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Best QR Code Generator | How to Choose QR Code Software

September 25, 2020
|
Scott

QR Code Menu

A QR code generator is a piece of software that creates QR codes. Here’s how it works:

  1. You, the QR code enthusiast, QR code template in hand, upload information into the QR code generator. This can be, and usually is, done online. The information typically ranges from links from a URL to QR code to basic contact information.
  1. You click a button and a QR code appears. When the QR code is scanned using a qr code scanner app, the information you uploaded is viewable.

It’s not a complicated process. But choosing the best QR code generator can be. Here’s how to equip yourself to make the best decision.

Best QR Code Generator: How to Choose

You want to learn how to make a QR code. You understandably search “best QR code generator.” Your search results yield two types of sites. Some are actual QR code generators and the others are lists of QR code generators. Either way, there are literally millions of results. The chatter about the best QR code generator is seemingly endless. 

Instead of bouncing around from site to site, taking someone else’s word for the best QR code generator, do the research. You’ll be thankful you did.

Here are 4 steps to take, right now, to equip yourself to make the best QR code generator app decision.

  1. Educate yourself about QR codes. What are QR codes? How do QR codes work? Just what in tarnation is going on around here? The more you know about QR codes, the more meaning QR code generator features, or a lack thereof, will have to you. You should be aware of what QR codes can do. Then you can accurately judge if a QR code generator is living up to its potential.
  1. Book demos or start testing. Get your hands dirty. If it’s a paid service, which has enormous benefits, book a demo so they can walk you through the software and functionality. If it’s a free service, use it. Create a bunch of QR codes. Scan them. Test them. Break them. Learn about QR code risks The more familiar you are with the technology and its tools, the more informed your decision.
  1. Talk to their customer support. If they have it, that is. Many free services don’t. We have customer support in all four time zones. Ask them about what customers can rely on their support for. Get a feel for whether their service is worth your time and money.
  1. Read actual customer reviews, not random internet roundups. Hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise to you: most blog posts that claim to know the “best QR code generators” haven’t tested them all. The experience of someone who has actually used the product is invaluable. Convenient, too, because you’ll have had that experience. Having tested it or demoed it, you can compare notes.
  1. Familiarize yourself with possible QR code features. Once you’re aware of what QR codes can do, you’ll know the QR code uses that will benefit your business. But that won’t happen if you don’t know what features are possible. 

You’ll have to take yourself through steps 1 to 4. We’ve got some helpful links above, but it’s mostly about you spending the time and putting in some work. What we can directly help you with is a list of the best features QR code generators offer.

Best QR Code Generators: Must-Have Features

Dynamic QR Code Generator

A dynamic QR code, as opposed to a static QR code, is editable after creation. This allows for four primary things:

  1. You don’t have to create, print, and distribute new QR codes when your content changes. This is especially impactful for highly variable content like if using QR codes for restaurant menus, daily specials, and QR code marketing like promotions.
  1. You can track QR code usage with dynamic QR codes, which lets you iterate on your QR code placement and content until they’re performing just right.
  1. An increase in scanning speed. Dynamic QR codes don’t actually encode all the content in their data modules. They store only a small redirect URL that sends users to a site with your published content. That means there’s less data to scan and scanning is faster.
  1. Smaller QR codes, if necessary. The less data in your QR code, the smaller your QR code minimum size. If you’re dealing with surface area constraints, dynamic QR codes are best.

Using a dynamic QR code generator is a good way to future-proof your QR codes. Even if you don’t feel you need one right now.

PDF Accessibility

A huge portion of businesses looking into QR code generators want to create a QR code PDF. That is, they have a PDF document that they want accessible via QR code.

What most QR code generators won’t do is make sure a PDF is ADA compliant. Ensuring ADA PDF accessibility is important for both legal liability and reaching new customers.

A QR code generator that makes sure your PDF is converted into an ADA-compliant document is huge. Any service that offers it is undoubtedly in the conversation for best QR code generator.

Unlimited Scan QR Code Generator

Imagine using your chosen QR code generator software and after 500 or 1,000 scans it stops working. QR code on food packaging, for example, typically needs far more scans than that. For any actual business that chose to depend on such a QR code generator, it would be a legitimate catastrophe.

But it happens often. Because of scan limits. If you’re confused why limits exist for the amount of times a person can point their phone at a QR code, you’re not alone.

Many QR code generators get you in the door with the promise of a free QR code. But the scan limits are so limited it’s pointless. For a consistently reliable QR code, you’ll have to pay monthly for more scans. And even then, scans are rarely unlimited. Do yourself a favor and find a QR code generator with unlimited scans.

Custom QR Code Options

QR codes need not be black-and-white squares devoid of identity. They can faithfully communicate your brand message or aesthetic if your QR code generator software creates custom QR codes.

The safest way to jazz up a QR code with your company’s personality is a central logo. Some QR code generators will offer to change the color or contrast of the QR code completely. But that can lead to QR code scanning problems.

QR Code Menu in Restaurants

Best QR Code Generators: Free vs. Paid? 

As your Google search results revealed, there’s no shortage of free QR code generators out there. And, to be sure, there’s no real issue using a free QR code generator to create a QR code for personal or one-time use.

But if real money is on the line, think critically about it. Do you want to put part of your livelihood in the hands of an organization with almost zero incentive for you to succeed? It’s doubtful.

By paying a nominal fee for a QR code, you get reliability, security, and customer support. Let’s look into each.

Reliability

If you dare, go ahead and create a QR code—for legitimate business usage—from a free QR code generator. Just know that a free service is not contractually obligated to provide you with anything. Not even the continued functioning of your QR code.

There are horror stories across the business world of QR codes made using budget methods that ended up backfiring.

Servers go down, scans run out, usage terms change, their website may change, or the business may fold or pivot strategies. Without a contract, you’re on your own. Yet, for roughly $1 per day, you can get enterprise-level reliability from some of the best QR code generators online. It’s far cheaper than constantly printing paper menus and building your own menu app from scratch.

And the best part? They’re contractually obligated to provide you with reliable, functioning QR codes. Their business, their livelihood, depends on it.

Customer Support

A responsive customer support department does two things. It educates customers about using the product and it troubleshoots issues with customers if something goes wrong.

Even though QR codes aren’t that complicated, most people aren’t experts. Having experts available to help roll out your campaign and put out any fires is crucial to successfully launching a QR code campaign at scale.

Again, with a free QR code generator, you’re on your own.

Security

Mobile malware attacks grew 50% from 2018 to 2019. Free online QR code creation services don’t have the resources to invest in mobile cybersecurity. Sometimes they’re even the bad actors themselves.

There are numerous QR code security risks, including both QR code phishing scams and malware distribution. That’s hardly the result you want for a customer attempting to engage with your business.

A paid QR code generator software service—again, at roughly $1 a day—typically provides industry-standard cybersecurity on every QR code and all encoded data.

Which Is the Best QR Code Generator?

It really depends on what you need a QR code for. To put on a garage sale sign to give people directions? You can probably use any old free QR code generator software you find. Simple, personal, limited-use situations don’t present many obstacles for the QR-minded individual.

Or will you put your QR code on table tents or displays? Because if you’re running a business and relying on QR codes to drive discoverability, revenue, or engagement, it’s another story entirely.

And, specifically, if you’re running a restaurant or bar, we can help. We create and power the QR-based digital wine lists and menus behind bars and restaurants across the country. They’re more hygienic and affordable than a single use menu, and they drastically increase your menu’s discoverability and accessibility.