Hotspots Analytics is the most advanced analytics plugin for WordPress websites including heatmaps, user activity and custom event tracking. It can be a great compliment to Google Analytics and provides support for responsive web design and touchscreen devices.
The key features of the plugin are:
- Heatmaps of mouse clicks and touch screen taps overlayed on your webpage (You can launch the heatmap for a page from wp-admin or simply add ?drawHeatmap=true to the URL)
- Different heatmaps are drawn to cater for responsive web design
- Each page on your website has it’s own heatmap
- It’s free and there’s no sign up or registration required!
- All data is stored on your own WordPress database
- All data is viewed in your WordPress admin. No need to go to a third party website.
To be able to view the heatmaps, your WordPress theme must be HTML5 compliant and you need to use an Internet browser which supports HTML5 canvas.
Heatmaps can be launched from the WordPress admin plugin page by clicking on the “View Heatmap” button or by adding the query string parameter drawHeatmap=true to your website URL ( i.e. http://danielpowney.com?drawHeatmap=true). There are different heatmaps for each page, page widht, browser, operating system and device to cater for responsive web design and for filtering.
When the heatmap is displayed, a HTML5 canvas drawing is overlayed on the website. An additional information panel is also provided at the bottom right of the screen which provides the current page width, browser, device etc… If you resize the page width, a different heatmap will be displayed. A width allowance setting can be changed to allow for some overlap in page widths.
A comprehensive summary of all user activity on your website can be viewed including a sequence list of mouse clicks, touch screen taps, page views, AJAX actions and custom defined events. Additional information is provided such as time elapsed since previous event and the individual mouse clicks and or touch screen taps can viewed overlayed on the web page to show you exactly what was clicked or tapped.
hotspots.saveEvent('my_event','My description', 'My misc data');
There are various reports which provide statistics and graphs of all user activity on your website. Each report can be filtered for different devices, browsers, operating systems, page widths and within a period of time (today, yesterday, last week, last 30 days or last 60 days). The following are some examples of reports that can be generated:
- Graph and count of all page views, page hits, mouse clicks, touch screen taps, AJAX actions and custom events
- Averages and total count of all page views, page hits, mouse clicks, touch screen taps, AJAX actions and custom events per users and pages
- Compare a graph and count of multiple custom events which can be used to determine which are more popular or easy to use
There are 7 tabs for different settings.
General settings include:
- Saving mouse clicks or touch screen taps
- Enable drawing heatmap
- Save custom events
- Save page views
- Save AJAX actions
A start date and time and an end date and time can be setup to schedule saving of all events.
The following settings are used to configure the drawing of the heatmaps:
- Use heatmap.js
- Hot value
- Spot radius
- Spot opacity
- Ignore page width
- Ignore device
- Ignore browser
- Ignore operating system
- Width allowance
- Hide roles
Specific URLs or pages can be targeted to enable or disable the plugin from saving events. This can be useful for performance reasons.
A database limit can be set to prevent too many events from being saved for performance reasons.
There is a page to add custom events for mouse clicks, touchscreen taps and form submits and a jQuery selector is used to apply these events on HTML elements.
Currently the plugin should not be used where performance is critical as an additional server request is made for each mouse click, touch screen tap, AJAX action, page view and custom event. A remote setting can be setup to direct all user activity events to be saved on a remote host and database to reduce load on your server. Two separate plugins are required to be installed, one on your existing WordPress website which extends the plugin to enable remote capabilities (the client) and another on a separate WordPress website to manage the data (the server). The remote setting also provides a do-it-yourself analytics client server setup which means you do not need to rely on third party services such as Clicky or CrazyEgg.
Note: This plugin was formally known as Hotspots User Tracker