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How to grow & improve your WordPress site with Hotjar

WordPress powers over 33% of the web, making it the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). With that number of websites comes a huge amount of owners, marketers, product managers, and UX professionals who can benefit from learning more about the behavior and needs of people who visit their sites.

In this quick article, we show you how to use Hotjar’s official WordPress plugin, which makes it easier for any WordPress user to install Hotjar and start collecting useful behavior and feedback insights. We also share five ways to use Hotjar heatmaps, surveys, and session recordings to spot bugs, increase conversions, and improve user experience on your WordPress site.

Last updated

18 Aug 2022

Reading time

5 min


Table of contents

What is Hotjar for WordPress?

The official Hotjar WordPress plugin makes it simple to install Hotjar’s tracking code on any WordPress website without coding knowledge.

Simply install the plugin and copy your site ID from the Hotjar dashboard to start using heat mapssession recordingssurveys, and more behavior and feedback tools on your WordPress site (skip to the end of this article for step-by-step instructions).

Benefits of using Hotjar on your WordPress site

By using Hotjar for WordPress, you get the benefit of Hotjar’s suite of user behavior and feedback tools.

Hotjar works as a complement to traditional web analytics (e.g., Google Analytics). Where analytics tools help you collect vast amounts of quantitative data points and large-scale traffic and usage patterns, Hotjar gives you an extra level of context into your visitors’ actions so you don’t have to rely on guesses or opinion when making changes or answering business-critical questions.

The benefit of using the official Hotjar plugin

There are a number of unofficial Hotjar plugins floating around the WordPress repository—but when an official one like ours is released, that’s the one you should trust and use.

As the official plugin developers, we’re dedicated to keeping it updated, ensuring it remains secure and optimized for speed. And if you have any trouble using Hotjar on your WordPress website after installing the official plugin, our support team is here to help you!

5 ways to use Hotjar on WordPress to improve your website UX

Hotjar’s WordPress plugin is simple and lightweight, but it unlocks the power of our entire suite of user behavior and feedback tools without cluttering up your dashboard with multiple plugins.

You can use Hotjar to improve your WordPress website in so many ways, but here are five popular approaches to help you get started.

1. Find out where users click with heat maps

Heat maps show you where people are clicking, scrolling, and moving around your website pages. Click heat maps (right) aggregate data from all the clicks (and taps on mobile) on a certain page, and display them in the form of ‘hotspots’ from blue (less popular) to red (very popular). Scroll maps (left) show you how far down the page people go: the redder the section, the larger the percentage of site visitors who saw it.

You can track clicks on different pages and see if users are clicking key calls-to-action (CTAs) or failing to see important page elements; you can also use scroll maps to see how much of your content (think blog articles, product pages, etc.) people are seeing.

With this data in hand, you’ll be equipped to make page changes to focus clicks on the elements you want users to interact with.

See it in action: take a look at these heatmap examples.

2. Get feedback from your users with on-page surveys

A little feedback goes a long way toward helping you make improvements that allow you to grow your website visitors and revenue: letting users express their opinions and experiences in their own words can reveal UX optimizations you’ve never considered.

Practical example: optimization company Ecommerce Warriors (also a WordPress site) used a simple Hotjar Survey on a client's site to ask: “What information is missing or would make your decision to buy easier?” The overwhelmingly popular response was a request for better coupon codes:

As a result of the survey, Ecommerce Warriors could recommend a fix to the existing coupon code system, and test additional ways of serving coupons to new users.

If you need to collect feedback from your users and customers, it’s incredibly easy to add an on-page survey to your WordPress website without the need for a separate survey plugin or script. 

3. See how people interact with your WordPress website

Session recordings (also known as user or session replays) show you the actions visitors take as they browse your website. Unlike heat maps, each session replay is unique to a single visitor and can capture each page visited in a browsing session.

By viewing user recordings, you can get insight into how real people experience your website as a whole, and spot areas for improvement along the way.

🔎 An important note about privacy: by default, we automatically anonymize personally identifiable information and have features in place that help you suppress specific elements to safeguard your visitors’ privacy.

4. Spot (and fix) WordPress bugs

WordPress (and its themes and plugins) gets frequent security and feature updates, which, as you probably have experienced, can cause bugs and errors on your site.

Hotjar’s heat map and recording features help make it easier to stay on top of website updates and spot any problems before they have a negative impact on your business. Hotjar captures desktop, mobile, and tablet sessions, so you can find and fix problems on any device.

Read more: follow this guide to spotting bugs and issues on your website after you make changes to it or when you need to keep up with WordPress updates.

5. Increase conversions

Conversions are the lifeforce of so many websites. Whether your conversion metric focuses on sales, sign-ups, or referrals, you can gather the insights you need to increase them with Hotjar.

For example: analyzing your conversion funnel will reveal the critical pages where users drop off, allowing you to put heat maps, session recordings, and surveys to work to identify why. Once you have a better understanding of why users behave the way they do, you’ll be able to optimize the user journey to funnel more conversions where you need them.

Read moreincrease your conversion rate by following our CRO guide and identifying the main drivers, barriers, and hooks on your WordPress website.

Start improving your WordPress site today

Sign up for Hotjar, install the WP plugin, and collect user insight now.

Hotjar for WordPress FAQs

How to install Hotjar on a WordPress website

Adding Hotjar to a WordPress website couldn’t be easier. Download and install Hotjar’s official WordPress plugin or follow the steps in the video or written below to install directly from the WordPress dashboard.

If you prefer to manually add code, here’s how to add the Hotjar tracking script to your site.

Video 1

1. From your WordPress dashboard, hover over “Plugins” and click “Add New”

2. Search for the keyword “Hotjar” and click “Install Now” on the official plugin

The official plugin states it is developed “By Hotjar”. Hit “Activate” to start using it

3. Hover over “Settings” then click “Hotjar” to set up the plugin

Log into your Hotjar account to view the list of sites you’ve added to Hotjar. If you’re a new user, here’s how to add a new site to Hotjar.

A unique Site ID will show to the left of each of the websites you’ve added to Hotjar. Enter the relevant ID into the plugin settings page and hit “Save Changes”.

5. Click to verify your install

You should see a message pop-up to confirm installation is complete.

With Hotjar successfully installed on your WordPress website, head over to your Hotjar dashboard to set up a new heatmapstart recordings, or create an on-page survey and start collecting insights.

Start improving your WordPress site today

Sign up for Hotjar, install the WP plugin, and collect user insight now.