We have recently released an update to our Intercom Subscription Plugin. We have introduced some timely changes and minor fixes on this recent release. Let’s go through the changes here to see what new features are now available to you.

This version introduces Honeypot Spamtrap as a measure to fight spam requests. Also, we have updated the structure of the form that creates companies.

Honeypot Spamtrap

We open our sites to all the people of the world. But unfortunately, not all our users are good. There are some bad guys out there who are after your site to cause harm and disruption. You may have heard before that some bad guys setup artificial programs to submit the forms in random websites with fake information. These programs are called “Robots”.

These are usually setup by ill-mannered people who try to push their ill-fitted products on your website. Maybe you’ve noticed, you get loads of new comments on your website, even if you’ve just set it up a few days ago and nobody else knows about it. You should also notice that the comments are somewhat out of context and not useful for your content. These comments are artificial and posted by these Robots. If the comments get published it will not be good for you. You will be supporting something which you do not stand for.

Maybe you've noticed, you get loads of new comments on your website, even if you've just set it up a few days ago ... the comments are somewhat out of context and not useful for your content. These comments are artificial and posted by… Click To Tweet

The same risk is true for our Intercom Subscription form.

There are many ways this has been handled in the past by security experts. One of them is CAPTCHA, which is easy to solve by humans but hard to solve for robots. But they are a User Experience nightmare. Who likes to solve CAPTCHA every now and then?

Another clever way to tackle these Robots is to use Honeypot Spamtrap. It works by placing an obscure, hidden field that act like it is a part of the form, but actually isn’t. It does nothing and it is meant to be kept blank. A human like us can’t see the field so we will obviously leave the field blank. But Robots are programmed to fill every field. They are designed this way so that it does not get rejected for having a blank field. Whenever this field is filled, we can detect an automated submission and reject the entry from getting into our system.

With this trick Robots can be detected and stopped from clogging up your website. Plus, no annoyances from our lovely happy users. Users will have to do nothing extra to get validated.

We have implemented Honeypot Spamtrap as a first and basic measure to fight spam on your intercom form. You can enable it from the settings. It is disabled by default.

We recommend that you enable this option if you expect heavy traffic on your website or expecting some spam requests. This should be a basic defense against those pesky spammers.

If you are expecting better spam protection, we are thinking about implementing a CAPTCHA feature for people who need it. Of course, we plan to keep it as optional as every other feature so that it is not pushed against you by force. Please also let us know if you have any better ideas for fighting spams.

Company Creation Form Fields

If you enable company integration, this change might be useful to you. We have introduced a shortcode in our previous release that puts a form to create companies in Intercom so that it can be selected as a company on the subscription form. The field names on the form are now made to match with the labels on the Intercom Dashboard, so you can relate them easily. The field names are often times confusing by itself, so we added helpful hints to go with the fields.

We hope it will now be more user friendly when creating a company for the subscription.

Besides these changes, we have also updated the screenshots on the plugin page to reflect the changes.

That’s about it for today. These are probably minor but important changes for how you use Intercom Subscription on your website. Go ahead, install our plugin and have a great time!