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Hotjar vs Crazy Egg: which one is the best for your needs?

December 2, 2019 by Hotjar team

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.

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.

But there are also obvious differences between Crazy Egg and us when it comes to approach, benefits, and the markets businesses each of us serves. 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 laser-focused on businesses selling online. 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 almost 100, and we bring you in-house, localized support across EU and US timezones.

And now, for the comparison table:

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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:

crazyegg-october-2006

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:

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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.

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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:

  1. Identify issues and pain points that make people leave your website
  2. Better understand how your pages really perform (and why)
  3. 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 Polls and Session Recordings, Hotjar helps you investigate these scenario—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.

Hotjar Feedback Polls are a hassle-free way for users to share their thoughts and needs with you. Here’s an example of what a Feedback poll looks like on a product page:

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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.

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Filters in Hotjar recordings help you narrow down user behavior

📚 Read more → check out our introduction to Polls and on-site surveys, this list of 22 poll examples from real websites, and our extensive guide to Session Recordings.

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 funnel analytics and 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 (or tap) heatmap, 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.

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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.

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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.

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an example of scroll map

While heatmaps let you see where you may be losing your users on an individual page, Hotjar Funnels help you find drop-offs across your entire website. An ecommerce site might want to look for drop-offs in the cart or checkout pages, while a SaaS company might want to review the performance of individual pages in their upgrade funnel.

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🔥 Pro tip: Google Analytics also offers funnel visualization. But one thing GA cannot do—while Hotjar can!—is tie each drop-off stage with insight that explains why the drop-off is happening. See that “WATCH” button in the image, under each step of the funnel? That’s exactly what it’s there for: when you click it, you can immediately start reviewing sessions from people who left on at that specific point.


Whichever type of website you own or work on, knowing where the majority of your visitors drops off will help you focus your optimization efforts. And whether you’re using Funnels or Heatmaps (or both), you can always pair the behavioral data points with direct feedback you collect on specific pages.

You can do this proactively through on-page Polls that ask direct questions, as in the example below:

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Or you can use yet another Hotjar tool, Incoming Feedback, to let customers express their feedback on a page (or section of it). In this example, Incoming 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.

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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?

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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 analysis of heatmaps and recordings 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

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- Filter out session recordings to review sessions of people who leave your site from a high-exit-rate page

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- Collect data via Incoming Feedback to see what page elements may be prompting people to leave:

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- Use Feedback Polls to ask what you should do differently:

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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.

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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 only watch sessions from people who gave you negative feedback via Incoming 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-review

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 recordings, but we’re so much more than that, which sets up our next differentiator...

2. Best complement to Google Analytics

According to the vast majority of customers we’ve spoken to or who have reviewed our tool, Hotjar is by far the best complement to Google Analytics. Note that we have zero intention of ever competing with Google Analytics—we’re meant to be used in conjunction.

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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.

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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.

Woth Hotjar, one simple script gives you access to several behavioral analytics tools in one go. Users get up and running in minutes. Best of all, Hotjar is easy to get results from, easy to share with team members, and easy to make decisions based off of.

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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 business owner or are trying to get Hotjar approved at a large company, the fact that you can get started free and start seeing value right away really helps.

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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.

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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.

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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 were 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.

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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.

Free forever. Get started!
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Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 16.30.26
Hotjar team

80+ Hotjarians, 20+ countries, 1 goal: to give you and your team the insights you need to create experiences your users love.