Create Feature-Rich Tables in WordPress
Web components like tables, charts, and forms can be critical for many but not so important for others. Talking about tables, in particular, they can be coded with HTML and CSS whenever you need, but sometimes a good WordPress plugin can help you add extra features to them.
Almost about a month ago, I was working on one of my client’s project which required heavy usage of the HTML tables in the content. Not only that, but I needed to provide my client with something she could easily use afterward. That too, without touching the code. So, I researched a few good Table plugins for WordPress and today I plan to share them with you.
My Criteria of Choosing a Table Plugin
You’ll find a good deal of choices in the WordPress repository when it comes to finding a WordPress table plugin. But choosing the best out of the lot is the real challenge. My requirement was to find a table plugin which can provide similar results if I were to code it myself. So, I created a checklist to scrutinize the best table plugin options I had. I checked it on the following criteria:
- Number of active installs
- Developer’s Profile
- User reviews
- Security Bugs History
Finally, I gathered a few prominent ones which you should also consider if you ever need to create lots of table inside the content area.
TablePress just suits my development routines. If you’re looking to create some sophisticated tables with search, sort, pagination, etc. , then TablePress is the plugin for you. With over 400,000active installs and 1.6 Million downloads, TablePress is one of the most popular WordPress table plugins. With a simple shortcode, you can add tables to posts, pages, widgets, etc.
Another exciting thing about this intuitive plugin is the option for import. I imported some of my ready-made table files in HTML format, and they worked perfectly fine with TablePress. However, other formats like CSV, XLS, XLSX, and JSON can also be imported likewise.
Features I was excited about:
- Excel-like formulas in tables
- Import tables (in Excel (.xls/.xlsx), CSV, HTML, or JSON format, from file upload, URLs, server location, or direct input), even with bulk import
- Export/save/backup tables to most of these formats, even with bulk export
- Easily add links or images to your table (from the Media Library)
- Advanced editor for styling changes without having to know HTML
- Duplicate tables feature was one that has helped me a lot
- Easily insert a table into your posts and pages using a button in the editor toolbar
The Easy Table WordPress plugin gives you an easy time with the table creating process. With more than 90,000 active installs, the plugin allows you to enter the table data directly in your post which you’re writing. It’s a complete table plugin in itself. It incorporates the tablesorter jQuery plugin which supports the sorting feature.
Apart from direct entry, table data can also be added via shortcodes in a CSV format. The plugin fully lives up to its name with no complex features like pagination or search capabilities.
One distinguishing feature is its ability to set global settings for every single table or local settings for individual tables. Hence, without jumping from one window to another, you can quickly insert some original tables inside pages, posts, etc.
Features I Was Excited About:
- It’s easy. Especially, if you are into writing Markdown. No advanced skill required
- Read data from CSV file and display the data in table
- It also has the sort feature. Sortable table column (using tablesorter jQuery plugin)
- WYSIWYG safe that means you can switch HTML/View tab in WordPress editor without breaking the table data.
Ultimate Tables is another good choice. The plugin offers a choice of 3 ready-made skins, or you can create custom designs for your tables. You may very well customize the design of the tables you create. Unlike TablePress and Easy Table, Ultimate Tables is not a feature-rich plugin, but it has managed to get more than 10,000 active users. I had problems with its CSV importer but in the end, I was able to add tables via simple shortcodes.
If you are looking for responsive table plugin, then you can try JTRT Responsive Tables plugin. It helps you create responsive tables in the backend without having to read or write code. This plugin converts CSV files into responsive HTML.
All of these plugins are good choices in one way or the other. It does, however, depends on your requirements
In my opinion,
- If your need is beyond the basic table usage, then choose TablePress as I did.
- If you don’t need something extra complicated, then Easy Table should be your pick.
- If you have to handle small sets of data, then Ultimate Tables is the appropriate plugin, or you can try JWT Responsive Tables.
Apart from these notable names, there is a good deal of other options as well. Easy Pricing Tables with more than 20,000 active installs. That said, always try a couple of plugins to find out the one which fits your needs. That’s what I did.
Finally, you can catch all of my articles on my profile page, and you can follow me or reach out at Twitter @mrahmadawais; to discuss this article. As usual, don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll aim to respond to each of them.