Dynamic QR Code – Changing the target URL

A QR code usually has a static URL encoded to which the user is redirected after he has scanned the QR code. In case the target URL is no longer up-to-date or does not exist anymore, you may use a dynamic QR Code instead. 

Dynamic QR Code

With the free QR Code Manager from qrd.by it is easy to change the destination URL. The URL in the QR code is always the same, but first redirects to our company website and after editing the target URL to this blog.

Create a Dynamic QR Code

With a dynamic QR code, you can change the target URL subsequently. Even if the QR code has already been printed on posters, flyers or in magazines, you can redirect the user after the scan to any landing page, anytime, without having to print the QR code again.

For instance, if you are using a QR Code to redirect the user to a temporary available voucher, you can change the target URL after the promotion has ended.

If you create a dynamic QR Code on our platform he will never expire!

 

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Minimum Size of a QR Code

Minimum QR Code size

Recommendation: A QR Code that encodes up to 72 characters (which is the length of a typical URL) should be printed in a size of 20×20 mm (0.79x0.79″) when scanned from a distance of 20cm (7.9)

Surface Scan Distance QR Code Size
A4 e.g. Magazine 20cm 20mm x 20mm
A3 e.g. Poster 1m 100mm x 100mm
3x4m e.g. Billboard 10m 1m x 1m

Before applying this recommendation please consider the following tips. If you you are printing a designer QR Code please also read Printing QR Codes with Colors.

Consider the scanning distance

Rule of the thumb: the ratio between scanning distance and the QR Code size is 10:1. So if you want to scan a QR Code from 10 meters (390″), the size of the QR Code should be 1 square meter (39″). Or if you print a QR Code on a post card, the user will scan the QR Code from a distance close to 15cm (5.9″). Applying the rule the QR Code may have a minimum size of 15mm (0.59″).

Quiet Zone around the QR Code

Quiet Zone QR Code margin

Have at least a Quiet Zone of 4 Units arround your QR Codes.

 

If you print a QR Code always leave a quite zone (margin) around the QR Code. We recommend to have 4 units of white space arround your QR Code to ensure it can be read by any QR Code reader.

 

Use shorted URLs

How much information do you want to store in the QR Code? The less the better. Use shortened URLs instead of a long URL. The shorter the URL the less units a QR Code will contain and there for can be plotted smaller.

A shortened URL with up to 17 characters will produce a QR Code with 21×21 units. Encoding a longer URL with up to 72 chars will result in a QR Code with 35×35 units.

QR Code with a long URL

http://qrd.by/what-a-long-url-you-may-consider-shortening-it

QR Code with tiny URL

A shorted URL: http://qrd.by/t

 

Use low Error Correction Level

When creating a QR Code you can set an Error Correction Level. The higher the level is set, the more of a QR Code may be destroyed while the QR Code will be still readable. However, a higher level also increases the size of a QR Code. We recommend setting the error level L for QR Codes without an embedded logo. This will give you the smallest possible size of a QR Code. The following figure shows you a QR Code with the same encoded URL in two different error correction levels:

QR Code Correction - Level L QR Code Correction - Level H
Level L 7% Level H 30 %

Use scale able vectorized QR Codes

It is important create QR Codes in Vector format. If you are plotting QR Codes from a .png or .jpg source, they may get blurred and cannot be read anymore.

Create optimized QR Code

Smallest QR Code Contest

Download the QR Code Contest .pdf document and print it out. It contains various QR Codes in different sizes. In theory you will be able to scan QR Codes with a size of 5mm (0.19″), depending on your printer and your scanning device. If you are able to scan QR Codes in an even smaller size, please let us know!!!

Devices that scan QR Codes < 4mm (0.16”)

Huawei Ascend XT H1611 (3mm QR Code was printed on a Canon MF4320 laser printer with 600dpi)

Devices that scan QR Codes < 5mm (0.19”)

Apple iPhone 5
Google Nexus 5
HTC One
Huawei Ascend Mate 7
LG D802, D959
MicroMax Q450
Nokia Lumia 635
OnePlus One
Samsung GALAXY ACE 3, GALAXY Note 4 Edge, GALAXY S4, GT-I9500, SGH-I317
Sony Xperia Z1
Xiaomi MI 2SC

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QR Code Decoding: What’s behind the code?

QR Code DecoderIf you scan a QR code, you will usually be forwarded directly to a website without knowing what information or URL actually stored in the QR code. In the worst case you will be redirected on a page that tries to install on your smartphone malicious software or tries to call a premium rate number.

To have more security when scanning a QR Code, you should use a QR Reader, that displays the URL stored in the QR Code first and asking for confirmation before redirecting you to the website.

i-nigma’s QR Code Reader [1] has an option in the settings menu, where you can choose to confirm an URL redirection before going online.

QR Code Read Settings    confirm-before-going-online

If this option is activated, a confirmation window shows up every time you scan a QR Code.

The website encoded in the QR Code is only opened when you confirm to go online by tapping the “Go Online” button. If you have the QR code as an image file you can display the content directly via the ZXing decoder [2].

Do you have Google Chrome installed? If so you can directly decode the QR Code with the Webcam in the browser with the Webcam QR Code Reader

Links:

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Hot Designer QR Codes with vectorized EPS Logo

Many QR Code Generators allow to change the colors or embed a logo in a Designer QR Code. However, there are only a few generators that support vectorized .eps image uploads in addition to the standard rasterized formats like .png, .jpg or .gif.

If you print a QR Code in different sizes, the code and the logo will get blurred, pixelated and in the worst case unreadable. With our QR Code Generator you can upload scalable vectorized images in .eps format that will stay crisp no matter in which size they are printed:

Click to download this Hot Designer QR Code as pdf file and zoom in. The QR Code and the logo will stay crisp and clear.

pixelate logo

Non-Vectorized Logos are pixelating when zoomed.

 

Vectorized Logo will never pixelate at any zooming level

 

 

 

Create EPS logo in Adobe Illustrator

To upload your own EPS logos in a QR Code you have to register for a Premium Account (30-day free trial). Then you have to save your logo in Adobe Illustrator in the eps format (Version < 9).

adobe illustrator cs2 eps version8

Save an EPS file in Adobe Illustrator in Version < 9

In your account select a QR Code and choose the basic QR Code editor on the left and upload your created logo.

select qr code editor

 

 

Register Premium Account

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No Ads.
No Host Hostage.
99,95% Uptime.

Today I had a very inspiring phone call with a QR-Code Enthusiast like us. We were talking about possible cooperations and how to merge our assets without getting depended on each other and how to create a win-win situation.

But before we could get into more details there were some concerns about using our QR Code platform which I had to clarify and I want to share with you:

No ADs!

No ADsWhen creating trackable dynamic QR Codes on our platform, it would be technically very easy to show banners or display an ad before redirecting the user to actual landingpage. There are many vendors who use this business model – We don’t! No matter if you are a free or paying customer, you will never see any ads.

Please be aware that many QR Code readers are placing ads directly in the App. Those ads have nothing to do with us!

99,95 Uptime


In theory it could happen that our servers are down and that someone scans a QR Code right in that moment. As a result the user would not be redirect to the original website.
We are constanly monitoring our servers and we are proud to have an uptime>99,95%. In ohter words: the probability that a QR Code redirect gets lost in nirvana is less than 1:13 Million.

TrashYour QR Codes are NEVER deleted by us nor they expire. Whether they are created using a free or paid account – as long as you do not delete the QR code by yourself, they will continue to work. Even if you terminate a premium account after one year, the QR codes continue to be fully functional upon request.

Daily Backups

Security
Our geo-location based tracking system for QR Codes records thousands of datasets every day. A backup of this data is generated every day and stored on a secure location in our datacenter.
If you are a customer who subscribed to one of our plans, your data is always safe. We do not store any sensitive credit card information. This is done by our payment service provider, who is ISO-certified and PCI-DDS compliant. All sensitive communication is encrypted with a 256-bit SSL certificate.

Elastic Cloud Infrastructure

Performance
Our servers are cape able to manage thousands of parallel connections. In case it gets even more “busy” our cloud based server infrastructure adds additional computation power and memory depending on the traffic.

Performance Test for our Platform

Read more about our Pagespeed and Performance measurements.

Full control with the White Label Solution

In the unlikely case that qrd°by is shut down one day, all created QR Codes out there will not work anymore. This is not necessarily true. In case you are using our white label platform you will create QR Codes under your domain name. You can always use the backup feature in the account section to get all your QR Code data in CSV format and landingpages in static HTML. You will even find a code snippet for a basic url forwarder there. So you can continue to run your campaigns on different platforms.

Anyhow, thumbs up to all people out there who are already supporting us and give us constant feedback to enhance our platform, so that in the long run we will be the first choice when it comes to creating QR Code campaigns.

Peter Hlavac

Founder & CEO

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QR Code Scan Notification

qr-code-notification
On your white label qr code platform of qrd°by your customers will always be up-to-date. If a user activates the e-mail notification option for a QR Code, he will instantly receive an e-mail alert as soon as the QR Code is scanned. The e-mail already contains the most important information about where and from which device the QR Code has been scanned, so the user is not required to login to get the statistics. The following screenshot shows you an example notification e-mail. However you can fully customize the notification e-mail using HTML templates in the Branding section.

If e-mail notification is enabled, the user will receive a notification alert as soon a QR Code is scanned.

If e-mail notification is enabled, the user will receive a notification alert as soon a QR Code is scanned.

As the administrator of the white label platform you can activate the global notification feature in the statistics section. Once activated you will receive an e-mail, as soon as any of the QR Codes, your users have created, are scanned.

SMS Alerts

SMS QR Code Scan AlertInstead or in combination with a email notifications you can now also send sms alerts when a QR Code is scanned to the user’s mobile phone. Learn more here:

SMS Alerts on QR Code scan

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QR Code White Label Domain

With the White Label solution you are able to run the QR Code manager platform of qrd°by under your own sub domain. All QR Codes will be encoded with your domain, you can create user accounts under your domain and you can brand the platform with your own logo, name and colors. Users will not see any sign or hint that the service is hosted by qrd.by.

A branded white label instance for a customer with a custom domain

A branded white label instance for a customer with a custom domain

To unlock your White Label instance, just enter your sub domain name (e.g. qr.mydomain.com) in the branding section (Hint: A shorter domain name, will create QR Codes that may be printed in a smaller size, since less characters are encoded).

Set your desired domain name in the branding section

Set your desired domain name in the branding section

Make sure that you are the owner of the domain and that you created your chosen sub domain (e.g. qr) at your registrar before. In the created sub domain create a CNAME-Record that points to the URL qr.webapp-portal.com.

It may take up to 24 hours until your CNAME-Record will be published by your registrar to all name servers.

Until your subdomain has not been propagated to all name servers, you will not be able to change the production domain in your account.

How to setup a sub domain and a CNAME-Record

The following figures and tutorials are based on our domain provider Domaindiscount24. He allows almost any RFC conform DNS configuration. You can create unlimited subdomains or wildcard domains and set any TXT or CNAME entry.

In the following figures you see how to create a sub domain qr and set a CNAME-Record for your white label platform.

Caution: do not use ‘www’ as subdomain

In the domain manager select your domain and create a sub domain for it:

Under CNAME-Settings on your created sub domain add the CNAME-Record qr.webapp-portal.com. This entry links your sub domain with our portal.

Create a C-NAME record

Create a CNAME record

How to verify your CName-Record

Depending on your registrar, it may take up to 24 hours until the domain really points to our server. If you experience problems setting a CNAME-Record please contact your hosting partner or registrar.

To check if your CNAME entry was successful, simply do a nslookup for your chosen sub domain and see if the result includes the CNAME URL qr.webapp-portal.com.

nslookup-en

You can also use the online web interface https://www.digwebinterface.com to check from different DNS Servers if your CNAME entry has been distributed. Just enter your custom domain in the Hostname window, select CNAME as the type and click on “Dig”. You should see your domain pointing to qr.webapp-portal.com at the bottom.
digwebinterface

Note: Do NOT use A-Records

avoid a-record domain registrar

A-Records are not supported, since we have multiple IP addresses in our cloud for load balancing.The IP for your white label instance might changes over time.

Note: Do NOT use a Redirect or Forward

forward

Do not use a forward or redirect. Your domain will not be recognized by our servers.

Note: Do NOT use CNAME Records in the Root Domain

CNAME’ing a root record (e.g. mydomain.com) is technically not against RFC, but does have limitations, meaning it is a practice that is not recommended. Normally your root record will have multiple entries (e.g. name servers and an IP address)

Per RFC: If a CNAME record is present at a node, no other data should be present.
Source: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1912#page-6

SSL Certificate

Once you successfully setup your custom domain, we will add an SSL certificate to your domain within the next 48 hours.

ssl secured custom domain

 

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QR Code Error Correction

QR Code Error Correction

QR Code Error Correction does not help here anymore. Too much of the code is damaged.

When generating a QR Code, you can choose between different levels of error correction. Error correction helps, that a QR Code stays readable, even if some pixels are missing. Sometimes this is done on purpose when placing a logo in the QR Code, but sometimes the code just gets damaged, like CDs get scratched, but they will be still readable by CD players. There are 4 different levels of QR Code error correction:

  • Level L – up to 7% damage
  • Level M – up to 15% damage
  • Level Q – up to 25% damage
  • Level H – up to 30% damage (recommend for QR Codes with an embedded logo)

The higher the error correction level, the more pixels of the QR Code may be damaged, but the bigger the QR Code gets. The following example shows the QR Code with the encoded URL “https://qrd.by/jungidee” for all four types of error correction levels:

QR Code Correction - Level L QR Code Correction - Level M
Level L 7% Level M 15%
QR Code Correction - Level Q QR Code Correction - Level H
Level Q 25% Level H 30%

As you can see the QR Code with the same URL encoded gets bigger the higher the error correction level is. The QR Code with level L has 25×25 pixel whereas the code with level H is already 29×29 pixel wide.

Designer QR Codes and Error Correction

You can use error correction to create Designer QR Codes. In a designer QR Code you can embed your own logo, brand the code with your own colors or use your own shapes. The logo should be centered in the QR Code and may take up to 30% of the surface when selecting level H for error correction. If you design a QR Code, always make sure that the QR Code stays readable by scanning the code with different devices and QR Code Reader Apps.

Create a Designer QR Code

Designer QR Code using error correction for placing a logo inside the code

Recommended Error Correction Level

We recommend to always use the highest error correction level H for designer QR Codes, so you can maximize the size of your logo in the QR Code. If you just have a black & white QR Code the error correction level L is sufficient.

You can directly jump to our EPS QR Code Generator to create QR Codes with different levels of error correction right away. The editor shows a preview of the QR Code in the selected level.

EPS QR Code Generator with Error Correction

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