Create Your Own QR Code

Posted by: Nicholas M. Roberts
February 9, 2011

I have spent a lot of time explaining how to install a QR-reading application on your smartphone and even guided you through the various types of data that can be stored in QR codes. Now I feel like you're ready to take the next step. Are you ready to make your own QR code?

You won't have to draw your own box. In fact, there are a number of code-generating websites that are free to use. Today I will be guiding you through one of the simpler, more user-friendly tools. This QR code generator has been developed by the Zxing Project. To follow along visit http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

The first step in creating a QR code is deciding what type of information you want to share. As I’ve recently explained, QR codes can lead readers to a number of different places. It can lead to a website or just tell your phone to display some text. As you can tell by this screen cap I have created, Zxing’s QR Code Creator allows you to store an invitation to an upcoming event, your contact information, an e-mail address, a geographical location, a phone number, a short message, text, a URL or a WiFi network.

For this tutorial I will be showing you how to create a simple QR code that leads to a website. Select “URL” from the dropdown menu displayed next to the word Contents. This should change the number of parameters to one: a line where you can enter a URL. Type the address to your website of choice in the yellow box. This site can be your personal site or just one of your favorites. I entered the address for this site. Below the URL there is another dropdown menu where you can select how large you want your QR code to be. The decision is yours to make, it’s really only for aesthetic purposes. I kept mine at the default “Large” size. Now create your QR code by hitting “Generate”.

It’s that simple. Here is the QR code I created for howtomakeaqrcode.biz. Scan it with your smartphone and it will lead you to our home page.

QR codes can store more types of information than those Zxing’s free creator allows. The most intriguing that I have encountered was a free download for a song. A quick Google search will lead you to dozens if not hundreds of other QR code creators. Each should have its own strengths and weaknesses. QR codes are meant to be both great for business and fun for consumers. I don’t see why they can’t be fun for the business too. Use proper internet safety, but open yourself to experimenting with the different features these creators allow. Be advised, that when you create and display a QR code, the information is accessible to everyone with a reader. Never publish a QR code that stores personal information that you wouldn’t want to share openly.