When your site's daily traffic exceeds the data collection rate of the Hotjar plan it is on, we use a method known as sampling to collect data. Hotjar will track a portion of your site's daily traffic – known as the sample size – to build your reports.
Sampling only applies to data used in Recordings, Heatmaps, Funnels, and Forms. It doesn't apply to Polls, Incoming Feedback, Surveys, and Recruiters.
The data collection graph in the Hotjar Dashboard allows you to see how much traffic your site receives on a daily basis and how much of it is being tracked by Hotjar.
- Why does Hotjar use sampling?
- How do I know if my reports are based on sampled traffic?
- Why are my reports based on sampled traffic when my total traffic stays within my plan's daily data collection rate?
- What is counted as a pageview?
- Do IP addresses I have blocked in Hotjar count towards my site's daily pageview limit?
Why does Hotjar use sampling?
Website traffic varies daily. Rather than tracking all your site's traffic and cutting off data collection once you reach your plan's daily data collection rate, we use predictive modeling to track data from a sample of your traffic throughout the entire day.
The traffic used in the sample is randomly selected and ensures you can see what your visitors are doing around the clock. Usage and behavior on sites changes throughout the day. This method gives you the best possible representation of your site visitor's usage even when your site's plan does not cover its total traffic.
How is the sample size determined?
Throughout the day, Hotjar adjusts how many visitors it should be tracking every few minutes to ensure we collect at a minimum, the daily pageviews your site's plan allows for.
How do I know if my reports are based on sampled traffic?
Whenever a Heatmap, Funnel, or Form report is based on sampled traffic, you will see a notice above the report saying "This report is based on a sample of your total visitors".
Recordings will not show any message, however, if you suspect Recordings are missing, you can check how much of your site's total traffic Hotjar is tracking.
Why are my reports based on sampled traffic when my total traffic stays within my plan's daily data collection rate?
This is most likely due to traffic spikes. Hotjar's sampling algorithm tracks data evenly throughout the day, however, sites with sporadic traffic may experience sampled reports even though they've not exceeded their plan's daily data collection rate because of these spikes.
For example, if your site's plan has a data collection rate of 50,000 daily pageviews, each 10-minute window is approximately 347 pageviews. If Hotjar predicts there will be more pageviews within this 10-minute window, sampling kicks in. This short time window allows Hotjar to quickly readjust and correct undersampling if it happens. Even with this window, it would still mean that traffic was sampled at some point, resulting in the message above your reports being shown.
What is counted as a pageview?
A pageview is counted every time one of your site's pages loads where the Hotjar Tracking Code is installed.
Hotjar installed on Single Page Applications (SPAs), or pages using Virtual Page Views (VPVs), count each manual state change as a pageview.
Do IP addresses I have blocked in Hotjar count towards my site's daily pageview limit?
Yes, traffic from blocked IPs is still counted. However, this doesn't apply for visitors who have Do Not Track enabled within their browser.