Tables are a well-known method of organizing information and are crucial for WordPress. Not only does the database for this CMS (Content Management System) consist of several large tables, but also leaves you the option to add yours. Without tables, your data would be stored elsewhere, likely on the web page itself. However, that’s a different story. Our guide on how to create tables within WordPress refers to those added to posts and pages of your website. They not only permit you to pack and classify information but do so in a concise, user-friendly way, and even add numbering, bullet points, or color-coding to emphasize the point. With that, let’s begin.
Can I create tables in WordPress Classic Editor?
Unfortunately, Classic Editor on WordPress doesn’t support adding tables by default. There are workarounds, such as generating table HTML online and editing the post/page in HTML. Alternatively, you can create a table in Google Docs and copy-paste it to the editor. We suggest method two below, however.
1. Insert tables in Gutenberg Editor for WordPress
For many, creating a table is far easier in Gutenberg Editor on WordPress, because there’s a dedicated block with all extra features in the sidebar. Moreover, it’s not only effortless to make something both functional and pretty, but also make changes afterward. You’ll see what we mean. Follow these instructions within Gutenberg Editor to start inserting tables:
- Start a new post or page (so long it doesn’t utilize a custom page builder interface).
- Hover over an empty space in the content and click the + icon to Add block. If it’s a new page, it’s directly to the right of Start writing or type / to choose a block.
- If you don’t see the Table option on the list, search for “table” and select it.
- Enter numbers under “Column Count” and “Row Count”. Don’t fret, you can add or remove them as needed.
- Click the Create Table button.
- Your table will now appear. Populate the rows and columns as you planned. You can also add a caption by clicking the Write caption… field below.
Using the top toolbar for the table
If you’ve clicked on any tables you managed to create in WordPress, you must’ve noticed a toolbar above. If you haven’t, there’s a chance you enabled Top Toolbar, in which case the options below will be in the upper left corner. Regardless of the position, the table toolbar will have the following options:
- Change the position of rows and columns.
- Configure alignment of the table—left, right, center, wide width, or full width. Be careful with the last option, as the table might exceed the post area margin if CSS isn’t defined properly. Always preview before you publish.
- Removing rows and columns or adding them before or after the selected one.
- Setting up the alignment of columns to the specified field belongs.
- Formatting — Bold, Italic, adding a link, and other text-related options.
- Additional options (three horizontal dots). Among other options, there are two notable ones:
- Remove Block option is vital if you mess up, and it’s easier to start adding the table from scratch.
- Add to Reusable Block lets you save the table you made as a template and add a custom code, such as “/features” that immediately inserts that table template in any post or page.
Configuring table appearance and formatting
Once again, click anywhere on the table, then expand options (cogwheel icon) on the far right side of the top menu. Switch to the Block tab. You’ll now see a list of tabs you can click to expand:
- Styles. This feature is frequently limited to default style for tables and one where every second row uses the same color, hence the name “Stripes”. You may have an extra option, too.
- Table settings. You have three toggle options in this case:
- Fixed width table cells — Enabling this ensures every column has a width you cannot change.
- Footer section — After you highlight a row or a cell in a row and activate this option, the entire row will be marked as a footer section. This can change the color, formatting, size of the text (elevate it to a heading or become bold, for example).
- Header section — Identical to the footer one, except it indicates that you reserve that row for table column names, for instance.
- Color settings. Straightforward choice—pick one of the predefined background colors or click the little rectangle to pick a custom one. It will apply to rows by default, and skip every second row if set to Stripes.
- Advanced. This opens a text field allowing you to add Additional CSS that will only apply to the table.
2. Install a WordPress plugin to create tables
Besides the inability to create tables in Classic Editor, you might notice several disadvantages of the Table block. First, you cannot filter or sort table rows or columns based on criteria. Also, while tables are responsive, they may not always look good on mobile devices. Further, you don’t have an option to show entries on pages, instead of in full, which would save page space. Finally, if you’ve created a reusable block, you might’ve noticed you can neither add the table to widgets or custom elements nor use formulas. That’s where the leading table WordPress plugins come in. Here’s a quick demonstration with TablePress, a popular beginner-friendly option we aren’t affiliated with.
- Finish the installation of the WordPress plugin and activate it.
- You’ll see a new option, TablePress, in the sidebar on the left-hand side of the WordPress Admin section.
- Select Add New Table.
- Define a name and, optionally, a description for the table. This is only for internal purposes and won’t appear on the front-end.
- Type the number of columns and rows and click the Add Table button.
- Set a table ID. This will be used for the shortcode to add the table to posts, pages, or compatible widgets.
- Move over to the “Table Content” section, and begin filling out your table cells. You can arrange them based on the order you choose.
- Instead of a toolbar, you’ll find options under “Table Manipulation”. These include advanced options such as duplication, hiding certain rows, or combining cells.
- Configure the hierarchy of cells in the “Table Options” meta box.