Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t include any support for adding tables of data to your posts and pages. However, there are plenty of plugins out there that have been developed to give you the ability to start displaying tables on your site.
In this post we will look at some of the most popular WordPress Table Plugins for adding regular tables to your WordPress site, as well as some other plugins that can add different types of tables to your site, or use external data sources to populate those tables.
It’s rare to see a plugin with a large number of downloads that has also managed to maintain a perfect 5 out of 5 star rating. One plugin in that category is TablePress, the most popular table builder plugin for WordPress with almost half a million downloads
TablePress is the official successor to the now retried WP-Table Reloaded and has been rebuilt from the ground up for a better user experience and choice of tables.
Building the tables takes place on the back end of your site in the WordPress admin dashboard. Each table is created individually using the visual builder and then they can be inserted into as many posts and pages as necessary using shortcodes.
The features of TablePress include:
- Create tables without using any HTML
- Tables can contain any type of data
- Cell can span multiple columns or rows
- Formulas can be used to calculate data
- Rows can be sorted
- Tables can be broken up using pagination
- Data in the table can be filtered
- Use external CSV files to generate tables
- Use CSS to style the table
While the core plugin is free, there are a number of premium extensions available for making TablePress even more useful. However for most users, the free version will suffice.
This really is the only plugin you will ever need for creating tables in WordPress, so if you don’t have any special needs or requirements then TablePress will do you just fine. The user interface is as friendly as they come and integrates seamlessly with the rest of WordPress to help make the table creation process very straightforward.
Easy Table does a good job of giving TablePress a run for its money, and with a 4.8 out of 5 star rating, it’s certainly a well-regarded option.
Instead of having you create the tables outside of the WordPress post editor screen, and then insert them into your posts, as is the case with TablePress; Easy Table lets you create them directly in the post editor using shortcodes.
Whether this is better or not is up to you to decide. However, being able to create tables on the fly, as you write a post does have its advantages.
Other features of Easy Table that may be able to tempt you away from the market leader include:
- Add tables to widgets
- Create dynamic tables from a CSV file
- WYSIWYG safe, switch views without breaking the table
- Set fixed table widths
- Cells can span multiple columns and rows
- Sort multiple columns using the shortcode parameters
There isn’t really much to separate Easy Table and TablePress in terms of standard features, with it mainly coming down to your preferred method for creating the tables: using the visual builder of TablePress or using the shortcode approach of Easy Table.
Download Easy Tables »
While the above two options are great for those who want to quickly create a table within WordPress and then publish it in a post or page, wpDataTables is a plugin which takes things to a whole other level.
wpDataTables allows you to use the data from a file or a database table to populate the tables and graphs you publish on your WordPress site. We recently reviewed this WordPress table builder plugin in more depth, but for a quick overview, the benefits and features of wpDataTables include:
- Create dynamic tables that are updated when the data source is
- Add filtering, sorting, printing, and export options to your tables
- Create charts from external data sources
- Use Excel, CSV, MySQL queries and more as the table data source
- Customize the appearance of tables
Like the TablePress plugin, with wpDataTables the tables and graphs are created and managed independently from the WordPress posts and a pages – on a separate part of the WordPress admin dashboard - and are then inserted into your content using shortcodes.
If you want a way to create tables and charts from data stored outside of WordPress then the premium wpDataTables plugin is a great choice that is surprisingly easy to use.
Google Chart WordPress Plugin
If the features of wpDataTables which allow you to add charts to your posts and pages appeals, but you don’t need the table tool, then the Google Chart WordPress plugin is just what you need.
It is a premium plugin, but at just $7 it is well worth investing in. This plugin will use the data from a Google Spreadsheet to create a range of graphs and charts for use in your WordPress posts. It’s not a table plugin, but it does allow you to display a range of charts that are updated whenever the source spreadsheet is, making it a great option for displaying dynamic data driven charts on your website.
Google Chart WordPress Plugin is very easy to use and if you can add data to a spreadsheet, you can use it to create dynamic charts in WordPress.
WordPress Pricing Tables
A while back I looked at the best pricing table plugins for WordPress so if you are looking to add that kind of table to your website then that post has some good options which are worth investigating.
However since then, the Easy Pricing Tables plugin has been released which is proving to be a popular free option for adding this type of table to your WordPress site. The free version has some great features, which can be extended with the premium version including:
- Responsive mobile friendly table layouts
- Create unlimited rows and up to 10 columns
- Customize the font-size and colours
- Reorder columns with drag and drop
- Set a column as featured to help it standout
The premium version of Easy Pricing Tables includes four more table designs, additional customization options, Google Analytics integration, and a selection of icons to include in the tables.
If you want a very simple way to add impressive pricing or comparison tables to your WordPress site then Easy Pricing Tables is a recommended option.
The League Table plugin is tool for WordPress users that gives them the ability to add league, standings, ranking chart, ladder or leader board tables to their posts and pages.
These kinds of tables are often used to compare sports teams or individuals, institutions, nations or companies, by ranking them in order of ability or achievement.
Some of the features of the League Table plugin include:
- Sort tables by multiple columns
- Use the colour picker to customize the tables
- Responsive mobile friendly design
- Insert tables using shortcodes
While this is a premium plugin, if you have the need to add league tables to your website, for whatever reason, then this is an affordable option that contains all the features you need.
Hopefully you now have identified a WordPress table plugin that can add the right kind of table or chart to your website, in the way that you want.
Whether you want to create your tables directly in your posts, build them elsewhere in your WordPress admin area and then insert them into the content, or use an external data source, the options here should have your needs and preferences covered.
If you know of any other interesting ways to add tables and charts to WordPress, please leave a comment below.