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When it comes to understanding user interaction on your website, Lucky Orange and Hotjar offer more in-depth insights than a basic tool like Google Analytics. However, they each have unique strengths that make them best for specific use cases:
Lucky Orange is best for understanding general user behavior with advanced heatmaps that capture interactions with both static and dynamic page elements. Great for improving the overall user experience on large traffic websites, however, it lacks features to help you dig deeper into customer journeys, site errors, and user frustrations.
Meanwhile, Hotjar’s heatmaps don’t track dynamic element interactions but have filtering, segmentation, and A/B testing options. That makes it possible to track the behavior of specific user groups and, paired with its comprehensive funnel tracking features, understand customer journeys. The unique combination is great for optimizing funnels for higher conversions but it lacks features for identifying errors and providing real-time support to your users.
That’s why I included SessionStack in this comparison — it has features for SaaS platforms and web apps that are missing in Lucky Orange and Hotjar.
With its robust set of session replay, live co-browsing, and sitewide click & error tracking, it’s perfect for a diverse range of teams; from product and support to developer and engineering. It helps you quickly spot and resolve errors and user frustrations, while providing real-time support for an optimal experience.
To help you better understand the key differences between Lucky Orange vs Hotjar vs SessionStack, we’ll take a closer look at how they stack up in the following areas:
I’ll also touch on site speed impact and integrations in the comparison table below. This will give you a better picture of each tool’s strengths so you can pick the right one for your needs.
Limited free plan. Starts at $18/mo (~ 2,000 sessions/mo). Grow is $35/mo, Expand is $70/mo, and Scale is $150/mo.
Limited free plan.Starter is $39/mo (~ 3,000 sessions/mo). Business starts at $99/mo, and Scale at $213/mo.
Has the best free plan. Starter is $79/mo (10,000 sessions/mo) and the Scale is $129/mo (25,000 sessions/mo).
Has session replays (can be slow and glitchy) with segmentation and live features, but no dev console.
Fully functional session replay features complete with user segmentation and a dev console.
Everything in Lucky Orange and Hotjar + dedicated error tracking page + live co-browsing.
Live sessions and co-browsing are not available.
Live sessions allow for co-browsing but no view of user states and co-browsing tools.
Super fast co-browsing mode with pointer, pen, and control takeover features.
No AI capabilities.
AI-assisted customer survey analysis.
AI-augmented session replays. Saves time with optimization recommendations and session summaries.
Has live and interactive heatmaps (click, scroll, and move) for each site page that captures dynamic elements.
Snapshot-based click, scroll, and move maps that let you capture images of dynamic elements on individual pages.
Unique site-wide click tracking that records static and dynamic HTML elements with most clicks, dead clicks, and rage clicks.
|Customer Journey Analysis|
Has limited funnel creation and analysis features, but captures the overall and step-specific conversion rates.
Everything in SessionStack (with a limit of 10 funnel steps) + side-by-side funnel comparison across user segments.
Complete funnel functionality with user segments, date filters, and linked user sessions to quickly uncover conversion-blocking friction points.
|Site Speed Impact|
Reported ~1171ms average page speed impact across the web. Strongest impact on main thread execution.
Reported ~1128ms average page speed impact across the web. Impact on main thread execution is quite close with Lucky Orange.
7 native integrations + Lucky Orange API + Zapier
10 native integrations + Hotjar API + Zapier
14 native integrations + SessionStack API
|103 user reviews with 4.6 Rating||292 user reviews with 4.3 Rating||63 user reviews with 4.9 Rating|
|MTL Art Shop, Braxley Brands, ApproveMe.com, Nextiny||Adobe, Nintendo, PayKickstart, Keto Chow, Cube Digital||Kraken, Bazaarvoice, Imagine.ai, Mend, Texas.gov|
|Getting a general idea of user behavior on large-traffic sites with lots of dynamic elements.||Understanding how different user groups navigate your site and move through your funnels.||Quickly identifying and resolving errors and frustrations for best-in-class user experience.|
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Brian Gruber, a former web developer and designer, wanted a better view of how users interacted with his websites. So he teamed up with his friend and colleague, Danny Wajcman, to create Lucky Orange as a solution to enable him to do so.
One of Lucky Orange’s best features is its live heatmaps — it lets you interact with each page of your website while viewing the click, scroll, and move maps of both the static and dynamic elements on the page. This gives you a better understanding of which elements on your page attract the most attention and which ones are being overlooked. Additionally, Lucky Orange offers survey, live, and chat tools, which let you validate your assumptions on visitor behavior and preferences.
As a result, Lucky Orange is best for website owners who want to gain high-level insights into user behavior and preferences, so they can better optimize the placement of different elements on their site. However, it’s not ideal for you if you require more specific and in-depth analysis of user flows and issues affecting their user experience.
David Darmanin, a former conversion optimization expert, was frustrated with finding the perfect behavior analytics tool that captured all aspects of user behavior. So he teamed up with four other colleagues to create Hotjar as an all-in-one solution for understanding user behavior.
Today, Hotjar is a well-rounded tool that prioritizes the functionality of core behavioral analysis features like dev consoles and heatmaps. But its standout feature is its comprehensive funnel analysis tool, which lets you filter your funnels by different user groups and compare their performance across multiple user groups with its side-by-side funnel comparison graphs.
While Hotjar excels at helping you understand your customer journeys and how to make targeted improvements to your conversion funnels, it lacks live and co-browsing features for directly interacting with your customers and providing them with real-time support.
As a former software engineer, Alexander Zlatkov realized the need for a tool to better understand how users interacted with online apps. This inspired the creation of SessionStack in 2016 as a solution to this need.
SessionStack stands out from the rest with its advanced session replay features, which has earned it G2’s “session replay category leader” for 2023. In addition to its pixel-perfect session replays, it supports live sessions with online users on your site, at an extremely low latency of less than 1 second. It further builds on this feature with a co-browsing mode, which lets you interact with a user’s screen in real time. These features, combined with SessionStack’s dev console and dedicated error tracking page make it easy to quickly identify and resolve user frustrations and pain points.
SessionStack is designed to help a diverse group of teams — from product and customer support teams to developers and engineering teams — gain in-depth insights into user interactions on their sites and online apps, quickly resolve issues, and provide real-time support to users for optimal user experience.
Hotjar prioritizes the functionality of core session replay features, Lucky Orange supports live sessions and chat, while SessionStack stands out with live co-browsing and error tracking.
Session Replay is a feature that captures user interactions on your site, including mouse movements, clicks, scrolls, and page visits, and replays it to you in video form. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each tool’s session replay capabilities and compare the following areas:
SessionStack’s interface is optimized for simplicity, functionality, and smooth navigation — from the simple two-column layout with bold icons to the perfect sync between the session replay and the action log on the left. This makes workflows fast and productive — you can quickly jump to specific user actions and identify and resolve issues in little to no time.
Hotjar has a more modern and colorful interface, featuring a well-structured layout that organizes recording actions and session details on the right, replay options at the bottom, and a user screen in the center.
Lucky Orange’s interface is a perfect blend of SessionStack’s simplicity and Hotjar’s sleek design. However, it can be sluggish and glitchy at times, resulting in a poor user experience and overall lengthy and inefficient workflows.
You’ll find a “Get Summary” feature in the left-sided toolbar when using SessionStack’s session replay tool. On pressing the button, the AI assistant springs into action, producing an all-inclusive summary of the recorded session. The summary is divided into three main parts:
User segmentation (aka ‘audience segmentation’) is a feature that lets you define specific attributes (eg. demographics, device features, actions taken, etc.) for grouping your website visitors. This gives you a better understanding of how different user groups interact with your site, so you can optimize your UI/UX to meet the unique needs of each group.
Building user segments is very easy and straightforward with the three tools. In addition, they have about the same number of filters for creating custom segments with common options like location, device, browser, operating system, page visited, and session duration. The differences in filter options are very minimal, so choosing one over the other is a matter of preference.
For example, SessionStack has unique filters that let you filter users by first seen, last seen, IP address, browser version, and dead clicks. In addition, it’s the only tool that lets you filter sessions by the exact time and date.
Similarly, Hotjarlets you filter by unique options such as U-turns, Feedback, and Net Promoter Scores. In addition to custom date filters, you can pick from pre-made date ranges (eg. last 24 hours, last 7 days, last 3 months, etc.), a nifty feature getting insights into how user behavior changes over time.
In addition to creating custom segments (marked as “2” in the image below), Lucky Orange comes with a few ready-made segments (marked as “1”) like “bounced visitors” which tracks users who viewed less than two pages in a session, and “engaged visitors” for users who visited at least three pages in sessions that lasted for at least one minute.
While the predefined user segments are convenient for quickly filtering through session replays, the slow load times and lack of customization can get frustrating.
Live sessions let you watch users as they interact with your site in real time. This is a very handy tool for product and customer support teams to quickly respond to issues, provide support to users, and improve the overall customer experience.
Under Lucky Orange‘s “Visitors” tab, you can see all online users on your site at any point and receive immediate alerts when new users arrive. Plus, the live viewing has a minimal delay, providing a smooth and fluid experience.
Lucky Orange also has a unique chat feature, which is very helpful for taking feedback and offering personalized support to your site users through one-on-one conversations. However, this may be overkill if you have better external chat tools.
Like Lucky Orange, SessionStack has a dedicated page for viewing all online users, immediately registering new users, and super low-latency live viewing (<1s). In addition, you can view user states during live sessions:
While SessionStack doesn’t have a built-in chat feature, it has direct integrations with established chat tools like Intercom and Zendesk. And that’s not all.
What truly sets SessionStack apart is its unique co-browsing feature, which lets you elevate the user experience of your website or online app to a whole new level.
Co-browsing lets you connect and engage directly with site users during live sessions — it’s like having a virtual hand-holding session where you guide them and quickly resolve their issues, without installing any third-party tools.
NOTE: Co-browsing and screen sharing are not the same. Unlike screen sharing, co-browsing doesn’t require both parties to install additional tools, and it only gives you access to the single browser tab where the user has your site open. Our article on co-browsing dives deeper into these differences.
SessionStack’s super low latency live sessions make co-browsing possible. The co-browsing mode is equipped with three main tools:
With co-browsing, customer support teams can provide personalized support to users in real-time, leading to quicker issue resolutions and a better overall user experience.
Hotjar’s and SessionStack’s consoles let you track logs and errors under each session replay. Unlike Hotjar, SessionStack has a dedicated page for tracking site-wide logs and errors without having to watch individual session replays.
Also, each error is linked to the specific timestamp of the session replay where it occurred. If you choose to watch the session, it plays automatically and stops right at the mark where the error occurred (marked as “1” in the screenshot above). This helps you better understand the individual user action that led to the error. From here, you can open the console (marked as “2”) to gain more insight into the error (marked as “3”).
Winner: SessionStack wins for having all the key features in Hotjar and Lucky Orange, in addition to advanced live sessions, co-browsing, and error-tracking features. It’s the perfect tool for product managers, developers, and customer support teams who need a comprehensive and robust platform for understanding user behavior.
Hotjar captures static snapshots of user behavior on pages, Lucky Orange does it live, and SessionStack captures site-wide popular elements and friction points.
Heatmaps are a visual display of aggregate user behavior, showing you website elements with the most (or least) activity. There are three main types of heatmaps: mouse maps show the area where users often move their cursors, scroll maps show how far down users scroll on a page, and click maps show areas with the most clicks.
Lucky Orange’s live heatmaps simplify the tracking of static and dynamic elements (such as popups, menus, and other interactive features) on your website. This means you can directly interact with a page on your website while viewing the heatmaps of how other people interacted with it.
In addition, you can view a ranking of page elements that received the most user clicks or “moves”. You can also choose to filter the heatmaps by date, location, device, browser, etc., to see how different groups of users interacted with a web page.
While Hotjar’s heatmaps are very similar to Lucky Orange, the approach is different — they aren’t ‘live’. Instead, you can capture and save screenshots of multiple variations of pages on your site (with or without its dynamic elements).
This process can be very tedious and time-consuming if you have a bunch of dynamic elements on your site, and if you make regular changes to them. However, once these screenshots are saved, you can quickly access and re-use them for further analysis.
Talking about analysis, Hotjar has more filter options (compared to Lucky Orange) for analyzing specific user groups and a handy highlights feature for commenting on issues on your site page that need to be resolved.
Unlike Hotjar and Lucky Orange, SessionStack doesn’t have visual heatmaps. Instead, you get a sitewide overview of the top 10 HTML elements (both static and dynamic) that need your attention, grouped under the following categories:
This feature (in addition to error logs) makes SessionStack a powerful tool for developers and engineering teams who want to quickly identify the frustration points of users across a site or app, so they can prioritize optimization efforts, and make data-driven decisions to improve the overall user experience.
Verdict: Lucky Orange is best for visualizing user actions on highly dynamic sites. Hotjar is perfect for understanding the behavior of specific user segments. And SessionStack helps you quickly identify and optimize friction points across your site for the best user experience.
Lucky Orange has limited funnel analysis features, SessionStack is best for identifying and resolving friction points, and Hotjar supports A/B testing.
The funnels feature available in all three tools helps you analyze customer journeys by tracking how users progress through specific steps (eg. visited a page, clicked an element, etc.) on your site. This gives you valuable insights into user flows and helps you identify areas for improvement. Here’s an example of a funnel:
Lucky Orange lets you add infinite steps to your funnel. At each step, you can either specify a page URL, choose from one of ten event options (element clicked, rage click, super rage click, etc.), or create a custom event.
However, these events lack specificity — for example, if you select the ‘element clicked’ event, you can’t specify exactly which element you’re expecting users to click.
After creating the funnel, you can easily track the percentage conversion at each stage, the largest drop-off, and the overall completion rate.
SessionStack lets you choose from five commonly used event options at each step of your funnel: visited URL, clicked element, user input, dead click, and rage click. Unlike Lucky Orange, you can make each event as specific as you would like.
Additionally, you can apply saved segments and date filters to your funnel results. By using these filters, you can refine and focus your analysis—so you can uncover valuable patterns and trends within your segmented user data.
You can also see the session recordings of users who either converted or dropped off at each step of your funnel. Watching the user recordings of those who deviated from the funnel gives you a better understanding of what prevented them from converting and the different paths they took, so you can better optimize your funnels for higher retention and conversion rates.
Hotjar has the key funnel features in SessionStack, however, each funnel you create can only have a maximum of ten steps. In addition, you can view side-by-side funnels for up to 5 user segments, which makes it easy to visualize and compare funnel performance across these user groups.
This feature is particularly useful for identifying patterns and trends in user behavior across multiple funnels, and for gaining a deeper understanding of how different segments of your audience interact with your website so you can tailor your website’s content and design to better meet the needs of specific user segments.
Verdict: Lucky Orange is best for giving you a general overview of your funnel performance, SessionStack is best for identifying friction points across multiple user segments so you can boost conversion rates, and Hotjar’s side-by-side comparison feature is very helpful for visualizing funnel performance across multiple user groups so you can make targeted improvements to meet their needs.
Lucky Orange is budget-friendly, Hotjar is expensive, and SessionStack gives you the best value for your money.
Hotjar’s free version gives you 1050 free sessions per month but restricts key features while Lucky Orange only gives you access to 500 page views per month. If on average, every user views 5 pages per session, that’s only about 100 sessions per month. On the other hand, SessionStack unlocks all key features on the free plan for up to 3 users and 1500 monthly sessions, which is typically more than enough for teams of all sizes.
A comparison of the tool’s free plan features is shown in the table below:
|No. of users||Unlimited||Unlimited||3|
|No. of sites||1||1||Unlimited|
|Live session viewing||N/A||✅||✅|
|Filters + User segmentation||✅||✅||✅|
While Lucky Orange has the cheapest paid plans out of the three tools, keep in mind that it may not be the best option for you if you need robust session replay, error tracking, and funnel features. Moreover, for each additional site added to your account, you’ll be charged an extra $5, which can add up pretty quickly depending on how many sites you’re managing.
|Grow||$35 (8,000)||$39 (3,000)||$79 (10,000)|
|Business||$70 (20,000)||Starts at $99 (15,000)||$129 (25,000)|
|Scale||$150 (60,000)||Starts at $213 (45,000)||–|
To unlock all the key features in Hotjar, you’ll need to purchase their Business plan, which starts at $99/month for a maximum of 500 daily sessions (~ 1500 monthly sessions). By default, Hotjar doesn’t capture all session recordings and this is even more problematic when you exceed your daily session limits.
Unlike Lucky Orange and SessionStack, you can’t use one plan for multiple sites. So if you wish to monitor additional sites with Hotjar, you’ll have to buy separate plans for each site.
Since SessionStack and Lucky Orange unlock all key features on their free plans, the main reason you’ll upgrade plans is to get extra sessions per month.
However, unlike Lucky Orange, SessionStack packs additional value at every pricing tier, as shown in the table below:
|SessionStack Launch||SessionStack Scale||SessionStack Enterprise|
10,000 sessions/mo + Unlimited co-browsing + Email & Live chat support
|Launch features + 25,000 + Data export via REST API + Web call support||Scale features + Custom sessions & seats + Single Sign-on (SSO) + Self-hosted deployment + Dedicated support|
Winner: SessionStack wins for having the best free plan for startups and small businesses, as well as scalable pricing plans which provide exceptional value to medium-sized businesses and enterprises at all levels.
|Lucky Orange Pros||Lucky Orange Cons|
|✅ Budget-friendly plans||❌ An extra site adeed to your account costs $5|
|✅ Modern and intuitive interface||❌ Heavily limited sessions on free plan|
|✅ Live and interactive heatmaps||❌ Session replays can be slow and glitchy|
|✅ Live session replays & in-built chat feature||❌ No dev console & error tracking features|
|✅ Feedback, polls, and form analytics tools||❌ Very limited funnel features|
|✅ Integrates with Zapier|
|Hotjar Pros||Hotjar Cons|
|✅ Sleek and colorful interface||❌ Features are heavily limited on the free plan|
|✅ Click, scroll, and move maps||❌ Expensive pricing plans|
|✅ Dev console for session replays||❌ A single account only allows for one site|
|✅ Side-by-side funnel comparison feature||❌ Heatmaps can be slow to load|
|✅ Survey and user feedback widgets||❌ Doesn’t capture all user sessions|
|✅ Extensive integrations|
(Hubspot, Slack, Zapier, and even e-commerce tools like Shopify)
|❌ No live sessions and co-browsing tools|
|❌ Funnels are limited to ten steps|
|SessionStack Pros||SessionStack Cons|
|✅ All key features unlocked on the free plan||❌ Session replay lacks annotations|
|✅ Unlimited site connects across all plans||❌ No page-specific visual heatmap tool|
|✅ Captures all user sessions with pixel-perfect playbacks||❌ Does not integrate with Zapier|
|✅ Super fast live and co-browsing sessions|
|✅ Dedicated error tracking page|
|✅ Has the most native integrations|
|✅ Very minimal impact on website’s performance|
High-traffic site owners who want to understand general user behaviors and patterns.
High-traffic site owners who want to boost funnel conversions across multiple user groups.
Product, customer support, developer, and engineering teams who want to quickly resolve errors and pain points for an optimal user experience.
Here’s the final verdict on Hotjar vs Lucky Orange vs SessionStack:
Lucky Orange is best for understanding aggregate user behavior with its live and interactive heatmaps that make it super easy to track interactions with multiple dynamic elements on a page, Hotjar’s comprehensive funnel analysis features make it best for making targeted funnel optimizations across multiple user segments. And SessionStack’s robust live replays, co-browsing, and error-tracking features make it best for quickly identifying and resolving site or web app issues in real time.
Use Lucky Orange if:
Use Hotjar if:
Use SessionStack if:
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