QR codes: we see them everywhere these days. Brochures, restaurant tables, checkout counters—these black-and-white squares have found their places in our everyday lives. If you need to create a QR code, it’s not difficult to do so. In fact, there are a plethora of free websites offering the service. But be careful—some free QR code generators are friendlier than others.
QR code quick review
Before we get to the scoop, let’s review exactly what a QR code is. Though they may not look like it, QR codes are essentially just links. It makes sense when you consider that “QR” stands for “Quick Response.”
Explained another way, a QR code is a type of 2D barcode that can encode nearly any information, but it is most often meant to be a link to something. This can be a page on a website, a screen in an app, or even a prompt to join a WiFi network without having to read out the password.
Learn more about using QR codes effectively in your marketing efforts and QR code placement.
Free QR code generators
So, how do you create a QR code? One way is to use free QR code generator websites. QRCode Monkey, which is what we use here at McNutt & Partners, is one of the most popular. Simply add your destination URL, and the site will generate a QR code for you to download and use how you wish.
Other features, like adding custom designs, flexible editability and scan statistics are available with QRCode Monkey’s paid plans; however, generating a simple black-and-white code is completely free.
What to watch out for
Here’s what to beware of when using free QR code generators. Some sites may let you create a code for free, but that doesn’t mean its use will stay free indefinitely.
With these sites, you may get an email indicating that your code will expire in a certain number of days unless you upgrade from a free trial. These sites may also limit your QR code use to a certain number of scans.
Unlike QRCode Monkey, which creates a code directly from the link you’re inputting, these free QR code generators first create their own link that then redirects to your link. That way, they have control over the link and when it will expire.
Any “free” QR code sites that put a redirect in the middle are likely trying to sell you something, whether that’s a premium service of theirs or your data they want to sell to someone else.
In a “nutt” shell
When using free QR code generators, avoid ones that will require you to pay for your code’s continued use. You want your code to be accessible indefinitely and not end up non-functioning and just taking up space.
Not sure if a site is legit or not? When you work with us, we’ll ensure that your QR codes only come from reputable sources!
McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.