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 “example.com” in your web-browser, but are taken to a different website, like “new-example.com.”
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 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.
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.
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
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.
The most common use-cases that would require a redirect are:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.