WordPress table plugin: An overview of wpDataTables

wpDataTables Features OverviewQuickhand navigation through wpDataTables documentation

wpDataTables is a WordPress Tables and Charts manager. This WordPress table plugin is designed to make the process of data representation and interaction quick, easy, and effective. wpDataTables allows you to quickly build and insert interactive tables and charts in any of your WordPress posts or pages with such features as multi-criteria filtering, sorting, or export to PDF. Tables can be created from virtually any data source, including MySQL query, Google Spreadsheet, PHP array, Excel file, CSV file, JSON, and XML input sources. You can also generate MySQL queries to WordPress database, or to any MySQL database without any knowledge of SQL at all! And if you like you can create the tables and charts without any predefined source files from the WordPress back-end or create very Simple WordPress tables.

This site is running WordPress 6.5.2 – so you can be sure that the plugin works with the current version.

You’ve probably experienced a situation where you needed to publish WordPress tables that required slightly more features than typically found in a simple HTML table, such as pagination, filters, conditional formatting, and charts. Examples would include a catalog, statistics data, a financial report, a price list, a list of business locations, a list of users, and so on. No doubt that you also discovered that at least some coding was required, and keeping your table regularly updated required periodical repeating of the coding activity.

wpDataTables is a plugin that performs all the work for you, and you only need to set it up once. There’s no coding required.

See a shortlist, navigation through documentation pages, and examples in the widget below.

  • The minimum required PHP version for wpDataTables is 5.6. You can check your PHP version on the wpDataTables settings page under the Info tab.
  • Because wpDataTables has direct read/write access to the database (WordPress database, or a remote MySQL DB), all the plugin admin pages are restricted to admin users only and are not visible to outside editors or users. To allow them to view the pages, you would need to grant them the ‘manage_options’ capability.
  • From version, 3.1 Merged cells are supported in Simple WordPress tables by wpDataTables.
  • Creating a table from a file with formulas is not supported, but you can always create a formula column in our plugin (read here about it).

Plugin general information and related linksInstallation, configuration, backend and frontend overview

Showing table data from data sourcesCreating wpDataTables from existing data sources

Tables can be created by linking existing files or files from other sources (Excel files, CSV files, Google Spreadsheets, and other). Tables created this way will be read from the data source on every page load, making it easy to update the table; but, when you change the underlying data source to update the table, it will be auto-updated – but it can also slow the page down if the table is large (an exception would be for MySQL-based tables with server-side processing).

Creating tables in WordPress adminCreating wpDataTables manually or importing table data to MySQL database

Tables can be created from WordPress admin without predefining any data source, by describing the table structure and filling in the values in cells manually through an editor. To do this, you can use wpDataTables’ Table Creation Wizard, it also allows importing CSV, Excel, or Google Spreadsheets data to editable wpDataTables. Table data for tables created this way will be stored in the database, will always be editable, and can utilize the benefits of server-side processing.

Table data editingEditing tables from the WordPress back-end and front-end

Tables created with wpDataTables can be configured to be editable from either the WordPress back-end or front-end if they are MySQL based or created manually. There are several ways of editing tables. Tables can be edited through a popup form, by inline editing, or by Excel-like/Spreadsheet editing. In the following documentation sections you’ll find the necessary details on how to use the editing functionality:

ChartsCreating dynamic charts in WordPress with HighCharts, Chart.js or Google Charts rendering engines

wpDataTables allows creating dynamic charts in WordPress. Currently, it supports 3 rendering engines: Google Charts, Highcharts (requires a separate license for commercial usage), and Chart.js. Any charts based on wpDataTables data sources can be linked to the table filtering and sorting features, to dynamically redraw in the front-end – which is useful for representing numeric data.

Advanced featuresAdvanced features for displaying table data

wpDataTables isn’t your ordinary table editor. Every table you create can be packed with advanced features of your choosing – features like responsive design, conditional formatting (highlighting), sorting, calculating totals, and more.

Column types and featuresConfiguring columns in wpDataTables

Each column can have its own type, as defined by the differences between the sorting or filtering rules applied. For example, sorting dates is based on completely different logic rules than sorting texts. wpDataTables has a built-in autodetect engine that detects the column type when a data source is first read. In most cases, it does so correctly, but you can redefine the column type manually if needed.

Different column types and features:

Information for developersCustomizing the wpDataTables front-end and back-end

wpDataTables has a host of features supporting WordPress tables right out of the box – but if you know PHP and JavaScript, you can customize both the front-end and back-end of the plugin.


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