When you configure a heatmap or a session recording, you can configure several rules to define on which pages these feature should be activated.

To define one or multiple rules, you first need to choose on which value your rule should be based on, for example URL, Path and URL parameter. When the URL is for example https://www.example.com/blog/2017/01/?page=1&limit=10, then URL is equal to the full URL, Path is equivalent to /blog/2017/01/ and a URL parameter could match page or limit.

Now you can select how your expected value should be matched. You have various options, for example:

  • equals simple This comparison is only valid for URLs but not for paths or URL Parameters. When comparing the URL with your expected value, it will ignore the URL protocol, all search parameters, a www subdomain, and a trailing slash. This means the above URL would also match for example http://example.com/blog/2017/01 as the protocol (HTTP or HTTPS) may be different, www. subdomain is ignored, and any URL parameters such as page or limit are ignored in the comparison as well. If your page uses HTTP and HTTPS, or if you have the same page available under different URL parameters and you want to match all of them, this is typically a good choice.
  • equals exactly In this case the rule will be only activated when the visited URL is exactly https://www.example.com/blog/2017/01/?page=1&limit=10. The rule would not be activated when the URL starts for example with http:// or when the URL has different or no URL parameters.
  • contains This comparison allows you to test whether the value contains a certain value. If you wanted to match for example all blog pages for the year 2017, you could define a rule where the URL or path contains blog/2017.
  • starts with When you select this comparison, the value has to start with this value. For example, you may want to match all URLs that start with https://www.example.com/blog/. Because the comparison is performed exactly, it wouldn’t match when someone visits http://www.example.com/blog/ (HTTP instead of HTTPS).
  • regular expression Regular expressions give you the most flexibility but are also the most challenging ones. Regular expressions are usually defined by developers and allow you match a value in pretty much any way you want.

Please note that all comparisons are performed case-insensitive. This means a value matches a rule no matter if the domain is written for example www.Example.com or www.example.com.

For all comparisons there is also their counterpart available that allows you to exclude a certain value. For example, you can make sure a certain value doesn’t start with a specific value by selecting “Not starts with”.

We know it can be challenging to coming up with these “rules” and often you can use multiple comparisons to achieve the same thing. To help you define these rules, our UI includes a tool to easily help you validate whether a certain rule actually does what you had in mind or not.

Previous FAQ: How do I ensure my configured target pages actually match the URL I want to match?