People love to compare things. This vs that – blue vs green, Apple vs Samsung, free version vs premium.
That’s why a comparison table can benefit so many different types of WordPress sites. Whether you’re selling digital products, physical products, services or promoting affiliate products, you can increase your revenue and conversions with a comparison table.
Building a table is easy with a WordPress comparison table plugin. No matter your experience with building and managing websites, a plugin will make publishing tables significantly easier.
Read on and we’ll walk you through creating a comparison table for your own site.
What is a Comparison Table?
A comparison table presents two or more choices against each other, in a way that makes it easy for someone to compare and make a decision.
There are many ways a comparison can be used. A common way is to compare several different plans or subscription levels. This is a staple of digital product and software companies. The idea is to show potential customers how much additional value they get from each pricing tier, to push people to spend more money.
Physical products can be presented in a comparison table just as well, the same way.
While you can compare two or more of your own offerings against each other, you can also use a comparison table to compare your products or services against those of a competitor, presenting to your readers why yours is the best choice.
Comparison tables are a great tool for affiliate sites as well. This kind of table lets you show a few different products and the pros and cons of each. This makes it easier for people reading the post to make an informed buying decision, resulting in more clickthroughs and more affiliate commissions.
If you’re in doubt of the effectiveness of comparison tables, just go to the king of conversion rate optimization: Amazon. Amazon makes great use of product comparison tables, just like this:
In simplest terms, comparison tables make shopping and buying easier for consumers or potential customers, which is in your best interest, whether you’re running an ecommerce store, a software business or an affiliate site.
Comparison Table Plugin vs Manual Coding
If you want to build a comparison table in WordPress, you can do it one of two ways. You can use a plugin or software tool to generate a table, or do it manually, with HTML and CSS code.
But is a tool really worth paying for, compared to a DIY approach?
Coding a table yourself offers more flexibility over how your table looks and behaves. Plugins may have a restricted template or design layout. Manual coding means you can get the exact look and feel you desire. This flexibility is a selling point for some.
But while complete freedom is a nice thing to have, the reasons to use a plugin will outweigh this advantage for 99% of site owners. Here they are:
First, and most simply, a lot of people simply don’t have the ability to build a table from scratch with code. The output might seem simple enough, but coding is a pretty big learning curve – even HTML and CSS, which is the most basic type of code to learn.
Making sure your table looks good on multiple devices, doesn’t conflict with your theme, and doesn’t have any bugs is even more you have to look out for. This is out of the skill range for most site owners.
Let’s say you are proficient in HTML and CSS, and you can build a table yourself. It still takes time to write code. Is that time best spent writing a comparison table, or doing other, higher-leverage tasks for your business?
There’s a good chance that there are more important things that you can be doing that will provide you with a better return on your time, especially if you’re creating tables for a lot of different pages.
Let’s say you don’t have the ability to create a table yourself, or don’t want to spend the time.
You can hire someone to do this for you, but then you’ll have to pay for their time. And developers aren’t cheap.
So, while you may think building tables with code is better than paying for a premium comparison table plugin, the cost of a developer will probably add up to much more.
If you do it yourself, this still applies. Your time is worth money as well. Think about what you’d consider your hourly rate to be. This is essentially what you’re spending if you take the time to build a table from scratch.
To create a comparison table without the help of a software tool, you not only need to know how to code, you need to know some basic design principles. Writing code may be easy to you, but if you don’t know anything about design, your table won’t be as effective as it could be.
When you use a plugin, you benefit from professionally-designed templates, which not only take away the time and money of coding a table, but designing the table to look great too.
Best Comparison Table Plugins for WordPress
Quality WordPress plugins save you time, money, and help you build better-looking tables. There are a few really good options out there that are going to elevate your site.
If you’re looking for a WordPress comparison table plugin, here are the best choices:
Easy Pricing Tables is our flagship plugin at Fatcat Apps. It was our first premium WordPress plugin, built nearly ten years ago, and has had several facelifts since, to make it a great tool to build comparison tables (and other styles of pricing table).
This plugin saves a ton of time and effort, compared to manually coding tables or paying for a developer. You can create and publish a table in just a few minutes, with a professional look and feel, designed to convert into sales or clickthroughs.
Some of the best features of this plugin include:
- Simple color pickers and font pickers to customize your table
- Point and click editing of content
- A one-click WooCommerce integration
- Easy to add affiliate links, shopping cart links or payment gateway links to the comparison table
- Responsive for mobile, desktop and tablet devices
Easy Pricing Tables is built for use with the new block editor, the classic WordPress editor, as well as page builders like Elementor, Thrive Architect and more, so it’s the best fit for just about any kind of WordPress site.
TablePress is a free plugin that works great if you need a simple, no-frills comparison table.
This plugin is less for pricing table-style tables, and more for comparing a lot of data. For example, if you have quite a lot of product details you want to compare, such as sizing or technical details.
Let’s say you have a large range of products you want your readers to be able to search for and compare against each other – TablePress is perfect for this.
It’s incredibly simple to set up a table in the backend, so don’t worry about needing to know anything at all about coding or web design.
The plugin, being completely free, is fairly simple in the output style. However, there are a number of premium extensions available that allow you to do more with your TablePress comparison tables.
WP Table Builder
This is another comparison table plugin that is great for the simplicity it offers. You can build tables with a drag and drop editor, like you would a page builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect.
You can add several different elements this way, including text, images, buttons, a star rating, or shortcodes/custom HTML code. This lets you add pretty much anything you need to the table. For anything else, there’s a pro add-on with several additional elements.
Customizing the design takes a little time, though there are some pre-built templates you can use to speed this up.
This is a great plugin for affiliate comparison tables, for Amazon affiliate sites or product review sites.
One more option is AAWP. This is designed for Amazon affiliates, so it’s not a fit for every site, but if you are using Amazon, it saves you a ton of time and effort.
The best part about this plugin is how it seamlessly integrates with Amazon. You put your Amazon Associates tracking ID in the backend, and a tracking tag is automatically added to button links in your table. You can also pull product details from Amazon automatically – all you need is the product’s ASIN.
Options for styling your table are somewhat limited. You can customize what columns you show, as well as the style of your call to action buttons, but that’s about as far as the design goes.
That’s not a huge problem, as simple is usually best for an affiliate review comparison table anyway.
You’ll add tables to a post via shortcode, which is super simple, and doesn’t slow down your site at all, adding to the simple, uncomplicated nature of this plugin.
How to Create a Comparison Table in the Gutenberg Block Editor with Easy Pricing Tables
Let’s walk through creating a simple comparison table using Easy Pricing Tables.
Note: you will need the premium version of Easy Pricing Tables in order to use the comparison table template.
With this plugin you can build a beautiful, conversion-optimized WordPress comparison table in a fully visual editor. No coding, no shortcodes, you’ll see how your table looks in real time, as you build it.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, open a new post, or go to the post you want to add the table to.
Add a new block, and choose the Pricing Table block.
Choose your layout. Layout 5 is best suited for a comparison table.
Now, you edit your table directly in the post.
Use the settings above the block to add and remove columns, edit font size and formatting, and designate a “featured” column.
On the sidebar, you can edit your color scheme and font styles.
When you’re done customizing, just publish your changes, and you’ll have a clean and responsive comparison table.
Here’s an example:
Comparison Table Best Practices
Whether it’s for an affiliate site, SaaS business, or anything else, there are some best practices to follow to ensure your comparison table works well, and results in sales, clickthroughs, or whatever your end goal is.
Here are some tips for creating your comparison table.
Don’t compare too many products
If you try to build a comparison table with too many products, it’s going to end up messy, poorly formatted, and hard to follow. Don’t try to compare every single neck pillow sold on Amazon against each other.
Too many products (or services, plans, membership levels) will give your readers choice paralysis, where they have too many things to select from, and end up choosing none. It also makes it hard to compare two specific products, as they may be too far apart on the table.
Go for 5 columns at the most.
Limit to the most important features
If you overload your customers with too much information, it makes it harder for them to make a decision. This is the opposite of what you want. You want to make it easier for them.
Many software businesses in particular make this mistake. They compare each of their plans against each other, and want to showcase just how many features they offer, with a comparison table that doesn’t fit on the customer’s screen.
The result is often that the potential customer is too confused, and goes somewhere else.
Try to include only the most important features of the products, plans, or services you’re comparing. Think about the biggest differences between each plan, and highlight these only.
If you really want to showcase exactly what you get with each plan or product, do so with a separate comparison table a little further down the page. This can work well for SaaS businesses or services. But don’t make the reader absorb all this information before they can make a decision.
Check out the examples from Slack and Kinsta here to see how best to format a pricing page with a full feature comparison table.
A table is not the place for walls of text. The worst type of comparison table is one that is completely overloaded and stuffed full of text. It will look awful, and it defeats the purpose of a comparison table: making it easy for readers to digest information and make a decision.
Condense your information as much as possible. Numbers are great. Sentences, not so much.
Have a clear call to action
If you want the reader to take action after making a decision, say so. It could be making a purchase, starting a trial, subscribing to a plan… whatever it is, add a button that clearly tells the reader what to do next.
If you’re selling physical products, you might want a “Buy Now” button.
If it’s a SaaS business with a free trial, your button should say “Start Free Trial”, or something along these lines.
This helps guide the reader along the purchasing journey – something you need to do to maximize your conversion rate.
Put your preferred choice in the middle
A “featured” or “most popular” column works great in most cases. Generally, potential buyers don’t want to make the complete decision on their own, with no input. That’s why they’re looking at your comparison table, after all.
Giving them a starting point or a little extra push towards one product or one plan is a powerful psychological technique to get more conversions. You’ll want to highlight this column, and also put it somewhere in the middle of your table.
The reason it’s best in the middle is again psychology. Being in the middle draws the focus to it. This will have the customer subconsciously thinking it’s the best choice, and highlighting it as “featured” or “most popular” will validate that thought.
It’s also effective if your columns are ordered from least expensive to most expensive, as most people want to land in the middle. They don’t want the cheapest option, as it seems inferior, but they don’t want to shell out for the most expensive choice either.
Comparison Table Examples & Use Cases
Here are a few ideas to give you inspiration for your own WordPress comparison table.
As mentioned in an earlier section, Amazon makes use of product comparison tables on many pages. These are a great way to cut down the time customers need to shop around and compare different options, contributing to Amazon’s industry-best conversion rates.
Slack uses a comparison table to show a complete list of their features, and exactly what you get with each plan.
This works because they have a more simplified pricing table at the top of the page, with only the most important details from each subscription level.
Customers can make a decision here, or scroll down to get more information if they want. But they don’t need to digest the whole pricing table before they get to the button to sign up.
WordPress hosting company Kinsta does the same as Slack, providing a simple pricing table, followed by a comprehensive, well-formatted full feature comparison table.
This comparison table is used to compare one company or tool to alternative options. It shows the reasons customers should choose their offering over the competition, in a way that’s easy to follow and digest.
This comparison table does the same thing, in a uniquely formatted fashion. It lists the features they offer, and compares the cost of paying for different tools that provide each of these features.
Finally, Homegrounds gives us a great example of the comparison table in use for affiliate sites. It shows a succinct summary of their recommended products high up the page, with a summary of the features of each and a call to action button, before expanding to a more thorough review of each product further down the page.
WordPress Product Comparison Tables: Final Thoughts
Comparison tables are a powerful tool for many kinds of businesses built on WordPress.
Affiliate sites, software businesses, services, freelancers, and ecommerce stores can all benefit from comparison tables. Whether you want to compare your services vs the competition, show the full feature set of all of your SaaS company’s subscription levels, or generate more clicks for your Amazon affiliate site, a comparison table will help you do it.
Check out Easy Pricing Tables to start building comparison tables for your WordPress site now.