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What is the Difference Between a Static and Dynamic QR Code?

April 3, 2023
3 minutes
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A redirect is a tool used by websites for “rerouting” or sending a visitor to an alternative webpage. An example of a redirect would be when you type “” in your web-browser, but are taken to a different website, like “”

URL redirects are an extremely common practice employed by webmasters and content managers to ensure visitors to their website are reaching their desired content.

When would I use a redirect?

  1. A page has been relocated within your site
    Let’s say your website has a page by the path “/t-shirts” – The “t-shirts” page has been a part of your website sitemap for years, and is one of your most frequently visited pages. Suddenly, you need to build out a more general page on your site that has t-shirts, and dress shirts. Your goal is to have the new page be accessible by a shorter, more general path, like “/shirts”. In this situation, you would want to use a URL redirect to ensure that traffic for the page “/t-shirts” is successfully rerouted to the new “/shirts” page of your website. Without a redirect in place, you could run the risk of visitors still accessing the old /t-shirts page, even though you want to drive all traffic to the new /shirts page. Due to the nature of SEO, it’s possible that there are many links throughout the Internet that still point visitors to the old URL, and it is the job of the URL redirect to ensure visitors still make it to the appropriate page.
  2. Your domain name is changing!
    Changing a website’s domain name is a drastic decision which must be handled with the utmost care. Let’s say your website has always been Due to a rebranding effort, you are changing your brand from “ABC” to “XYZ”, and thus your website’s URL will need to be adjusted to reflect the change. In this scenario, it would be critical that you 301 redirect all traffic requesting “” to the new and improved “”. Furthermore, you would want to ensure that all pages within the abc-brand website are also redirected, like being redirected to
  3. You have alternative domains that you wish to serve as “shortcuts” into your website
    It is a common practice for businesses to buy dozens of domain names that:
  • Are spelled similarly to their business name – consider “” that redirects to
  • Are variations of their name that visitors may otherwise know them as – consider “” that redirects to the main business website, “”
  • Are shortened, easily typed versions of the primary domain name – consider “” redirecting to “”. It is common to find this shorter, more memorable URL variation on physical advertisements because people are more likely to remember them. As such, a URL redirect would be used to reroute the alternative domain name to your primary domain name of your website.

How does a redirect actually work?

When you request a web-page from your browser, there is a server somewhere on the Internet that is receiving your request and responding with the appropriate content. Fundamentally, a redirect occurs when a web-server's response contains a special piece of data (an HTTP response header) instructing the browser to reroute the visitor to an alternative location.

The technical details aside, a browser works by requesting a URL and rendering the page that is returned by the website. If the website wishes the user to be redirected, the server will respond differently than if it was serving a page; it will send an extra piece of data indicating that the visitor should be redirected to a specified location.

Without going into too much of the technical details – a redirect is a behavior performed by a web-browser whenever it receives a response containing a flag (an HTTP header) to do so.

What are the types of redirects available?

301 Redirect

Commonly referred to as a “permanent” redirect.

Indicates to search-engines and web-browsers that the requested page has permanently relocated to a new location.

Note: permanent redirects are often cached by web-browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Therefore, it may be tricky to retroactively update a 301 redirects target location once it has been established. Any visitors who have already received the 301 redirect response for a URL will likely be served a cached response from their web-browser when visiting the same URL again.

Suggestion Only use a 301 redirect when you know that the target location will not change.

Common Uses

  • A 301 redirect is appropriate when a website is changing it’s domain name. In this scenario, the site should be 301 redirecting all traffic for it’s old domain name to the new website URL.
  • Another common use-case for a 301 redirect is for pages within your website that have been permanently moved to a new URL

302 Redirect

Commonly referred to as a “temporary” redirect.

Useful for general-purpose redirects within your website, where you do not want visitor’s to cache the redirect response permanently.

Suggestion Use 302 redirects for pages that have changed URL, but are subject to be updated in the future

Common Uses

  • A page is temporarily being moved to a new URL
  • Conditions where the destination location of the redirect is subject to change
  • Navigating the user away from a page during an error

307 Redirect

Uncommon due to legacy browser support

Used for technical scenarios when a visitor’s HTTP request method should be persisted when they are redirected. For example, if a user submits a form, the browser normally issues a POST request to the form’s action URL. If the server responds with a 302 redirect response, the client’s web-browser would typically issue a GET request when handling the redirect. However, if the server responds with a 307 redirect response, the client’s web-browser will POST request to the redirect destination. Please note, form-data is typically lost when redirecting via POST request.

When do I need a redirect?

The most common use-cases that would require a redirect are:

  1. Changing your domain name
  2. Restructuring website pathing, resulting in URL changes for content within your website
  3. URL shortening – having a shorter, more memorable alternative to your primary domain name.
  4. Sending traffic from additional/alternative domain names (Example: redirects to
  5. Sending traffic from your DNS zone apex / naked domain name to your “www” sub-domain (Example: 301 redirects to

Important considerations when redirecting a URL

  1. Ensure your URL supports HTTPS connections! Otherwise you may have visitors who are receiving broken links.
  2. When redirecting a specific path within your website, you may want to match paths based on a pattern or Regular Expression, as opposed to a single path.
  3. Seriously consider whether you should use a 301 or a 302, based on the information above.

Quick Response codes, or QR codes, permeate our daily lives. From restaurants to advertisements, we encounter these little black-and-white squares everywhere. They offer a quick and efficient way to access information.

What is a QR Code?

The automotive industry in Japan first devised the QR code as a type of matrix barcode. You can quickly read these two-dimensional codes with a barcode reader or a smartphone camera, hence the "quick response" label.

QR codes can store various information, such as website URLs, text, or contact details. They have found a wide range of applications, from marketing and advertising to product tracking and ticketing, since their inception.

What Makes a QR Code Static?

Static QR codes contain data that remains unchanged after generation. The information is hard-coded and stays the same every time you scan the code. For instance, once you create a static QR code to link to a website, you cannot modify the URL.

You often see static QR codes where the information doesn't need updates or changes, such as business cards, product packaging, or physical advertisements. They are easy to create and use, but their inability to change can become a limitation if you need to update the linked information.

Limitations of Static QR Codes

Static QR codes are often used because they are free to generate. But, their inability to change can end up costing significantly more than the cost of creating and maintaining dynamic QR codes. A few examples of how the limitations of static QR codes can cause issues for a business include:

  • Business cards: Though a static QR code on a business card will reliably provide the same contact information, it becomes a problem if the business address or contact information changes. Any change to the business’ contact information requires a complete reprinting of all business cards and any business cards already handed out become unusable.
  • Product packaging: While it's convenient to use static QR codes on product packaging to provide additional information like a user manual or product details, any changes or updates to these materials would require a new QR code.  This can lead to some customers receiving outdated information.
  • Educational materials: Static QR codes in textbooks or educational materials might seem practical, but if the supplemental information or answers to exercises need an update, the static QR code becomes obsolete.

What Makes a QR Code Dynamic?

On the other hand, dynamic QR codes offer much more flexibility. You can change or update the data they contain even after generating the code. A dynamic QR code doesn't store the information itself but is a reference to the information stored on a server.

Dynamic QR codes also offer tracking capabilities. They can record data such as the number of scans, the time of scans, and the location of the person scanning the code. This feature makes them valuable for marketing and advertising campaigns where tracking engagement is crucial.

Use Cases for Dynamic QR Codes

Most use cases benefit from the ability to change the QR code’s information and track its use offered by dynamic QR codes. Common examples when dynamic QR codes provide value include:

  • Restaurants and cafes: Eateries can use dynamic QR codes to display their menu. As they update or change their offerings, the QR code can link to the new menu without needing to be replaced.
  • Marketing campaigns: Marketers often use dynamic QR codes in their campaigns to track engagement data. Based on campaign performance, marketers can change the linked content to optimize results. Most recently, NYC subway ads started leveraging QR codes that immediately direct users to the advertised offer.
  • Event management: At events or exhibitions, dynamic QR codes can link to real-time updates, digital maps, or event schedules. As the event progresses, the linked information can be updated to reflect the most current details.
  • Retail and e-commerce: Dynamic QR codes can be used for personalized discounts or offers. They can also connect to product pages that change based on inventory or new releases.

Which is Better for You?

When deciding between a static and dynamic QR code, the choice is simple. Dynamic QR codes are simply better than static QR codes for every use case.

Static QR codes, while easy to create, are stuck with the same data once printed. This means you need to reprint all materials with the QR code if any information changes. Whether its a URL change or simply rescheduling the time of an event, static QR codes can not accommodate any changes.

Dynamic QR codes on the other hand allow you to change their data anytime you want. But, they also let you track engagement and update the content of the code without changing the code itself. This makes them superior in every way to a regular static QR code.

You can expand the capabilities of your dynamic QR codes with SiteDetour. Using SiteDetour’s targeting capabilities, you can personalize the information in your dynamic QR codes based on over 30 metrics such as the user’s local time, device language, and device type. This personalization allows you to tailor the user experience of your dynamic QR codes to improve the user experience with personalized information.

Get Started With SiteDetour

Our team will happily walk you through our platform and pricing to find a solution that perfectly fits your agency’s unique needs. The best part? You can try SiteDetour and experience all its benefits absolutely free.