The average length of a URL is around 65 characters.
A QR code can store a maximum of 4,296 characters.
When you generate a QR code for a URL, you’re using roughly 1.5% of that QR code’s information capacity. That translates to ridiculously fast scanning times.
That’s why the most common reason to learn how to make a QR code is to create a QR code for a website or URL. Not only do the QR codes scan fast, but you’re able to update and edit your content without having to change the QR code. Because it’s published on the web independently of the QR code. The QR code just links to it.
Here’s how to generate a QR code for a URL, along with some best practices for how to create a QR code for a link.
How to Generate a QR Code for a URL
Get a URL
To move from link to QR code, you need a link. This is likely pretty obvious to you. But we all gotta start somewhere.
Your QR code can bring people to your business’s homepage, a PDF menu, or a page with contact information. Point being, to create a QR code for a URL, you first need your content finalized and publicly accessible on a URL. In other words, you need to publish your content online.
Be careful with the length of your URL, though. The ideal length of a URL for a QR code is, maximum, 50 to 60 characters. What you absolutely must avoid is generating a QR code for for a URL like this:
Since you’re the one publishing your content, you should be able to customize the URL. The shorter, the better. But if your URL is really long and you can’t change it, use a URL shortener.
Use a URL Shortener if Needed
If you’re trying to make the long link to QR code transition, use a URL shortener. These services provide short redirection URLs for any length URL. Rebrandly is a good free one. For example, a URL that's been run through a URL shortener looks like this:
That’s 267 characters for the long URL vs. 20 characters for the short one. You can absolutely bet that the shortened URL scans faster when creating a QR code for the URL.
A shortened URL will also dramatically lessen the risk of any redirect errors and cross-linking issues. The cleaner and shorter the URL, the more reliable and safer your URL QR code is.
Think About Dynamic QR Codes
Thankfully, there is a type of QR code that specializes in these short redirection URLs. They’re called dynamic QR codes. When you’re looking for a QR code generator, find one that creates dynamic QR codes. Here’s how they work and why you should make one.
The only thing encoded in a dynamic QR code is a small redirection URL which redirects to the URL you’re creating a QR code for. The reason why this is important is that it allows you to edit the original URL—and, of course, the content published on that URL—without needing to create a new QR code. That’s a godsend if you’ve already created and distributed your QR code and need to change the URL of your content. Dynamic QR codes, because of this flexibility, can even monitor scans and usage with QR code tracking. That makes them an invaluable tool for running a QR code marketing campaign.
You know you need a short URL and you know dynamic QR codes can help in big ways. You’re now ready to choose a QR code generator.
Find and Use a QR Code Generator
If you choose to use a dynamic QR code, make sure the QR code generator you use offers them. Here’s how to choose the best QR code generator. Be aware of the QR code security risks from using a free online QR code service, though.
Any entity you engage with for free is not obligated to provide you with security, reliability, or customer support. Or, heck, even functionality. Some free online QR codes provide a limited number of scans or fail to work entirely.
Once you choose your QR code generator, how to make a QR code for a website is as easy as inputting your URL and clicking “create.”
Generate QR Code for URL Best Practices
Most QR code generators you use offer some customization options, which is a great way to emphasize brand identity. But it’s possible to go overboard.
Check out our guide to creating a custom QR code and beware the pitfalls that render some URL QR codes difficult to scan or entirely unscannable.
Link to QR Code: Transformation Complete
The whole “generate a QR code for URL” process boils down to four basic steps:
- Get a URL
- Shorten it if needed
- Find and use a QR code generator
That’s really about it. The nuances are around all the peripheral stuff.
Like, for example, is the PDF you published—on the URL you’re making a QR code for—ADA compliant? PDF accessibility is a big deal.
Are you using the speed and accessibility of QR codes to drive impactful conversation with your customers and build loyalty? QR codes on food are great examples of this because they’re able to engage with many modern consumer values.
There are a lot of moving parts to running a successful QR campaign or launching an effective QR code menu. And SproutQR helps businesses across the country do both of those, seamlessly.
But if all you’re after is learning how to make a QR code for a website and how to generate QR codes for URLs, then this post is likely enough for you. Good luck out there, creators!