There are more than a few session recording tools in the market, allowing you to record and playback your users’ journey on your website. Most tools are used either for behavioral analytics, or for bug tracking purposes.
Hotjar is one of the more popular tools, allowing you to record sessions, view heatmaps of webspages, and survey users directly on your website. Having said that, it comes with a price.
Although Hotjar offers a free tier, it’s very limited, and you’ll probably hit the paywalls very soon after starting to work with the tool.
In this article we’ll review the limitations of Hotjar’s free plan and suggest free alternatives.
Session recordings traffic limitation
As of today (December 2021), Hotjar offers a free tier, allowing website owners to record up to 35 sessions per day, and up to 1,050 sessions per month. So assuming you have more than 35 visitors on your website on a daily basis, you can only record 35 of them, and you miss out on viewing the recordings of all other visitors.
Data retention limitation
As Hotjar offers to keep up to 1,050 session recordings on the free tier, you won’t be able to access past data, explore older recordings. If your team’s work processes take more than a month, it may pose an issue as those recordings will no longer be available to watch after that time period runs out.
Just recordings, no insights
Hotjar can record your users behavior on your website, but when you have more than a few recordings to watch, it can be very time consuming, especially if they are long and you don’t know what you’re actually looking for.
Other (free) tools such as Visualime are using artificial intelligence to analyze the recordings and locate potential UI/UX issues, so you could focus on what really matters, improve your website’s experience and increase the conversion rates.
Sample of insights from Visualime:
Free alternative for Hotjar
Visualime is a free alternative for Hotjar, allowing you to record an unlimited number of user sessions. Visualime will automatically generate insights for you, powered by AI, to allow you to focus your time and what really matters most. The insights can focus you on potential UI/UX problems such as rage clicks and abandoned forms, while directly skipping to the relevant part of the recording.
Comparing Hotjar .vs. Visualime free plans
|Visualime free plan||Hotjar free plan|
|Unlimited session recordings / day||35 session recordings / day|
|Unlimited session recordings / month||1,050 session recordings / month|
|Unlimited data retention||30 days data retention|