- What are the different ways to create a WordPress table?
- Best WordPress Table Plugins – Premium and Free
- WPDataTables Premium Plugin
- Ultimate Tables WordPress Plugin – Free
- TablePress – Free & Popular WordPress Table Plugin
- Detailed Step-By-Step Tutorial for TablePress
- Other Free Table Plugins
- Final Thoughts and Recommendation
Don’t need the spiel? Go Straight to the Tutorial→
What are the different ways to create a WordPress table?
The easiest way to go about adding a table to WordPress is using a plugin. Unless of course you want to get your hands dirty and use HTML.
WordPress is the most popular content management system; this being an understatement. With ample of options of themes and plugins it has become immensely popular. But after more than a decade, it still lacks one basic feature, that of table creation.
Tables are something most website and content developers need from time to time on a regular basis. When you want to display data points or a list with some links or rows of information about something, you really need a table. Writing a whole paragraph of content is simply not as effective as putting into a neat little table. A table is easy to read, understand and follow.
Add rows and columns of data in WordPress using code
Just because WordPress doesn’t have this functionality, that doesn’t mean you cannot create tables. While manually adding WordPress tables remains an option, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, and can be really frustrating and filled with unwanted errors.
If you are looking to create, personalize or add tables in your WordPress page or post, you can do that using plain old HTML & CSS, and there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to do that.
You can add Tables in WordPress without HTML code too – and this post primarily aims at listing the best WordPress table plugins that help you add a table easily to your WordPress website – so that you can save time and effort, and get your WordPress table ready in under a minute.
Add rows and columns of data in WordPress using Table Plugins
Tables are an important and rather convenient way of displaying comparative information or data in large volumes. They are easy to understand and save plenty of time that would have otherwise been spent writing that data down. Tables are a commonly-used feature in websites today.
Nonetheless, creating a table, especially a big one, in HTML or CSS is very tedious work that’s extremely time consuming. And even one small mistype is very hard to find and correct in that mass of code. Imagine creating a table with 200 rows and columns, and finding that you missed a semi-colon or bracket somewhere. And then imagine the effort you will need to go through to find that missing variable.
However, if you have a WordPress website, there is one drawback to creating tables.
WordPress does not have a built-in table creating function. This is particularly surprising considering how popularly WordPress is used in today’s times. The general settings of a WordPress website contain many formatting features, but unlike applications like MS Word, there is no readily-available table function.
But fret not as all is not lost. This extremely-popular CMS has made other provisions for allowing its users to create tables – table plugins.
Best WordPress Table Plugins – Premium and Free
Here are some of the best WordPress plugins for creating tables and adding them to your posts and pages.
wpDataTables is a popular premium plugin that is well-documented and supported too.
Let’s start with reviewing wpDataTables.
The WPDataTables plugin is extremely flexible and can be used across many niche websites because of it. This is one of its main features. Let’s look at some more.
Import Sources Supported
The WPDataTables plugin allows you to import data from a wide variety of sources – excel files, CSV files, XML, and JSON. The plugin creates a formatted table using the imported data. It works with the MySQL database as well, sending a MySQL and creating dynamic tables based on your queries. It arranges data into rows and columns despite the volume. The tables are added to your WordPress post or page by the plugin.
Creating Charts from Tables
WPDataTables creates 35 different kinds charts based on the created tables. It can graphically display data in the form of –
- Bar chart
- Pie chart
- Stepped area
- Donut chart
- Bubble chart
- Scatter chart
- Basic area
- Stacked area
The plugin uses 3 libraries – Google Charts, Highcharts, and Charts.js – for creating charts. Select the chart type that you want and WPDataTables does the rest. Charts can also be linked to tables; modifications such as search, filter, sort, automatically show in the chart when applied to the linked table.
Go to Table creation–>Drop down menu–>Select the chart you want–>Select the columns you want to display in the chart
WPDataTables adds the chart to the designated WordPress post or page.
Numerous Editing Features
WPDataTables offers a lot of editing options for tables. You can modify most of the table characteristics, before or after it is uploaded on the website. This is what you can do–
To edit, either select the specified row/column or click on the buttons provided on top of the table. WPDataTables uses editing tools like editor dialog, in-line editing, or an Excel like editing interface, making it easy to edit various aspects of the table.
WPDataTables is responsive across various devices. Tables adjust themselves according to the screen size of the device, be it a laptop, mobile, tablet, iPad, etc. You can also decide how the table will display on various screens, and which columns will show or collapse.
You can set up advanced filters to the table to add a different filter to each column. The filter can be modified according to the column – dates, checkboxes, dropdowns, etc. The plugin also offers 11 date formats to work with.
Versions and Pricing
WPDataTables is not available in a free version. You can purchase the lifetime license for $44, which includes regular quality checks, future updates, and a 6-month support for tms plugins. You can extend support for 12 more months by paying extra.
The 6-month support includes clarification of queries by the author, receiving assistance for bugs, and help with 3rd party assets. It does not include customizations and installations though. You can watch the free demo before purchasing the plugin to know what it includes and what you can get.
Pros & Cons
The benefits of WPDataTables are as follows –
- Easy table configuration
- Customizable tables and charts
- Spreadsheet-like editing
- Manual and automatic table generation
- Perform calculations in formula bar
- Show totals in footers
- Users can edit own rows
- Create tables from existing sources
- Import files to modifiable tables
- Work with data of all sizes
- Edit tables on the frontend and backend
- Auto-generate MySQL queries
Some user reviews point to the following issues –
- Difficulty in using
- Bugs in the plugin
- Slows down WordPress
- Limited designs
- Issues with customer support
The drawbacks are based on user reviews, which are subjective and unique. Many users have not faced these issues. Hence, it is on a case-to-case basis.
Get Started with wpDataTables
To use the plugin, you need to purchase it and install it on your WordPress website. Start by configuring the plugin and updating the wizard and frontend pages. You can then create tables, generate reports, import data, create charts, customize the tables, and publish it on your pages or in your posts.
WPDataTables is extremely easy to use and provides a lot of ease of creating and managing tables. It works seamlessly with any size of datasets, managing and modifying them easily. It offers a wide scope of functionalities for your tables, making them convenient to understand, use, and filter.
And finally, it is flexible enough to be used in many industries – both creative and technical.
WordPress offers a variety of free and premium table plugins for users to choose from, which depends greatly on their website and table needs. Ultimate Tables is one such free table plugin from WordPress that’s quite pleasant to use.
Ultimate Tables : Features
The Ultimate Tables plugin is a free one offered by WordPress. It allows the user to insert tables in website pages, blog posts, articles, and other places. It is great for small and mid-size tables; not so much for very large sets of data.
The plugin offers multiple styles of tables by default. It also has the option for customizing table styles. You can view a select number of table entries as per your choice. This plugin is extremely easy to understand and use because of its ready format and the fact that you don’t need to use HTML.
- Easy to use
- Pleasant appearance of tables; multiple styles that can also be customised
- You can insert tables in all posts and pages, including custom posts
- It is a free WordPress plugin
- Modifying the table to suit your requirements is very easy
Ultimate Tables : How to Install
– Go to the plugins menu in the administrator. Click on Ultimate Tables.
– Once the plugin is activated, you will see the Ultimate Tables tab in your Settings menu.
– You have the option of displaying it either as a plugin or as a widget. It will be available in the
plugin or widget menu accordingly
Ultimate Tables : Creating a Table
2. Start filling in the values in the table cells.
This is what the new table looks like.Ultimate Tables allows a user to add HTML or CSS code to the text within a cell for giving various formatting effects.
Ultimate Tables : Pros and cons
- Easy to use
- Lots of style options
- SEO-friendly and easy to search
- Can use HTML code inside the cells
- Can sort content in alphabetical or numerical order
- Can be sorted from the back end
- Customization is limited in scope
- Not fully responsive
- Import/export of data is not possible
- The sorting feature can mess with the table when the number of rows exceeds 200. However, this may not happen with everyone.
Ultimate Tables : Summing Up
Starting with the most popular table plugin as far as WordPress is concerned – TablePress. After installation, you’ll need to add new table page, add the name and description of the table, and then select the required number of columns and rows.
Next, the interface will be like a spreadsheet, where you can enter data for each cell. Formatting text is also possible in this free table plugin. Importing a table is also possible through HTML, XLS, XLSX, CSV, and JSON formats.
This free plugin has a search option, spanning, filtering, pagination, and multilingual support.
Add a table to your pages or posts by activating the TablePress Plugin. Visit the WordPress Plugin directory, run a search for TablePress and download. After you install and activate the plugin, you’ll get a TablePress menu added to your WordPress admin page.
Create a New Table
You need to create a new table before you can add a table to a WordPress post or page. To do so, select the TablePress menu and click on “Add New Table.” The next step is to name the table and add a description. Then, you can determine the number of rows and columns needed for your table. Don’t worry about not having enough columns or rows – or having too many. You can always edit the table later and remove or add columns and rows if needed. After you’ve finished creating your table, click on “Add Table.” and Add as many as tables in WordPress, in WordPress posts or pages.
Editing Your Table
At this point, you’ll be taken to an “Edit Table” screen. This is where you add your information to each section. Also, you can rearrange the columns and rows as well as add or remove them as needed. Simply put, you can create the ideal table for your specific needs. All that’s left is to add the table to your page or post.
Using the Visual Editor
Once your table is completed to your liking, you can either open an existing page or post or create one or the other. If you’re using the Visual Editor to add a table in a WordPress post or page, you’ll note the addition of the Table icon. Select the icon to open a pop-up showing all the tables you’ve created. Just click on the “Insert Shortcode” option next to the table you want to add and the editor will do the rest for you.
Manually Insert Your Table
You can easily insert the table yourself. Select the TablePress menu and mouse over the table you want to insert. Then “Show Shortcode” option will open up a pop-up with the code. Copy that code and paste it exactly where you’d like to insert your table. That’s it. You have a beautiful table of your creation displayed on your WordPress site. !
Detailed Step-By-Step Tutorial for TablePress
Here’s how to add tables to WordPress Posts and Pages using TablePress
Step 1 : Install and activate TablePress WordPress Plugin
TablePress is easily the most popular and best free Table WordPress Plugin out there – it is used by over 600,000 websites.
That’s it – publish your page and your table will be ready !
Other Free Table Plugins
This is one of the most new-user-friendly plugins out there for creating tables in WordPress. It is very easy to input data, and all editing can be done in the post editor itself.
After installing the plugin, its button will appear on the editing page. You can click on it, and over multiple cells set your table dimensions, color, fonts, besides inputting the required data.
This plugin is free, and an upgrade to the pro version costs $18 to get many more features. It is very basic, user-friendly, and good for new users. A lot of customization could become tedious.
This plugin is pretty popular and different too. You can install it and create a table right from the editor interface. In the editor, type [table] and simply enter your data using commas to make different columns, and spaces to make different rows.
This free plugin does not have many color options, but it allows customized CSS, sorting, and CSV file imports. It also allows you to set rowspans and colspans either globally or for individual columns and cells.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
So there you have it, a wide range to choose from. To summarize, if you are looking for a lot of customization, and are ready to spend a little, go for wpDataTables. If you want something simple and easy to use try TablePress or Ultimate Tables. Choose according to your needs and never have to worry about creating tables ever again in the ever popular WordPress.