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Creating Tables in WordPress from CSV files

Video versionA video overview of CSV-based wpDataTables

Example of a CSV-based tablewpDataTables supports CSV data source

CSV, or “comma-separated-values” format is very wide-spread, because it’s very simple, lightweight, and almost any software can generate it, or users can even create it manually. Basically, it’s just a text file, where cells are separated with commas, rows are separated with new lines, and first line contains table headers. CSV was supported by wpDataTables from the very first release.

You can download the file that was used to generate this table from this link. The table rendered from this file is below.

See the step-by-step tutorial below the table.

CSV wpDataTable example



When working with CSV-based wpDataTables please note: this format is fine only till a certain limit (no exact limit, but let’s say 3000-5000 cells), if you have a larger file, the page load time will increase. For large data sets it makes sense to import the data to MySQL, you can use wpDataTables Table Constructor to do this

Instructions to create the table

The first thing you would need to do to create a CSV-based table in WordPress is to create the CSV file with your data set in your favourite software. It can be MS Excel, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Numbers, Google Spreadsheet, or any other. We used LibreOffice.

Save it at some location where you can easily find it later.

Create a wpDataTable and upload your CSV file

After you saved the CSV file with your data, the next step is to go to your WordPress admin and create a new wpDataTable from CSV data source.

Go to your WordPress admin, and open wpDataTables -> Add from data source.

When the “Add new wpDataTable” page opens, you would need to do the following:

  1. Set some name for your new wpDataTable that will help you to find the table later.
  2. Choose “CSV file” as the “Table Type“.
  3. Click “Upload file” near the Input file, the WordPress Media Library pop-up will appear.
  4. Upload the CSV file that you prepared in the Step 1, and click the Use in wpDataTable button.
  5. Click Save so that wpDataTables would read the CSV file that you uploaded, and initialize the columns metadata.

(Optional) - Define additional column and table settings

Every time you create a new wpDataTable, it will try to “guess” each of the the column types, and usually it guesses correctly. Anyhow, you can re-define the table settings and each of the column’s settings manually.

In this case we defined “Creation date” column filter type as “Date range“, “Yearly revenue” column filter type as “Number range“, also set the “Display text before” for this column as “$” so each cell would have a currency sign, also we disabled the filter (set to “None“) for the column “Phone number“.

Insert the wpDataTable in your page or post

When configuration of your CSV-based wpDataTable is finished, you just need to insert it to your post or page.

Open (or create a new) a WordPress post or page, place the cursor in the position where you would like to insert your table, click the “Insert a wpDataTable” button in the MCE editor panel, and choose the CSV-based table that you prepared.

Or, if you prefer to do things manually, you can just copy&paste the wpdatatable shortcode (you can find it in the wpDataTables browse page, or in wpDataTable edit page).

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