Tables are used for almost everything and if you are trying to structure some information on your website, in a handy way, probably you will need a good WordPress table plugin (and a free one).
Because of the nature of the table, scaling it like an image won’t result in a satisfying user experience. A good table plugin knows how to get sexy on a mobile devices!
Another factor that separates the comparison tables from the regular data tables is the design and the visual elements and shortcodes you need to add in a comparison table, in order to look good and provide value.
So you will want a plugin in which you can directly put any plugin’s shortcode or html code without any trouble.
When it comes to responsiveness, you have two options, stack by rows and stack by columns. That’s way my all time favorite free WordpPress table plugin is Table Maker.
Table Maker is making it extremely easy to create professional looking tables.
This is an example of table row stack. Left – Table Maker/ Right – TablePress.
Let’s see how our table from the example above will look in TablePress.
As you can see not good at all. The table is being scaled, causing some of the columns to go out of the grid.
For this specific example the “stack by rows” option is the best, but you can play with this to get the best user experience based on your table parameters.
As you can see I have added some visual elements for an even better style. And that’s not all, each cell supports HTML and shortcodes. You can add basically anything.
In my example, I’m using Shortcodes Ultimate button shortcode for the CTAs.
If you want to make something fast, the plugin has its own predefined icons near at hand, that you can add just with a simple copy-paste.
The plugin comes in 8 pre-made color styles, but the creator has provided useful information how to change any style the way you want – here.
What about the alternative plugins out there?
TablePress – The most popular choice
With more than half a million downloads, it’s sure worth a mention. So what’s the deal with TablePress?
TablePress offers a sorting and search options, which are absent in Table Maker, also it has it’s own extension plugin for responsiveness. Which is adding a horizontal scroll to the table. But let’s keep it basic for now.
The truth is that TablePress is not responsive by default! Or at least fully responsive.
TablePress is a good plugin anyway, It will work well if you have only 2-3 column tables. Another option would be to play with the add-ons and code, but we can say for sure: Out of the box – TablePress is not a responsive table plugin!
You can download TablePress for free and see if it works for you, from here!
Note: The TablePress responsive addon ads a scroll functionality to your tables, making it easier for the user to navigate through tables with lots of columns, however the best responsive option for tables so far is table stacking! Something you won’t achieve even with this addon.
See what Table Plugin works best for you
The choice is up to you, I’m just giving you something I faced and had to deal with when I had to choose a free WordPress table plugin for one of my projects at that time.
If you want to add a handy table to your article or review and get back to writing, as fast and easy as possible, then Table Maker is your plugin.
And if you aim for building big and comprehensive tables, with tons of data for users to search from, then you definitely would be better choosing TablePress!