Tables are a great way of presenting data in an easy-to-view style.
But have you ever tried creating a table in WordPress?
It’s not so easy. In fact, it’s rather tricky, and before long you can end up in a right mess.
WordPress doesn’t have a built-in table editor, and that means you have to start fiddling around with HTML code. Even programmers will tell you it’s not straightforward.
So, what do you do?
Give up and paste a long wall of text that turns off your most avid readers?
Create a static image and insert that into your page?
Thankfully there’s another much easier way. You can use a plugin.
As you might expect, there are plenty of table plugins for WordPress. But there’s one important question you need to ask yourself when choosing a table plugin:
Will it produce mobile responsive tables?
If there’s one thing worse than not using a table, it’s using a table that goes skew-whiff on a mobile device. That’s just plain ugly and cumbersome.
So, in this roundup, we’ve collected five mobile responsive table plugins for you to check out.
Tables are everywhere
Before we dive into the plugins, let’s look at a few examples of when you could use a table on your site.
Offline you’re probably used to seeing tables in Excel, Google Sheets, and other spreadsheet programs. And they’re also popular in newspapers and printed publications.
Like I said earlier, tables are a great way of presenting a lot of data in a concise visual way. They’re used in many different enterprises including business, eCommerce, sports, science, education and non-profit.
I love checking out the football league tables. I don’t often like the league position of my favorite team, but I do like to see what’s happening through the season.
On the BBC website the Sports pages have menu items specifically for tables:
Tables are also useful for comparing products and prices. I’m sure you’ve seen tables like this:
Amazon are the masters of comparison tables!
And finally here’s an example of how a real estate company are using tables on their corporate site to help clients choose a potential new residence:
OK, now you’re feeling inspired, let’s look at how you can get some tables on your WordPress site with one of these plugins.
TablePress is a free WordPress plugin that lets you create and manage tables via its menu in the WordPress Dashboard.
When you’ve finished entering your data you can add the table to your posts or pages with a shortcode; e.g. [table id=<the-ID> /].
Here’s a typical table where you can:
- Select the number of rows to display
- Search for data in the table
- Sort data on each column A-Z or Z-A
You can also change the styling of the table by entering CSS commands into the “Custom CSS” text area on the “Plugin Options” screen. For example, you could change the background color of a single row:
TablePress lets you input mathematical functions and formulas (like you have in Excel and other spreadsheets) in the table cells. Here’s an example table with some data, formulas, and results columns:
You can enhance the TablePress plugin with premium extensions. TablePress Extensions are like regular WordPress plugins, which you install in the same way. Although these are available to download for free, the developer asks for donations to support these.
Here are a few examples of the premium extensions:
- Responsive Tables – Adjusts the tables, so they fit all screen sizes
- Row Filtering – Allows you to display only items with a particular keyword in a column
- Table Row Order – Lets you display the rows in random, reversed, or sorted order each time
- Embed the tables into posts, pages, or text widgets with a simple shortcode
- Edit the table data in a spreadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary
- Import and Export tables from/to Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files
- Use the premium extension to make your tables mobile responsive
- Use additional extensions for sorting, pagination, and filtering options
- Free plus Donations for the premium extensions
wpDataTables is a premium WordPress plugin that simplifies the process of creating and publishing tables to your website. You don’t need any HTML coding knowledge as you configure everything via its settings panel.
It’s ideal for working with financial, scientific, statistical, commercial and other data.
There are several ways of creating your table in wpDataTables. You can either upload your file, paste a MySQL query, provide a URL, or just input the data manually.
Data can look quite dull and boring even when you present it in a table:
But with wpDataTables, you can add some color to bring your tables to life!
You can choose what colors you want for particular rows and columns when you create your table. But in this example, we’ve used some conditional formatting like you might have applied in Excel.
All values below $30,000 are highlighted in red, all values between $30,000 and $60,000 are colored in yellow, and everything above $60,000 is green:
What if you wanted your end-users to be able to edit the data in the published table? For instance, perhaps you’re running a club where individuals enter their results.
Well, with wpDataTables you can enable this so that either all cells or specific cells are editable.
When you click on the row you want to edit you get a popover menu with the options of New, Edit and Delete:
And from there you can edit the details in the popover window:
There is a huge range of features in wpDataTables, and best of all you can give them a spin before you buy the plugin. Head over to their sandbox to check out the different tables and charts.
- Pull table data from any source – Excel to MySQL
- Edit tables in WordPress as easy as in Excel
- Customize the design and layout of tables
- Create tables and charts with the built-in wizard
- Highlight cells, rows, columns depending on their content (conditional formatting)
- WordPress end-users can edit the content of the table online
- Mobile responsive tables work on any device type
- $23 – Includes 6 months support plus lifetime updates.
3. WP Table Manager
WP Table Manager is a WordPress plugin that offers a full spreadsheet interface to manage tables. Whether you’re creating a table in your WordPress admin panel or editing data online, it’s like working with your favorite spreadsheet program.
The plugin has six themes including a price grid, a comparison table, and a planning schedule. Select your theme, edit the data and you’re good to go. Or, if you prefer, you can create a table from scratch:
When you’re working in the WordPress dashboard, you can use the visual editor to add images and HTML code as well as simple text and numbers to each cell.
After you’ve published your table, you can still edit the data. Just like Excel, you can right-click on a cell to display a context menu and make your changes:
WP Table Manager has another method of updating data in your published tables. It’s called automatic synchronization.
Here’s how it works.
You upload a Google Sheets or Excel file to your WordPress media manager. And then link the file to a table in WP Table Manager. Now the two are synchronized. Update one source and the other updates automatically.
You can also import and/or export data to/from Excel and Google Sheets.
WP Table Manager includes a further tool that generates tables from a database. You can select some tables and columns from the database, apply some optional filters, and then manage the table from the WP Table Manager interface. When the database is updated, your table is updated too.
If you want to display a chart rather than a table, then WP Table Manager can help.
One or more charts can be attached to data in a table. And any data that gets updated in the table will update the corresponding chart.
If you like freezing rows and columns in Excel or Google Sheets, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can do the same in WP Table Manager. You can freeze up to 5 rows and/or columns on each table.
Displaying tables on mobile devices can be tricky. WP Table Manager has two mobile responsive modes to solve this.
You can either enable scrolling where the scroll bar works on mobile devices. Or select column hiding mode where you define the column priority, and columns disappear as the screen size shrinks:
WP Table Manager is compatible with the major page builders so you can manage your tables inside these:
- Visual Composer
- DIVI Builder
- Beaver Builder
- ACF (Advanced Custom Fields)
- Live Composer
- Themify Builder
- Site Origin
- Add/remove/resize lines and rows with drag-and-drop
- Create unlimited charts based on a table data range
- Synchronize data with Excel or Google Sheets
- Freeze up to 5 rows and/or columns on each table
- Import/Export data from/to Excel
- Includes 2 mobile responsive modes with column display priorities
- $34 – Includes 6 months support and updates
- $39 – Includes 12 months support and updates
- Special Offer – Save 20% with coupon code: WPSUPERSTARS-JU
Discount also valid for any other plugins and bundles from JoomUnited.
4. League Table
League Table is a versatile WordPress plugin that allows you to create sortable and responsive tables inside your posts, pages, custom post types or widget areas.
If you want to display league tables on your site, then this plugin makes it easy. You can create and publish a table in 30 seconds by copying and pasting data from your favorite spreadsheet program to the plugin’s editor. No need for CSV imports.
League Table lets you define a different responsive behavior for each table so that it displays correctly on mobile devices. For example, when the browser viewport width goes below specific values, you can:
- Change the font size of the table cells
- Hide the images included in the cells
- Hide specific columns
The plugin has a versatile sorting system that works with different types of data; e.g. Text, Digit, Percent, Currency, URL, Time, and Date. You decide which columns are sortable.
Here some examples of how you can use League Table:
Sports Fixtures, Results, Betting, Statistics, Standings
Product Comparison and Pricing Tables
Financial, Weather, and Demographic Data
- Copy data from your favorite spreadsheet app to the plugin’s editor
- Sort your data based on criteria for each column
- Customize the table appearance with colors, fonts, and images
- Apply mathematical formulas to cells, rows, and columns
- Import/Export feature to save tables in XML
- Fully mobile responsive
- $23 – Includes 6 months support plus lifetime updates.
5. Advanced Tables
Advanced Tables is a simple and user-friendly Excel-style table editor. The plugin creates a custom post type that you can insert into any post or page via a shortcode.
Once installed you can start creating tables with similar settings that you’d see in Excel.
At the top of the table editor you have some checkboxes for general settings:
- Responsive table
- Display first row as header
- Sort table in website
And when you edit a cell, you’ll see familiar Excel commands:
- Insert row above
- Insert row below
- Merge cells
You can also add images and links into the cells:
And finally you’ll have a simple table, with sortable columns:
One of the main features in spreadsheet programs is the Tabs that contain different worksheets. Advanced Tables uses the same idea for its online tables.
At the top of the screen are the various tabs. When you choose one, it changes the table display below:
- Create responsive tables in simple and user-friendly Excel-style editor
- Insert tables in any Post or Page with easy shortcode builder
- Use Tabs to list several tables on a page
- Sort data in the online tables with Tablesorter
- Use a modern Material or Flat design template or create your own
- $20 – Includes 6 months support plus lifetime updates.
Creating your tables in WordPress is a breeze when you use one of these plugins.
Each one offers a simple interface to load data from your existing source. More importantly, all of these plugins are mobile responsive, so your data will look good on all screen sizes.
Which one will you choose to create your tables?