WordPress offers excellent built-in features, but some parts could still use some work. The way it manages tables, for example, is quite rudimentary. Although it’s acceptable for occasional use, those needing more customization often need a WordPress table plugin.
I’ve been guilty of simply cutting and pasting tabled data, which “kind of works.” Or at least it works in some ways. But digging deeper will reveal all sorts of problems, like how it works less well on some formats (for example, mobile).
The problem is that these occasional glitches don’t sit well with readers you want to convert into paying customers. To solve the problem, here are some of the best WordPress table plugins that can ease your woes.
1. AAWP Comparison Tables
AAWP Comparison Tables Key Features
- Extracts Amazon product data
- Build comparative tables
- Highly customizable
Among website owners that need tables, affiliate marketers likely understand the need for excellence more than most. How you showcase information makes a difference where it counts – your financial bottom line.
What Makes AAWP a Great WP Table Plugin
That’s where plugins like AAWP step in. AAWP allows the ultimate in flexibility. You can customize every aspect of your table designs. There’s even the option to fine-tune plugin configuration for extreme performance.
AAWP Comparison tables will work notably well for Amazon Affiliates (AAs). Knowing the scope and number of products most AAs work with, the plugin can automatically generate links, update data, and refresh your tables.
As the name implies, one of AAWP’s highlights is the capability to extract data to build comparative tables. For example, you can let your readers choose what products they want to see side-by-side for better purchasing clarity.
I don’t know what else will if that doesn’t give you an advantage over the competition.
See AAWP Comparison Table Demo Online
TablePress Key Features
- Data import (CSV, XLS, etc.)
- Use Extensions for more features
- Supports hooks, actions, and filters
Built by Tobias Bäthge, a German web developer, TablePress represents the epitome of old-school WordPress tables. The focus here is solely on building tables for a more reader-centric experience.
What Makes TablePress a Great WP Table Plugin
TablePress works with all kinds of data – numbers, text, images, hyperlinks, and most impressively, formulae. You also don’t need to stress over data entry since you can import everything from standard data files like CSV, XLS, and more.
This plugin also supports extensions you can add later to fine-tune some behavioral characteristics. Examples include URL conversion and support for PHP code in data cells. Note that some of the extensions are commercial – unlike TablePress, which is free.
Although this plugin seems like it can do everything but build your website, it isn’t perfect. The most glaring omission seems to be the lack of visual customization. Still, this is your boy if you just need a way to show tons of data neatly.
3. Ninja Tables
Ninja Tables Key Features
- Media and URL support
- Extreme customizability
- Data import/export
Ninja Tables (and Ninja Tables Pro) are the flagship products of WPManageNinja. Thanks to the success of this excellent WordPress table plugin, they’ve expanded into other plugins and themes. However, Ninja Tables remains a popular choice for WordPress site owners.
What Makes Ninja Tables a Great WP Table Plugin
There’s a free version of the plugin available that supports most basic table-building features. This plugin is perhaps one of the most versatile we’ve come across, at least for building standard data-oriented tables.
Customizability is a big part of Ninja Tables and supports everything from single line cells to multiple bootstrap table styles. You can even connect to external data sources like Google Sheets. One of my favorite features is its ability to customize what cells to display based on device type.
My biggest gripe with Ninja Tables is that it includes too many options. Those looking to build simple tables may find the complexity a bit overwhelming.
4. WP Table Builder
WP Table Builder Key Features
- Prebuilt table templates
- Cell customization
- Tooltips for lists
The company behind WP Table Builder is now a decade old. They introduced the plugin a few years ago to help WordPress users create better tables. Since then, it’s grown in capability and scope, making it one of the best WordPress table plugins.
What Makes WP Table Builder a Great WP Table Plugin
WP Table Builder brings a unique advantage to the table (no pun intended). It’s one of the few drag-and-drop table builders around. The concept is to simplify the table-building process while allowing greater table customization.
This customization and agility make it a shoo-in for niche use cases. Great examples of places it will shine are building schedules, product lists, pricing tables, etc. They boast that WP Table Builder can help you create a better table in five minutes.
The interface is a charm to use, and anyone familiar with a typical drag-and-drop builder will feel at home. Just choose the element type you want to include and shift it onto your template. Oh, and it even has some template samples.
Although there’s a free version, you won’t get to use many of its features unless you spring for the Pro package.
wpDataTables Key Features
- Database support
- Can build graphs and charts
- Advanced data filtering
wpDataTables is the brainchild of TMS, a development company specializing in digital products. Despite being relatively young, they follow professional development standards. This work format shows in wpDataTables, making it more suited for business use.
What Makes wpDatatables a Great WP Table Plugin
Taken simplistically, building a WordPress table plugin can be pretty straightforward. You aren’t reinventing the wheel. However, when catering to particular needs, there needs to be some expertise – and that’s where wpDataTables enters the market.
Unlike run-of-the-mill table plugins, wpDataTables is capable of industry-scale performance. It can handle massive data tables that would floor most other plugins. That means it doesn’t just work with source files; you can connect with a database using SQL queries.
wpDataTables goes beyond the norm and allows you to build charts based on table data. Imagine proving data and being able to generate tables, a pie chart, line chart, and more – all in full color. It looks simply mind-blowing.
6. Data Tables Generator by Supsystic
Data Tables Generator Key Features
- Build tables, diagrams, graphs, etc.
- Front-end editable
- Database connectivity
Supsystic develops a lot of WordPress plugins. These cover everything from photo galleries to maps – and, of course, tables. They have two table plugins available. One focuses on data; the other’s main objective is pricing.
What Makes Data Tables Generator a Great WP Table Plugin
Producing pricing tables is plebian, so we’re taking a closer look at their data table plugin. It’s worth noting that the Supsystic Data Tables generator is potent. It’s not designed for simple tables and would be sheer overkill.
The tables you can produce with this plugin are multi-faceted, possibly including images, text, numbers, links, and more. However, the power comes from capabilities that can transform data tables into almost any form. Some examples are line or bar graphs, periodical tables, “top product” charts, etc. Honestly, from the demos available, you can see that the sky’s the limit.
You can extract data from external spreadsheets and also databases. Once formed, the data can even be edited on the front-end of your website, making it helpful for visitors and user-friendly for website owners.
See Data Tables Generator demo
Visualizer Key Features
- Data synchronization
- Public and Private data
- External API support
Visualizer is available through Themeisle, a specialist provider of WordPress themes and plugins. It’s known for taking on the best, and I’ve found many of its plugins useful. Visualizer joins the ranks of those useful plugins, and it’s capable of much more than simple table building.
What Makes Visualizer a Great WP Table Plugin
Honestly, Visualizer is somewhat similar to Data Tables Generator in capabilities. YOu can use it to build almost anything from data. That means bubble charts, polar area charts, timeline charts, etc. It all looks excellent – albeit not fantabulous.
The best thing about Visualizer isn’t that diversity, though. What makes it special is one unique capability. You can build interactive charts to make your WordPress site pop out from among the masses. You can be special.
There are so many customization options in Visualizer that you probably won’t remember your head from your feet by the time you’ve gone once over. Data handling is also a breeze since you only need to update your database to show graphical (or tabular) data changes.
When most people think of tables, it’s all about columns and rows. I don’t blame them but rather the ordinary plugins that all attempt to redo the same thing. With the WordPress table plugins on this list, I hope horizons have broadened, and you can see the potential of a solid WordPress table plugin.