Top Seven Best Plugins for Creating Tables in WordPress (2020)
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Tables are a fantastic way of presenting information in a way that’s logical and visually appealing. Readers can use them to digest quantitative information and statistics more easily, as they can scan the table for the information that’s relevant to them.
If the classic editor is active on your website, HTML tables can be added to your content by entering the HTML code for your table in the text editor, or by copying and pasting a table into the visual editor.
The introduction of the Gutenberg Table Block means the core version of WordPress now supports table functionality. This is a user-friendly way of integrating tables into your content. However, there are better solutions available for creating tables in WordPress.
In this article, I’ll show you what we at WinningWP consider to be the best WordPress table plugins on the market today.
*The sample CSV files I used to test these WordPress plugins can be downloaded from this page.
A popular WordPress plugin, wpDataTables can be used to create responsive tables and charts.
A lite version of the plugin is available on WordPress.org, which helps you to see what’s available in the full version should you be considering upgrading. However, it does live up to its ‘lite’ name by restricting most table creation options and chart functionality.
When you create a table, you’re presented with five options: You can create a table that’s linked to an existing data source; create a table manually; import a table; generate a query to the WordPress database; or generate a query to a MySQL database.
In the free version, you can only create a table by importing a table file in excel, CSV, JSON, XML or serialized PHP array format.
While many features are restricted in the lite version of wpDataTables, I’m impressed by how great the tables look, and by how many configuration and sorting options are available. Each column can be modified to suit your needs.
The paid version, wpDataTables Premium, unlocks many great features, including advanced email and SMS notifications, front-end editable tables, conditional formatting, filtering, and support for foreign key table relations. Data can also be presented in over 40 types of charts.
The full version of wpDataTables is still being sold on CodeCanyon for $299, but the developers now offer their product on their own official website for a more affordable $59 a year. This rises to $109 a year if you need support for three domains and $249 a year for support for an unlimited number of domains.
All licenses offer the same features and come with a 15-day money back guarantee — and there are also a few add-ons available for additional functionality/integrations.
I encourage you to test the free version of wpDataTables to get a full appreciation of how great the tables look and how easily they can be customised.
If you’re looking for more table creation options, and support for charts and advanced features such as conditional logic, you should consider the full version of wpDataTables. It’s now available from only $59, which is fantastic value for money.
2. League Table ($23)
League Table is a responsive table solution that features sortable columns, support for WordPress Multisite and support for multiple languages.
A spreadsheet editor simplifies the process of copying data from spreadsheets into tables or, if you prefer, you can import tables via XML format. Tables can also be backed up in this format.
The number of options available in League Table is impressive. It boasts 105 options per table, 17 options per cell and 13 general options.
You can change table width, colours, fonts and more. Each cell can be customised too. You can adjust fonts and background colours, apply mathematical formulas, add custom HTML code and more.
There are many sorting options too and, if you wish, you can allow users to sort data in tables themselves.
League Table is available on CodeCanyon for only $23. It’s an affordable table solution that’s incredibly versatile, and is a good choice for anyone looking to create tables for sports leagues, financial data tables, pricing tables and more.
3. TablePress (FREE)
With over 800,000 active installations, TablePress is by far the most popular WordPress table solution on the market — and, after using the table plugin for a few minutes, you’ll understand why.
Despite being free to download, TablePress offers dozens of configuration options, custom CSS for styling tables, and the ability to import and export tables in a number of formats. I was able to import a CSV table in seconds, and then rearrange data using drag and drop.
Adjusting data in your table is simple. Once you’ve selected rows and columns, they can be hidden, shown, duplicated, inserted and deleted. Cells can also be combined, and there are buttons for inserting links and images, as well as an advanced editor that gives you more control over your content.
The table options section is located under your table. From here, you can modify table colours, define the table name and enter custom CSS classes. Sorting and pagination options are located here too.
Seven of the extensions are marked as premium. Interestingly, rather than charge a set fee, the developer of the plugin, Tobias Bäthge, allows everyone to download premium extensions — all he asks in return is a small donation of around $10.
Be sure to check out the extensions page for the full list.
TablePress is a fantastic WordPress table plugin that’s easy to recommend: It’s free to download, simple to use, and supports table imports.
Compared with other WordPress table plugins on the market, TablePress doesn’t offer enough styling options to let you change the look and feel of tables — you have to use CSS. It also lacks some of the advanced features that some premium alternatives offer.
4. Ninja Tables (FREE/$49-plus)
Ninja Tables is a great-looking table solution that features many styling options, and supports the import and export of tables in CSV and JSON format.
In the main plugin options area you can select Symmetric UI, Bootstrap 4 or Bootstrap 3 as the default styling library. From here, you can also select from 13 table colour schemes and define whether table elements, such as borders, titles and descriptions, are displayed.
Ninja Tables excels in styling customisation. The main table design page shows you how your table will look on desktop, tablet and mobile. Most table features can be enabled and disabled at the click of a button, and the changes are shown immediately in the table preview.
Ninja Tables Pro retails at $49 for a single license, $99 for up to 20 websites and $299 for an unlimited website and lifetime license.
Upgrading unlocks front-end table editing, drag-and-drop table editing, unlimited colour schemes, WooCommerce integration, conditional column filtering, cell combination, advanced sorting options and the ability to connect to Google Sheets.
Ninja Tables is a highly configurable table solution that gives you full control over the look of your tables.
I didn’t find the free version to be restrictive in any way, but you can access many more advanced features by upgrading to Ninja Tables Pro. At only $49, it won’t break the bank.
I recommend trying out Ninja Tables to see for yourself what it can do.
5. Data Tables Generator by Supsystic (FREE/$39)
Data Tables Generator by Supsystic is a versatile table solution that offers dozens of options, letting you make changes to your table and table design, and also see how modifications look on desktop, tablet and mobile.
Multiple responsive modes are available for tables, and you have full control over your table colour scheme and how your tables are structured. CSS styling is available too.
You can enter table data in the editor page, and a visual editor allows you to format text and insert links and images. Additional options, such as diagrams, conditional logic, and collapsible rows, are available in the editor if you upgrade to Data Tables Generator Pro.
I’m impressed by what’s included in the free version of Data Tables Generator, but a number of features are only available in Data Tables Generator Pro. For example, while you can save and clone tables in the free version, you can only import and export tables if you upgrade.
A pro license costs $39 for one website, $69 for five websites and $149 for an unlimited number of websites.
Upgrading also unlocks the diagrams, table history, and source tabs at the top of the main editor. The WooCommerce tab at the end refers to a separate plugin called WooCommerce Product Table that can be integrated with Data Tables Generator.
Nine types of diagrams and charts are available: Area chart, line chart, pie chart, bar chart, column chart, bubble chart, 3D bar chart, 3D donut and pie chart, and 3D pyramid. The table history feature lets you see how front-end editable tables have been modified.
The source feature can be useful too, and can be used to build a table from fields in your WordPress database or an external database.
The main interface of Data Tables Generator by Supsystic looks a little dated. However, the plugin has many useful styling features and its built-in editor simplifies the process of formatting data the way you want.
Upgrading to the pro version makes premium functionality available — including charts and conditional logic. Perhaps more importantly, it also adds the ability to import and export tables.
6. Tablenator ($20)
In the main plugin settings area, you can define general table settings, format settings, translation settings and the responsive breakpoints for mobile devices. There’s an icon fonts manager too.
Tables can be imported in CSV or TXT format, but can only be exported in TXT format.
All of the table solutions mentioned in this article allow you to customise your table and table data. However, in my opinion, Tablenator has the best table editor.
Its visual editor allows you to easily add new rows and columns, as well as format text, add images and define background colours. Multiple cells can be selected at the same time. For example, you can change the background colour of all table cells by simply selecting all cells before clicking on the background colour button.
It also supports cell formatting for text, numbers, currency, percent, date and time. This helps you to display data the way you want — whether that’s defining the number of decimal points or selecting what date format to use.
Tablenator is available from CodeCanyon for $20.
It’s a great choice if you’re looking to create professional-looking tables with ease. Those of you who are looking for advanced features, such as charts, conditional logic and table creation from databases, should look at an alternative solution.
7. TableGen (FREE)
TableGen is a simple WordPress table plugin that’s free to download.
It supports importing tables via JSON, Zip, CSV, HTML and XLS formats. Tables can also be exported in CSV format.
In the table settings area, you can enable and disable a dozen or so features, including the table width, pagination and column sorting.
The table editor is easy to use, but, if you’re used to more advanced WordPress table plugins, you may find it limiting. There are no styling options, and there’s no way to format cells or insert links or images.
While the plugin is free to download, you may want to consider purchasing the themes plugin extension, which is available from $10. It offers eight table theme designs and gives you additional options for customising your table design — functionality that’s missing from the core plugin.
If you just need a basic table solution, TableGen is worth checking out. The plugin is easy to use and the ability to export tables in CSV format means migrating to another table solution at a later date will be straightforward.
The Gutenberg Table Block isn’t going to win a prize for being the best table solution on the market, but its inclusion in the core version of WordPress makes it a good choice for basic tables.
Rows and columns can be easily added to your table. When you click on a cell, the top editor allows you to format text as bold, italic or as a strikethrough. Links, code and images can also be added.
A few basic colour settings are available too, though customisation is limited.
If you’re trying to modernise your existing tables, you should check out Magic Liquidizer Responsive Table and WP Responsive Table. These free WordPress plugins can make standard HTML tables responsive, so they look good on tablets and other mobile devices.
Another interesting free WordPress plugin to check out is Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer. This plugin can be used to embed Google spreadsheets, CSV files, MySQL databases, HTML tables charts and more directly into your website.
All you have to do is link to the source using the provided shortcode, and any changes made in the source will be automatically reflected on your website. It’s not the best solution from a customisation point of view, but it’s worth checking out if you’d like to embed tables and spreadsheets that are regularly updated elsewhere by multiple parties.
As you can see, there’s a great selection of table solutions available to WordPress users. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to test a few solutions to see which one suits your needs best.
Used/using any of the above? Thoughts?