Creating filterable, sortable, and customizable tables or charts for your WordPress website can be daunting to say the least.
You might be able to manually copy and paste simple tables with limited data from external documents such as Google Docs onto your website, but if you want to edit the table, customize elements required for your website’s needs, or make the table responsive for easy mobile viewing, stop right there.
Chaos is sure to kick in, coding knowledge will need to be in your skill set, and an all-around messy looking table might be the best you can give your audience.
Ultimately, creating tables in WordPress can be time-consuming and difficult, not to mention hard to master when it comes to a perfect layout. Plus, many tables inserted onto WordPress are not responsive which is a must-have feature these days.
Luckily there is an easy solution for all of your table creating issues. Today we will look at the best-selling WordPress table plugin since 2013, wpDataTables, and see how displaying a table or chart on your WordPress site doesn’t have to be so hard after all.
What is wpDataTables?
Brought to you by the elite author touchmesoft at CodeCanyon, wpDataTables is a premium “independent ready-to-use WordPress tables and charts manager system” that helps even the most novice WordPress user insert highly complex tables or charts of serialized data onto their WordPress website.
Designed with quick, easy, and effective data representation in mind, wpDataTables allows you to quickly build and insert interactive tables and charts on any of your WordPress posts or pages. With included features such as advanced filtering, sorting, or saving to PDF, this in demand plugin will help you build dynamic tables on your website in no time.
The developer of this advanced table and chart creator has gone above and beyond when it comes to documentation of this plugin. Wanting his customers to feel comfortable using the plugin inside and out, extensive explanations and video tutorials are provided so that almost any issue you encounter can be found discussed somewhere.
That being said, let’s take a look at what wpDataTables has to offer its users and why this table creator is one of the best available for your WordPress website.
Multiple Data Input Sources
wpDataTables lets you input your table’s data from a number of external sources: MySQL query, CSV files, Excel files, Google Spreadsheet, XML filed, JSON files, or even a Serialized PHP array.
Chart Wizard Creation
Charts are an integral part to this table creating plugin. wpDataTables is supported by two significant charting engines: Google Charts and Highcharts. Both are superior, together producing 24 interactive and highly configurable charts types out of your table data, in styles such as an area, bar, column, line, or pie chart.
Located in your WordPress admin sidebar under wpDataTables, you will find the Chart Creation Wizard. Click on this to find a detailed, step-by-step process guiding you through a chart creation.
You will find that you can easily modify all of your chart settings as you go along and even preview the chart before displaying it live in your site, without having much of a tech-savvy background.
Customization and Responsiveness
Designing your table to match the overall look and feel of your website is super easy using wpDataTables’ main settings page.
Change colors, fonts, cells/rows/buttons, and more without messing with any JS or CSS files (unless you want to, of course, there is that option!).
Did I mention too that wpDataTables pride itself in being super mobile-friendly? Simply enable responsiveness in the back-end of your site by choosing the tablet and mobile screen widths (in pixels) so that your on-the-go users can easily view your responsive tables.
Another valuable tool found in wpDataTables is the Table Creation Wizard. This step-by-step wizard was designed as a way for you to manually create and generate tables or generate MySQL queries automatically by simply filling in the fields and letting wpDataTables do the rest, all from the back-end of your website.
A very popular feature found to be used quite often is wpDataTables’ ability to allow users to directly edit MySQL-based tables from the front-end of the website where the data is being displayed live.
Here are some of the interactive things users can do with your table of data once published on your site:
You can even select the option to allow users will be able to create, read, update, and delete all of their own input without having access to other user’s table data.
Lastly, you have the option to define who can make changes to the table values.
Here are some more features offered in wpDataTables that allow you to create informatively and appealing tables and charts for your website’s audience:
- Server-side processing for MySQL-based tables.
- Visual Composer compatibility.
- Advanced front-end features such as print view, save to PDF, save to CSV, save to Excel, and Copy to the clipboard using TableTools extensions.
- Row grouping to sort similar data for easy viewing.
- Customizable column types like strings, integers, floats, links, dates, and images.
- Dynamic placeholders for multiple displays of one table.
- Percentage or currency columns.
- 11 date formats.
- Quick support response time (approximately 1 day).
- Built-in hooks increasing extensibility.
- Widget filters.
- Free lifetime updates.
Due to popular demand, wpDataTables also comes in a free lite version that can be downloaded from the WordPress Repository if you are looking only to work with tables from input sources such as XLS, CSV, JSON, and XML variations. This stripped down version is still very resourceful however there are some limitations:
- Compatible only up to 150 rows.
- MySQL-query based table support not included.
- Server-side processing for large tables not included.
- No front-end editing.
- Google Charts and Highcharts not included.
- Table Constructor not included.
- No premium support access.
If you are looking for a more robust plugin you will need to purchase the full version of wpDataTables.
If you are looking for an easy way to create a table or chart for your WordPress website from either a MySQL database or by uploading a file, wpDataTables is a plugin worth considering. It is easy to use, is fully documented, and has many features for creating the perfect looking table or chart for your website.
With a large development plan in the works for the future, you can rest assured wpDataTables will soon offer more front-end editing options, infinite loading for server-side processing tables, an additional table rendering engine for a more excel-like interaction, more sophisticated query generators, and more. And at the low price of $35, with free lifetime updates, you can only expect to get more use out of your table creating plugin as time goes on.
Have you tried wpDataTables for your table and chart creating needs? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!