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What Are QR Codes And How To Use Them

What Are They?

A QR Code is basically just a url in an image format like the one at the title of this blog post. When these images are scanned (usually with a smartphone app) they direct-link users to a url which is preprogrammed in - it's really easy to do and below I'll show you how in just a few steps. So whether it is your website, online store, or social profile to follow - these little images can be a helpful way to get people where you want them to go online.

Where to Find Them

If you want to make your own QR Code for just about any web url you have a couple different options. You can either install browser add-ons or if you prefer, there are websites which will help you make them - usually you just have to paste in the url you want a QR Code for.

Browsers:

On the Web:
  • You can also try a quick Google Search and choose any of the QR code websites you like from the top links.
  • Many websites besides www.qr-code-generator.com exist and do similar things: however, I found this website specifically to be quite user-friendly and serves as a great example for this blog post. Please find a screenshot below:

How to Use Them:

These images can be saved as pictures (.jpg or .png) which can be saved to your desktop or anywhere else. They can then be uploaded or pasted onto a blog, newsletter, email signature, etc. Essentially anywhere you might be able to upload an image, you can put your own QR Code directing users to a url of your choice.

A Step by Step for Using the ShortenMe Chrome Extension:
  1. Visit any web page you may want a QR Code for
    • I used a random example below
  2. Click on your ShortenMe button (Circled in the image below)
  3. That's it. When the image shows up, you can usually click and save it to your desktop to be uploaded wherever.


To Try the ShortenMe Chrome extension make sure to:
  • Have the Chrome Browser Installed: [Click Here] to read about & download the Chrome Browser
  • [Click here] to find and download the ShortenMe extension in the Chrome Store: 
Scanning QR Codes with your Smartphone

You will likely need to download an application on your smartphone to navigate these codes. There are lots of options out there; I've used and liked each of the suggestions below:

Android:
iOS:
Perspectives

The Good

They are easy to use and a great way to funnel online traffic anywhere you want people to visit.

The Not-As-Good

They are a tiny bit ugly. And if someone has never seen one or heard of one before, you will likely have to teach them about what that thing is at the bottom of your Newsletter, or wherever you decide to place them.
In the end though, whatever gets you talking about your website (or url of choice) is not necessarily a bad thing in the way of advertising.
  • Note: Many QR Code sites will let you customize your Code; altering color, or placing images behind them (a logo for example) you can also shrink and enlarge them - its not really a cure-all for aesthetic appeal but you can certainly be creative here with your design choices to make them unique to you or your website.
Video
I also made a video (inserted below) which covers much of the same information written above.

video

Hope this blog post was helpful and have a great rest of your day!

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*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies or web sites mentioned in this blog article, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you.