When you receive more visits to a site than its Hotjar plan covers, we use a method known as sampling to continue collecting data. This random selection of your traffic allows for fluctuations in traffic and ensures you still have visibility of what your visitors are doing around the clock.
Why does Hotjar sample?
Website traffic varies on a day-by-day basis. Rather than simply cutting off data collection once you go over a fixed pageview limit, we use predictive modeling to collect data from a sample of your traffic. This means that you can select a price plan for your site that fits your average pageview traffic without a spike in traffic cutting off your data collection midway throughout the day.
Sampling is on a per Site basis
Users on our V1 pricing are sampled based on the traffic in all sites in their Organization. Users who started using Hotjar after September 2017, or have upgraded to V2 pricing are sampled per site.
What happens when my site is sampled?
When your site traffic exceeds your plan, we apply a sampling rate to collect data from a percentage of your users throughout the day. Hotjar analyzes your site’s traffic and adjusts the sampling rate every few minutes to ensure we collect the pageviews your plan allows. This also means that Hotjar can adjust based on rapid changes in your traffic so a busy hour won't use up all of your daily pageviews.
Large spikes may see some hours of the day being sampled more than others. Significant spikes that aren’t typical of your usual traffic will be sampled more heavily.
Sampling does not apply to Feedback tools
Sampling does not affect feedback tools, including Incoming Feedback, Polls, Surveys, and Recruiters.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I check if I am being sampled?
Whenever a Funnel, Form or Heatmap is using sampled data, you will see a notice saying "This is based on a sample of your total visitors".
Recordings will not show this message, but if you suspect any Recordings are missing, you should check your sampling using the two methods below
If you’d like a more detailed breakdown, you can also get more information about your site’s sampling in two places:
Sampling Visualization is only available for our V2 users
- Bottom-Left Sidebar: You can see what percentage of your site’s traffic Hotjar is recording. If you click on Learn more, you can see a detailed view of your current data collection rate and also how much traffic Hotjar would be able to track on different plans. Non-account owners can also view this information, although they cannot change plans themselves. Instead, they can request a plan change which would notify the site’s account owner via email.
- Plans & Billing page: Sampling Visualization can be seen on the Plans & Billing page. Altering plans allows the account owner to identify the best data collection plan for the site, based on their traffic.
Graphs are only estimates of daily traffic
Data within these graphs are updated daily and the calculation is based on estimated traffic from the past 7 days. Sites with very low or sporadic traffic might experience regular changes in data collection percentages.
What is the data collection graph telling me?
Each bar represents 1 day of traffic. If your site has more traffic than what your Hotjar data collection plan allows, the total pageviews reported is an estimate.
Each bar can have up to 2 colors to visualize information:
- Blue: Shows the data Hotjar is recording on the current data collection plan, as
well as the data which could be recorded on a newly selected plan.
- Grey: Shows the data Hotjar is not recording based on an estimate of your site’s
There are also up to 2 dashed lines which may appear when visualizing this information:
- Black: Shows the data Hotjar is recording on the current data collection plan.
- Green: Seen only when changing plans, indicates what Hotjar would record when
updating the data collection plan to the selected one.
Why is my site being sampled despite traffic staying within my plan limits?
Hotjar’s sampling algorithm collects data evenly throughout the day. Sites with very sporadic traffic may be sampled even though you’ve not exceeded your plan.
For example, if your site has a 50,000 daily pageview plan, each hourly window would be approximately 2,083 page views. If Hotjar predicts you’re on track to exceed 2,083 pageviews during that window due to a sudden spike, that traffic would be sampled for that hour.
Do IP addresses I have blocked from Hotjar count towards my pageview limit?
Yes. IPs that are blocked remove the user from data collection only. This does not apply for those who have Do Not Track enabled within their browser.
What is counted as a pageview?
Pageviews are calculated based on pageviews from all the pages you have the Hotjar Tracking Code installed on.
Hotjar installed on Single Page Applications (SPAs), or pages using Virtual Page Views (VPVs), count each manual state change as a pageview.
Is sampling per Account or per Site?
Each Site is sampled according to its individual plan. One Site could be collecting data from 100% of its visitors, while another could be collecting from a sample.