Are your QR Codes too hard to scan?

describe the imageIf you have ever created a QR code, you may have run into the issue where your QR code is difficult to scan. It may be that the URL you are using to create the QR code itself is too long. The longer the URL, the more data has to be delivered via the QR code, thus making it more pixelized.

When a user uses their cell phones to scan a QR code, the simpler the QR code’s design and the less data, the easier it is for the camera to recognize and load the URL.

Example of a Long URL vs Short URL in QR Codes

You want to create a URL that has tracking information for a blog post, the URL might look something like this:

ugly qr code

That’s too long… it will create QR code that looks like the one to the left.

Why does this matter, you ask? Let’s say, for example, you are using this QR code in a print ad. The print ad, however, is a 4 x 6 postcard, and to fit the QR code you have to make it 1 square inch in print size. When you shrink down the QR code, the smaller you make it, the harder it is for code scanners to read that code. There is a solution however to still use your long URL and make your QR code easy to read.

URL Shortening Services for QR Codes

Want to turn your long URL with tracking data into a short URL so that your QR codes are pretty? Easy! You can use one of the many URL shortening services available on the web. My personal favorite is Google’s service, This service will take your long url, and make it into a short URL for you.

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The above picture shows the link to this blog, with a long string that is used for tracking on the left. On the right, the same URL is shortened to from Google’s URL shortening system.

Create your Own Easy-to-read QR Codes, instantly!

Try out our free online tool to make QR codes. This tool will automatically shorten your URL that you enter and generate a QR code!



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Blog Post Written by Taylor Vowell

Taylor Vowell is a certified inbound marketing specialist with a background in graphic design and website development.