Now let’s dive into the significance of QR codes, their diverse applications in various industries, and the top QR code generators that can cater to your unique business needs.
What is a QR Code and How Does It Work?
Quick Response (QR) codes are flat barcodes that store information horizontally and vertically.
Initially created for tracking parts in the automotive industry, QR codes have evolved into versatile tools for quick data retrieval. The basic structure consists of black squares arranged on a white square grid.
Scanning the code with a smartphone or QR code scanner app decodes the information embedded within.
For example, the QR code you see below will take you to my website, ShaneBarker.com.
It’s also important to understand the difference between static and dynamic QR codes.
|Static QR codes are the simplest types of QR codes. Within the QR code is an embedded URL that is accessed when the QR code is scanned. The URL is hard coded in the QR code, which means once the QR code image is created, you can not change it.
|Dynamic QR codes don’t just store one URL, but two. The first URL is similar to a static QR code, as it is hardcoded and can not be changed. That URL then redirects to a second URL, which can be changed at any time, allowing you to customize the QR code’s final destination.
The Top Use Cases for QR Code Generators
There’s a myriad of applications QR generators can be used for. Here are some of the most commonly used applications of QR codes:
1. Business and Marketing
QR codes have become integral to modern marketing strategies. Businesses leverage these codes on various platforms to provide customers with quick access to product information, promotions, and more.
Incorporating QR codes in business cards, for instance, enhances networking opportunities by effortlessly sharing contact details.
2. Financial Transactions
There’s currently a growing trend of using QR codes to facilitate secure financial transactions through popular apps like Venmo. This makes cashless transactions fast and convenient for both the customer and the business.
3. Event Management
Event organizers find QR codes indispensable for managing attendee logistics. From ticketing to entry passes, QR codes streamline processes. This helps reduce wait times and enhance overall event efficiency.
A simple scan lets attendees easily access event details, schedules, and additional information.
4. Product Packaging and Labels
Product packaging adorned with QR codes transforms traditional labels into interactive experiences.
Consumers can scan a product's QR code to access detailed information, user manuals, or even instructional videos. This engagement not only empowers consumers with valuable insights but also fosters brand loyalty through enhanced transparency.
List of the Top 10 QR Code Generators
Now that we’ve discussed the ins and outs of QR codes, it's time to take a closer look at the 10 best QR code generators.
This Shopify-integrated gem whips up basic static QR codes for website links, phone numbers, and texts. Need a quick and free way to connect your online store to the physical world? Look no further!
But remember, it lacks fancy features like dynamic updates or custom designs.
Creating a QR code is quite simple. Just select the data type, enter the relevant data, and add an email address to receive the finished code.
Once you receive the code via email, you can download the QR code
Shopify’s Free QR Code Generator only exports QR Codes to PNG images. They are good quality, but if you’re looking for high-resolution QR codes or PDF files, these might not be for you.
- Integrates with Shopify
- Simple to use interface
- No fancy features
- Static codes only
- Limited customization
QRCode Monkey stands out as a versatile QR code generator, offering high-quality static QR codes.
It allows you to create QR codes for various purposes, including URLs, image galleries, social media, business cards, and more.
With a user-friendly interface and the delivery of high-resolution codes, QRCode Monkey emerges as a top choice for both businesses and individuals looking for a great and free QR code generator.
Although the customization is a little limited, apart from changing colors and adding a logo, there are a few templates you can select from to add some variation.
- Customizable logos
- Multiple download formats like PNG, PDF, and SVG
- No dynamic codes
- Limited features
- Basic design options
QR Code Generator is another great option on the list, and is powered by Bitly. It’s an extremely versatile code generator with a full suite of features.
It supports a variety of data types including 2D Barcodes, PDFs, and even MP3s.
In the example below I used a template to create not only a QR code, but a QR code that links to a business page you can create on the platform.
If you just want to enter a pre-existing URL, with this QR code, you can. Once that’s done, you’ll be greeted with a whole host of customization options.You can select different frames, different styles of codes, different colors, as well as add your own logo inside the code.
QR Code Generator also offers Application Programming Interface (API) support, as well as dynamic QR codes. These features are available as part of the paid plans, and do not come with the free version.
- Free basic plan
- Dynamic codes (paid plans only)
- Scan tracking
- Code scheduling
- Free plan is very limited
- No monthly billing option
- Starter Plan: $5/month billed annually
- Advanced Plan: $12.50/month billed annually
- Professional Plan: $37.50/month billed annually
Canva comes with a whole host of different QR generators, including its own version of a QR generator which is free to use.
Generating the code is a very simple process — simply add the URL, choose the color of QR code and background, and click “Generate Code”.
The codes you generate are static, so they can not be changed afterwards. If you’d like to change the URL, you’ll need to create another QR code.
A great thing about Canva’s QR generator is that it's integrated into Canva’s editing suite. So from here you can create and edit anything you want with your QR code.
If you want more personalization options, and access to other QR generators, some which support dynamic QR codes, you’ll need to opt for Canva’s pro plan.
Here’s an example of a dynamic QR code created with an integrated QR code generator on Canva.
- Integrated with Canva’s platform
- Easy customization
- Design-focused features
- Dynamic codes and code tracking available with Canva’s paid plan
- Limited features compared to dedicated generators
- Static codes only.
- Free with Canva Pro subscription for $14.99/month
ForQRCode is another free QR code generator. If you like the platform and its functionality, you can donate to their site using the donate button for the site’s upkeep.
It comes packed with all the essentials, including a large selection of data types, design options, and quality of the image.
It's really easy to use, with all the features and options displayed on a single page. Simply enter the URL, choose your options, and click save.
The customization options are quite decent, with a good selection of customization including patterns, borders, and even the marker center.
Images can be downloaded in high-quality resolutions in PDFs, SVGs, and PNGs.
- Free to use
- Great selection of customization options
- High-quality resolutions
- Can be downloaded in different formats
- No dynamic QR codes
- No QR Code tracking
Adobe’s Free Online QR Code Generator is a very basic, limited, but free code generator that does exactly what it says. The benefit of using this tool is its integration feature with Adobe’s editing suite.
It offers 3 different file formats, including SVGs and PNGs.
It’s straightforward to use and has some customization options, but they are very limited. With only a handful of styles to choose from, don’t expect a highly customized QR Code. There’s also no support for scan tracking or dynamic QR codes.
- Adobe integration
- Multiple download formats like PNG, JPG, and SVG
- Limited features compared to paid Adobe tools
- Static codes only
QRStuff’s interface was a refreshing surprise after testing quite a few other QR code generators already. It’s by far the most user-friendly tool on this list, taking you step by step, through each part of the QR code creation.
The initial action involves selecting a data type, ranging from website URLs to various event options, neatly presented for easy access without the hassle of drop-down menus.
The tool offers a notable advantage even with its Free plan – the ability to create ad-free codes. You're also allowed to create 10 free dynamic QR codes. If you’d like to create more dynamic codes, you’ll have to sign up to one of the paid tiers.
Once you’ve chosen your data type and entered the information needed, you can start customizing your QR code. Unfortunately, I feel that even the paid plans are lacking in that department.
There are some basic customization options and the templates look great, but apart from adding a logo and a few design options, there is nothing more you can do to make it more unique to your brand.
The final step involves customization of the QR code’s size, resolution, file type, error correction level, and the option to incorporate an image or logo into the QR code. It supports PDF, SVG, PNG, and more.
You can also choose the level of error correction, which helps preserve quality when upscaling the QR image.
- Pre-designed templates
- Great for beginners
- Dynamic codes available even for the free version
- Generate the QR code in 6 different formats, including PNG and JPG
- Free plan is limited to 10 dynamic QR codes
- Customization is limited, especially for a paid plan
- Free with limited features
- Full Suite Plan: $12.95/month
ME-QR is another great QR code generator that offers a free plan and 2 paid tiers.
Once you visit their site, you’ll be greeted with this front page, which prompts you to pick a type of QR code. There are plenty of options available, with some notable ones including LinkedIn, a ticket, an image, and vCards.
What I liked most about ME-QR is the whole range of excellent QR template designs. They’re even listed under different categories, including holidays, events, travel, and food.
There’s also the option to upload your logo or choose from the logos on offer. You can create a custom background for the logo, and also adjust the size of the logo inside the QR code. After you’ve created your QR code, you can also save it as a template for later use.
Another notable feature I noticed comes from location-based dynamic QR codes. These QR codes can be customized to redirect to another URL based on a user’s location. Simply choose the country and the URL you want to redirect to.
You can also create dynamic QR codes according to the number of scans, the time-period, or the language of the user.
- Unique templates
- Dynamic QR codes, including the free plan
- Large selection of data types
- You can create QR codes that support other languages according to location
- The Free plan has a limit to the number of QR codes you can create a month
- Free plan QR codes come with ads and the Lite Plan only includes 1 QR code ad free a month
- Lite Plan: $9/month
- Premium Plan: $15/month
Explore Uniqode’s acclaimed services, trusted by industry giants like Amazon, Pepsi, and Nestlé.
Their custom QR code generator helps you craft unique digital experiences. From the call-to-action frame to the background, Beaconstac allows comprehensive customization, ensuring seamless integration with your existing brand aesthetics.
With so much customization, it’s also nice that they include a scannability checker, which will tell you if the image created might be difficult to scan, or worse, unscannable.
It also provides a large selection of data types. Apart from the basics, some options include restaurant menus, forms, mobile apps, and MP3s.
Other noteworthy features include the ability to perform diverse bulk operations on QR codes, multilingual support, and comprehensive tracking of QR code scans.
Although there is no free plan available, you can get a 14-day free trial, no credit card needed!
- Dynamic QR codes
- Scan tracking
- Large selection of customization options
- Can be overwhelming for beginners
- Pricing can get steep for advanced features
- No free plan
- Starter Plan: $5/month billed annually
- Lite Plan: $15/month billed annually
- Pro Plan: $49/month billed annually
- Plus Plan: $99/month billed annually
goQR.me has a very lackluster page that looks and feels a bit empty and basic. It’s also not the most user friendly.
For example, the content types aren’t listed but are just buttons, which can make it difficult for you to choose the correct format.
The data types on offer are only a handful, including URLs, geolocations, and phone numbers.
There aren’t any customization options apart from adding your logo, which you can do on a separate menu.
The process of adding a logo to your QR is also complicated, as they don’t offer the option of simply uploading and adding it.
Instead, you need to email your logo to them, and they’ll create custom drafts and send you an offer amount. From there you can settle on the design, the image quality, and the image file format.
Image via goQR.me
- Highly customizable but for a custom quotation
- You can create embed codes to add your QR code anywhere on your site
- Very basic, with almost no customization available without requesting a custom code
- Can be expensive to create a custom QR code on this site
- Up to $80 for a custom QR code
Start Crafting Your QR Codes Today with the Best QR Code Generators!
Now that you're all caught up, you can embark on your QR code journey today with the best QR code generators at your fingertips!
From the intuitive simplicity of Shopify's Free QR Code Generator to the versatile features of QRCode Monkey and the design prowess of Canva QR Code Generator, these tools offer a spectrum of options for every digital marketer.
So, why wait? Start crafting your QR codes today and elevate your digital marketing game with these dynamic generators. Harness the power of quick and efficient information exchange, leaving a lasting impression on your audience. Happy coding!