem if the bounce rate is high? Why is time on the page so low? What’s causing people to exit en masse from a specific page?
YOU CAN INVESTIGATE A HIGH EXIT RATE IN GA… BUT DO YOU KNOW WHY IT’S HAPPENING?
Using website analytics you can easily pull data on your top-performing and lowest performing pages, but you won’t necessarily understand what makes a winner from a loser. Crazy Egg takes you one step further: you can run solid heatmap and recordings analysis and start getting a clearer idea of why things are happening—but without asking people directly, you’re still mostly making guesses and assumptions.
With Hotjar, you gain both behavioral insight and feedback from your visitors that you can use in conjunction with each other and with website analytics to become a UX and customer experience master. For example, you can:
- Check out your heatmaps and understand where people are losing interest
- Filter out session recordings to review sessions of people who leave your site from a high-exit-rate page
- Collect feedback to see what page elements may be prompting people to leave:
- Use on-site surveys to ask what you should do differently:
5 things our customers love about Hotjar
You’ve heard a lot from us so far. Now it’s time to hear from someone else: take a peek at what our existing customers think and love about us.
1. Get the full picture on user behavior
A couple of points here. One is that qualitative data + quantitative data amounts to the best understanding of what users struggle with and what they want.
Point number two is about how these two types of data interact.
With Hotjar, you can use user feedback to filter out session recordings. Yep—you can watch sessions just from people who gave you negative feedback. That’s insanely powerful. Without that ability, you’re stuck looking through multiple recordings just to find someone who’s experiencing the issue you want to investigate.
Hotjar offers form and page analytics, funnel analytics, and feedback so that you can know what’s really going on. Like Crazy Egg, we’re known for heatmaps and session recording software, but we’re so much more than that, which sets up our next differentiator...
2. Best tools to complement Google Analytics
According to the vast majority of customers we’ve spoken to or who have reviewed our tool, Hotjar offers—by far—the best tools to complement Google Analytics. Note that we have zero intention of ever competing with Google Analytics;we’re meant to be used in conjunction.
When you only use Google Analytics, you can measure goal conversion rate, discover exits and exit rates, monitor traffic, and measure your user base (new versus returning) without ever really understanding why and how things are happening.
With Hotjar you can discover user issues and explore their causes, analyze trends that you see in Google Analytics, monitor page performance in better detail, hear directly from your visitors, and gain a deeper understanding of the results of any A/B tests you might be running.
3. Easy to install, set up, use, and understand
We’re obsessed with being easy all around, because that’s in line with our mission to give all businesses the power to improve their users’ experience.
With Hotjar, one simple script gives you access to several behavior analytics tools in one go. Users get up and running in minutes. Best of all, Hotjar is easy to share with team members, and makes it easy to get results so you can make the most impactful changes to your site.
4. Simple to get approved, affordable to grow with
We’re a freemium product, meaning you can get started for free at any time. Whether you’re a small ecommerce business owner or are trying to get Hotjar approved at a large company, the fact that you can get started for free and get value right away really helps.
Plus, we’re affordable to grow with. We utilize sampling so that you don’t have to pay for more data collection than necessary, and we have different pricing tiers to accommodate your needs and those of your business.
Because Hotjar provides real business value so quickly, it’s relatively easy to get approval for.
5. A top-class remote team with in-house support
The fact that we’ve got 90+ employees from 15 different countries—all working remotely—means more for you than you might think.
It means that we’re happy. We’re living where we want to live, and we’re working with a top-notch team whose skill and dedication was chosen over their location.
And for you, the best thing about our team is the level of support we provide: all in-house and localized in EU and US timezones, too.
Wrapping up: is Hotjar for you?
Let’s find out. Hotjar is for you if you:
Are a business selling online
Need a tool that is powerful but simple and easy to use
Want to better understand user behavior so you can improve UX and increase conversions
Want to know both HOW and WHY things are happening on your site
Want the peace of mind that comes from a large, international team of 90+
Want to try a tool for free for more than 30 days (forever, even!) before you make up your mind
Hotjar is NOT for you if you want/need:
A replacement for Google Analytics
A tool to run A/B tests
An SEO tool
A bug-tracking tool
We hope you found all the information you needed. And because our tool has a free forever plan, why not sign up and see for yourself?
Check out Hotjar for yourself
Get a free account, install the script, and start understanding user behavior on your site.
9 user-driven tools and methods for ecommerce website analysis
When you think of analyzing your ecommerce site, you probably think about ecommerce tracking data like bounce and exit rates, average order value, checkout flow, and conversion rates, and maybe running an SEO audit and/or checking your site against competitors.
10+ web analysis tools to help you understand your users [including 5 Google Analytics alternatives]
If you want your visitors to keep returning to your website—to increase traffic, improve conversion rates, and ultimately grow revenue—you need to understand what’s happening when they reach your site.
How to set up a free Google Analytics heat map
If you’ve come here to learn more about Google Analytics heat maps, we have both good and bad news for you.
The bad news: Google stopped supporting its heatmap add-on in 2017, and recent reviews confirm that it doesn’t work anymore for a lot of users.
The good news: there's another way for you to get a free heatmap using Hotjar, and we guarantee it will work.