Thoughts on Minified URLs and QR codes

I need to create a QR code that will be physically fastened to a monument, linking to a web page. I know you get a simpler QR code with a shorter (minified) URL.
Would you recommend this? How reliable are minified URLs in the long term? Can I trust them to keep on working? Is there a recommended service for this?
Or
Should I play it safe and use the full URL and have a more complex QR code?

Most people wouldn’t even notice the difference in the complexity. It certainly wouldn’t be any more difficult for people to use.

The biggest difference would be reliability as you don’t have the risk of the short URL ceasing to exist - which is likely to happen as they are basically intended for short term use.

Of course there’s nothing to stop you creating a short URL just pointing to your own site (eg domain.com/abc123) then using server side instructions (in .htaccess) to redirect to any page on your site. The big benefit there is that you can control the landing page, useful if you want to redirect QR code users to a special page for any occasion.

1 Like

I know it makes no difference to humans, but thought maybe more complex images may be harder for the device, as in more prone for error, though I’m no expert on this.
The other potential problem is physicaly creating the more complex code. This is not on-screen or printed on paper, it is for the outside environment and will be on a solid physical object. I’m not sure yet how it will be done, but possibly engraved or etched on a synthetic or metal surface. Advice on that is maybe beyond the scope of this forum, but I thought a simpler QR image would be easier to physicaly create in such a way.

The biggest difference would be reliability as you don’t have the risk
of the short URL ceasing to exist - which is likely to happen as they
are basically intended for short term use.

Yes, that’s what is giving me doubts about using them.

Of course there’s nothing to stop you creating a short URL just pointing
to your own site (eg domain.com/abc123) then using server side
instructions (in .htaccess) to redirect to any page on your site. The
big benefit there is that you can control the landing page, useful if
you want to redirect QR code users to a special page for any occasion.

Good idea, I had not thought of that. It may be the compromise to solve my dilema. I will still need my full domain name, but can shorten the target name and do away with any variables by putting all that in the redirect.

I just tried it out and it works. I made a bit of a saving on the code, from 33x33 px to 29x29. And as you mention, I can alter the target page or variables anytime I want without needing a new QR code, which in this scenario I don’t want to have to do.
Thanks for the idea.

That particular domain gets lots of publicity through people using it in examples instead of using example.com which is specifically for use in examples.