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Comparison & Review
Min read

Hotjar is too expensive!

Donald Ng
September 28, 2022
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra
Hotjar is too expensive!

If you are thinking Hotjar is too expensive and looking for cheaper alternatives that can do heatmap, recording, feedback, and survey. Then, you have come to the right place.

Ever since Hotjar made changes to its pricing model, many Hotjar users are ready to jump ship and look for a cheaper alternative as they have effectively doubled their pricing.

If you're an existing Hotjar customer and looking for an alternative to switch, we've got you covered.

Let's break down their recent price change:

Hotjar pricing model

Hotjar pricing model used to be very straight forward where you only pay for a single price point and get a fixed set amount of sessions but not anymore!

As you may already know that since the 20th April, Hotjar is changing its pricing model as they published on the Hotjar blog, and they basically just splitting the set of features they had into 2 categories:

1) Observe, to help you observe user experience through session recording and heatmap.

2) Ask, to help you ask about user experience through a feedback widget and pop-up survey.

Source from Hotjar Blog: link

They are essentially splitting their product suites into two categories to charge you twice. Pretty smart.

In order to use Hotjar like the good old days, you need to pay both ways to access those features, €79/mo for Observe Business together with Ask Plus €47/mo for your business.

Are you ready to commit €126/mo for only 15K sessions and 250 responses? Probably not.

Why are they doing it?

Simple, profit is the name of the game.

Hotjar was acquired by ContentSquare

It makes perfect sense for them to go in this business direction since Hotjar was acquired by ContentSquare earlier this year.

And, when you have a new boss (ContentSquare) that only care about making a profit, and your business (Hotjar) have build up many loyal customers over all these years. It is time to reap the profits.

Put yourself in the shoe of ContentSquare, you spent tens of hundreds of millions to acquire a business. Wouldn't you want to turn your investment into profit?

That is a common downfall of a great company when they're acquired by a bigger company. Now, I am not hating on Hotjar but that is just a matter of fact that most companies that got acquired can throw their mission and vision out the window.

Because it is now all about ContentSquare now. It is a very common practice, I mean look at the Whatsapp acquisition and the most recent Figma acquisition which is a major concern for a lot of Figma's userbase.

How much does Hotjar cost?

What are some of the changes made to Hotjar after it was taken over by ContentSquare?

The most notable change is the splitting of features into Observe and Ask.

Now, if you are looking to use both suites you need to pay €31 + €47 = €78 per month. Only applicable if your business is small enough. And, you are happy with only 100 recordings per day and 250 responses per month!

3,000 recordings per month are too little for most companies even for the early startups, and 250 responses are way way too much for any business, and for €47 per month just for feedback and survey, that is STEEP!

For €78/month was Hotjar worth it?

For smaller startups, probably not.

Simply because there are so many better tools out there that are charging way less, here is a list of heatmap alternatives to Hotjar that you can choose from.

However, if you are from a big organization that has a high budget and has a lot of different stakeholders in the team to collaborate over the platform. Then, Hotjar is probably your best bet.

To be fair, Hotjar is offering a data retention period of 12 months for all their paid plans which is quite generous and definitely would cost them a lot to retain those data for 12 months. Hence, kind of justifiable how expensive they're charging for their recording.

No competition is offering a storage retention rate of 12 months for the lower plans. Usually, you will need to pay to upgrade your plan to 12 or 24 months of data storage retention for recording and heatmap.

Do people generally care about 12 months of data storage retention? Probably not especially for startups and smaller businesses.

Why? Because your website is probably going to get revamped or redesigned every 6 months or have a major layout shift every couple of months. The older recordings wouldn't make much sense anyway.

According to our data, most people don't watch recordings older than 2 months let alone 12 months of data retention.

For 12 months of data retention, you will be forking out €78 every month.

But, what if I tell you you can do unlimited recordings and unlimited responses for as low as $24 per month?

Hotjar is ridiculously expensive now

An affordable alternative: Howuku

Howuku is a better alternative that is way cheaper and offers the same functionality (heatmap, recordings, feedback, and survey).

Howuku is an all-in-one user behavior analytics platform that offers all existing Hotjar functionalities such as recording, heatmap, survey, and feedback, and even the one that was deprecated such as form analytics and conversion funnels.

Here is a list of all features that you can access for just as low as $24 per month:

Howuku vs Hotjar USP

This is the most asked question we get when compared against Hotjar and there is so many things that Howuku is doing better than Hotjar.

Some of the Unique Selling Point (USP) Howuku has over Hotjar is as follows

1. No daily recording caps

Howuku doesn't charge you for additional daily recordings cap like Hotjar. If you take Howuku lowest tiered plan at $24 per month, you are getting 10,000 recordings in total and not 100 recordings daily basis.

2. Unlimited feedback and survey responses

You know what is better than paying $48 per month for 250 responses? Paying $0 per month for unlimited responses with Howuku.

It sounded a little silly to pay $48 for 250 responses isn't it?

3. Unlimited websites and projects

If you have a main website and creating many marketing campaign landing pages every month, you either pay for Hotjar paid plans for each and every one of them or you just compromised with the free plan which doesn't really do much in general.

Or, you can pay Howuku for one price and use it for unlimited websites!

Many digital marketing agency loves us for this and are using Howuku for 100s of websites without breaking the bank.

4. Dynamic Heatmaps

We capture your latest websites automatically without needing you to manually capture new snapshot of your website whenever a new elements were added to it.

5. More features

Howuku is not just a heatmap, recording, feedback and survey tool.

We provide on-site A/B testing, split URL testing, content personalization, conversion funnels, event tracking and many more!

All the powerful UX optimization features packed into one single platform are offered at a very affordable price.

You can check out a thorough Price and Features comparison here: Hotjar vs Howuku.

Hotjar alternative comparison page


We take pride in that as we are serving a purpose to help SMEs adopt user behavior analytics and we understand that the UX tools are way too expensive and not many can really afford it.

Many Hotjar customers are looking for a better alternative and landed in Howuku as an alternative that gives more value for the money spent.

The truth is most of them are switching over to Howuku for the same reasons: affordable prices and great support.

If Hotjar is too expensive for you and you're looking for an affordable alternative as well, why not give Howuku a try for a 14-day free trial? :)

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