There has been a lot of talk recently regarding whether or not QR codes have any value anymore. While QR code usage has fallen off in recent years, 2018 showed us that the rise, or come back if you will, of QR codes, made them as big as ever. Since QR code usage is expected to hit 5.3 billion by 2022, it is probably a good idea to generate WordPress QR codes for your website.
Today, I will show you how you can easily generate QR codes for your WordPress website.
What is a QR Code?
A QR code, which is an abbreviation of Quick Response Code, is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) that was first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan.
A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. In practice, QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application.
A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently. Other extensions may also be used.
A QR code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device such as a camera, and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted. The required data is then extracted from patterns that are present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image.
Installing Generating WordPress QR Codes
If you would like to generate WordPress QR codes for your website, the first thing you need to do is find a WordPress QR code plugin. I recommend the Dynamic QR Code Generator plugin.
Install and activate the plugin from your WordPress admin dashboard.
Once activated the WordPress QR code plugin is ready to use right out of the box. There are no settings, as the plugin automatically generates WordPress QR codes for each page and post.
Note: The plugin’s page states that this plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. However, I have tested it and it does work perfectly in version 5.3.2.
Using The Plugin
You can use these QR codes in any widget area on your site. To do so, all you need to do is add the relevant WordPress QR shortcodes ( I will share them further below) where you want the QR website page codes to display.
If you create a new page or post, this is what you will see:
Note: Any new posts or pages will not have a QR code ID until they are published.
You can also view the QR code in the same location when viewing any existing page or post. You will need to mark down the individual QR code number. For example, on this post the QR code ID is 748:
If you want to use this QR code, when you use one of the plugin’s shortcodes, you will need to include that ID code. Let’s take a look at the shortcodes.
WordPress QR Shortcodes
Here are some shortcode examples you may see while using this plugin.
Remember, the WordPress QR code plugin automatically generates WordPress QR shortcodes, but with that being said here is a quick explanation of what you may see:
- [dqr_code] – shows QR code for permalink of the current post, page or custom post type.
- [dqr_code url=”https://greengeeksexample.com”] – shows QR code for “https://greengeeksexample.com”. Simply change the URL to generate a different website’s QR code.
- [dqr_code post_id=”77″] – shows QR code for permalink of post ID “99”. (supports post, page or custom post type). In our example above, my post had an ID number of 748. Thus, I would replace 77 with 748.
- [dqr_code url=”https://greengeeksexample.com” size=”300″ color=”#000000″ bgcolor=”#ffffff”] – shows QR code for “https://greengeeksexample.com”. Where the QR code will be 300px X300px size and will have “#000000” as color and “#ffffff” as the background color. Defaults: Size= 200, Color=”#000000″, Background Color=”#ffffff”;
All you need to do now is actually add the shortcode to a text widget and see the results.
Shortcode Widget Troubleshooting
These WordPress QR shortcodes are generated on your pages and posts as described above. You can take those shortcodes and put them wherever you would like.
However, if you run into a situation where the WordPress QR Code is not appearing in your text widget after using the shortcode, then you have to add a small line of code to your theme’s functions.php file.
To access the functions.php file click on Appearance > Theme Editor and you will be taken to the theme’s file pages area.
Once there click on the Theme Function (functions.php) box tab and you will be able to add the needed line of code from there.
Add the following line of code into that file:[ht_message mstyle=”info” title=”” show_icon=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” ]add_filter(‘widget_text’, ‘do_shortcode’);[/ht_message]
This should resolve the problem.
QR Codes Are Back
QR codes have made a huge comeback over the past year or so and data suggests that they will continue to grow rapidly in use over the next several years. And believe it or not, they are finding uses in other forms of media.
A great example of this are video games. There are many games that display a QR code that you can use to view specific in-game stats or are hidden within a map as a secret. If they continue on this trend QR codes will find their way into every form of media, so making sure your website is ready for them is a must.
I hope this article showed you a quick and easy way to utilize WordPress QR codes to maximize the visibility of your website links.
Have you been using QR codes on your website already? What types of things do you use QR codes for on a day to day basis?
Author: Jeremy Holcombe
Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.