How To Create Custom WP Tables Using The WordPress Tables Plugin

WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform or CMS out there. A staggering 75 million websites run on WP, that’s almost 20% of all websites!

It’s easy to see why, WordPress is free, easy to use and most importantly very flexible, especially when you factor in the multitudes of 3rd party plugins and themes available, both free and paid.

Despite it’s popularity, WordPress does have its shortcomings. One that is especially annoying is that even after 12 years of development, WP still does not have an inbuilt table creation function.

If you have ever tried manually inserting a table into a blog post, you know how difficult that can be, both in the editor, but also in raw html mode - it’s virtually impossible to get it right.

Thankfully, it’s easy to find a solution in that huge catalogue of 3rd party plugins, here’s a free one that does an excellent job at creating tables in WP.

Introducing WordPress Tables…

There are quite a few table plugins out there, but this is one of the best and here’s why:

  • It’s free!
  • In terms of functionality and features it easily rivals some of the premium WP table plugins.
  • You can use short codes from other plugins inside the tables.
  • You can show data directly from a MySQL database
  • You can import data from CSV and JSON files
  • You can include text, links or images in the table grid.
  • The creator is very responsive, always listing to feedback and updating the plugin as needed.
  • And much more… you can check out the full lists of features here.

WordPress Tables is a great little plugin and it makes creating tables in WP a breeze.

The following tutorial will show you from start to finish how to easily create a custom table, modify it and add it to your post. You will discover how to…

  1. Install and activate the plugin
  2. How to create a simple table using the built-in editor
  3. How to rename fields and apply number formatting.
  4. How to insert a new custom table into a page or post. 

How To Install & Activate The WordPress Tables Plugin.

First log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. In the left hand sidebar menu select plugins and then click on “add new”.

Enter “WP Tables” in the keyword search box and when you find the correct plugin click on “Install Now”

Alternatively you can download the plugin here and use the “Upload Plugin” function to install the plugin.

Once WordPress is done installing the plugin you can go ahead and click on the “Activate” button and you’re done – WP Tables is now installed and activated and you are ready to begin creating some tables.

How To Create A Simple WordPress Table Using The Inbuilt Editor

Click on WPTables in your dashboard sidebar menu and the select “Add New” in the drop down menu.

Click on WPTables in your dashboard sidebar menu and the select “Add New” in the drop down menu.

Name your table (this is for your own use only) and then select what type of input you want to use for the table. For a simple table like in this tutorial you’ll want to select “Enter Manually”.

You also need to select how many columns you want in your table, simply enter the relevant number and then click on “Create Table”.

Your new table has now been created and you’re ready to start editing it. Note that this is also were you can insert more rows into your table.

How Rename Fields & Apply Number Formatting

Double click on the field name you want to edit and the outline will turn light blue, then simply change the text to whatever you want it to be.

To change the formatting of the fields in a column, click on the little pencil button next to the corresponding field. In this case we want to select “Number” in the drop down menu. Note that this is also where you can change the width and alignment of your columns and fields.

You can use the format row to change how your numbers appear i.e. decimal separators. You can also get help and inspiration by clicking on the “View examples” link.

You can also set a currency symbol here and for basic number sets these example formats will yield the following results…

$0,0.00 = $1,000.00 (decimal and thousands separator)
$0,0     = $1,000 (thousands separator only)

How To Insert Your WP Table Into A Post Or Page 

You have two methods of adding your table to a post or page.

  1. Copy the short code immediately after finishing your table and the paste it into your post or page wherever you want it to appear.

  1. Or when you create or edit a page/post, click on the “Insert Table” button (the one that looks like a mini table).

You will then be prompted to either select one of your previously created tables or add a new table. In this case select the table you have just created and then press on “OK”. Your table will now be inserted into your post and when you publish it will go live.

Success, you now have a great looking table on your WordPress page or post.

The possibilities are endless with the WordPress Tables plugin, it’s super easy to use and there really is no reason to pay for a premium plugin when a free one does the job just fine, and then some.

Just do yourself a favour and download WP Tables now and never struggle with manually creating tables in WordPress again.

WordPress Tables 1.3 is released!

I am happy to announce that major update is now live! It includes brand new data editor (kudos to Handsontable library), that is available for all data sources (except MySQL). Also, the whole admin UI is was redesigned. Now it is more simple and easy to use. Hope you will like it. Here is the full list of changes:

  • Brand new admin UI with drag’n’drop file import and much more.
  • Brand new powerful data editor for imported files, including CSV and JSON.
  • Support for importing JSON data.
  • Improved CSV parsing.
  • Adding/removing new columns.
  • Search and bulk actions for created tables.
  • Cloning tables.