What is a dynamic QR code?

Dynamic QR codes send users on to specific information or web pages, just like any other QR code. What makes them "dynamic" is that the URL encoded in them redirects to a second URL that can be changed on demand, even after a code is printed. Static QR codes can't be changed like that.

What is a dynamic QR code?

Some project scenarios benefit from a QR code that can take a new link destination even after being printed or generated. Dynamic QR codes are preferred to static QR codes when the flexibility to change the destination app or website embedded is necessary. Sometimes content accessed by a QR code needs an update but changing the original destination content is not practical. This could be due to lack of administrative access to the original content, or the need to split batches of QR codes on products into different regional content groups. With a dynamic QR code, even after the codes have been printed and put into circulation, the scan destinations are centrally managed and administered or they can be changed based on some logic. Although there is technically no difference between a static QR code and a dynamic QR code, what makes this possible is the computer system hosting the static URL. For dynamic QR codes, that system is setup to store an additional forwarding URL. This makes all the difference between these two kinds of QR codes and which one is best for a use case.

What is the difference between static and dynamic QR codes?

Dynamic QR codes and static QR codes are categorized based on how many levels of URLs are accessed once the the codes are scanned. A dynamic QR code depends on not just one URL being stored, but at least two URLs with the second being a redirect following the first address. In both dynamic and static QR codes, the first URL is hard coded, or stored, as static and unchanging text. For dynamic QR codes, this first URL can be thought of as the address of a simple software application with the main purpose of storing another URL that be set or changed at any time by an administrator. If the final destination URL in a QR code is one and the same as the hard coded URL, stored in the QR code pattern, then you are dealing with a static QR code. Because the administrator is managing the destination of the QR code in the software, changing already generated and printed QR codes is no problem at all. Any QR code with an editable final destination URL is a “dynamic” QR code.

Ferrara sought to use dynamic QR codes for thousands of stock keeping units (SKUs) to disclose GMO information as required by the U.S. bioengineered food disclosure standard.

Case Study: Dynamic QR codes for labeling on Ferrara candy

The problem with QR codes.

Although the minimum required setup for dynamic QR codes isn’t complicated beyond the two URL setup, the redirection host that is reached by the first URL must be reliably online and functioning properly. Anything less than that and the user experience of scanning the QR code will collapse. The basic cause for dynamic QR code failure is almost always a problem with the app or server that is pointed at by the QR code. This kind of problem might be caused by a configuration problem, by the server being down, or in some cases the server no longer exists. This is problem is more common than you’d think. The only way around it is to have high confidence that the dynamic QR code generator you use is reliable and has an uptime guarantee. The alternative leads to wasted time and even to a loss of brand reputation.

What is a dynamic QR code generator?

There are dozens of companies that offer QR code generation for free or at a low cost: they aren’t difficult to find online. What is difficult is finding a provider that provides some certainty that these QR code generator systems won’t leave you with broken QR codes and users opening up error pages (404 error). offers near 100% uptime for static QR codes and dynamic QR codes for companies that demand confidence and a consistent experience from their QR codes on products, packaging, and documents.

In the best case scenario, a failed dynamic QR code can be annoying and require a fix, but some failures can leave firms opens to non-compliance fines, such as would be applicable with legally demanded product disclosures or as it related to the new E.U. wine label food and energy content requirements. If you or your company needs a dynamic QR code generator that has enterprise-grade reliability, know that Scantrust offers a connected packaging and dynamic QR code solution that also includes a range of other benefits. You can also ask one of our experts if you aren’t sure what QR code solution, dynamic QR code or not, best suits your project requirements.

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