Creating Charts In A WordPress Post

WP Tutorial

You’ve no doubt heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This certainly applies when you are trying to present and explain complex data.

Using graphs and charts is great for making technical or statistical data easier to grasp.

You can present data using tables, but if you want people to try and interpret complex information with figures, percentages or relationships quickly, then charts and graphs allow you to present data in an intelligent and meaningful manner that can be quickly understood.

How To Add Appealing Graphs To A WordPress Page

Charts and graphs help you explain complex information so people can more easily understand it!

Need to add charts or graphs to your WordPress posts and pages? This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to use WordPress Visualizer – an easy-to-use and powerful plugin that lets you create, manage and embed appealing graphs into your WordPress posts and pages with just a few simple steps that:

  • Your web visitors can engage with
  • Lets you add data from your computer or an online source of data
  • Resizes dynamically for mobile screens

Visualizer

Useful Tip

If you plan to display visual data like bar charts, comparison charts or trending graphs containing static information (e.g. historical data), a simple method you can use to display this data is to create your graphs or charts using an image editing application, convert these into images and then simply add the image to your web content.

If you want to add dynamic bars and graphs to WordPress, however, (especially if you would like to do this with no code editing involved, then a simple way to do this is to use a plugin.

Fortunately, there is a WordPress plugin that is simple to install, easy-to-use and allows you to not only create great-looking and interactive graphs and charts, but also to populate these with updateable content.

WordPress Plugin: Visualizer

Visualizer

Visualizer Plugin URL

You can install the plugin from your WP dashboard (explained a little further below), or access and download Visualizer here:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/visualizer

Visualizer Plugin Description

Visualizer is a simple, easy to use and powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to create, manage and embed mobile-responsive charts into your WordPress posts and pages in a few simple steps.

Visualizer uses Google Visualization API to render charts, which support cross-browser compatibility (adopting VML for older IE versions) and cross-platform portability to iOS and new Android releases, and are based on pure HTML5/SVG technology (adopting VML for old IE versions), so no extra plugins are needed.

Visualizer also contains a variety of built-in that are optimized to address all your data visualization needs, including:

  • Line chart
  • Area chart
  • Bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Pie chart
  • Geo chart
  • Gauge chart
  • Candlestick chart
  • Scatter chart

The plugin is also flexible and customizable, allowing you to use Google Chart Tools with their default setting, or configure an extensive set of options to match the look and feel of your website. Various options are available for each chart that let you further customize their look and feel.

Additionally, charts are rendered using HTML5/SVG technology to provide cross-browser compatibility (including VML for older IE versions) and cross-platform portability to iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Your site visitors can see your charts and graphs on their mobile devices without having to install any additional plugins.

Plugin Installation

From your WP dashboard, select Plugins > Add New from the navigation sidebar menu …

Install Plugin

In the Add Plugins page type “visualizer” into the search field and click enter …

Install WordPress Plugin: Visualizer

Locate the item in the search results section and click the “Install Now” button …

Install Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Click OK to proceed …

Install Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Activate the plugin …

Install WP Plugin: Visualizer

You can also activate the plugin in the Plugins section …

Install Visualizer - WP Plugin

After your plugin has been activated, click on Library

Install Visualizer

You can get to the plugin’s ‘library’ screen by selecting Media > Visualizer Library from your admin menu …

How To Intall Plugins

This brings up the plugin’s Visualizer Library settings screen …

Visualizer

When you first install the plugin, this section will be empty.

The next step is to add the charts and graphs to your library that you will want to insert into your pages or posts.

How To Configure The Visualizer Plugin

To add a graph or chart to the plugin’s library, click on ‘Add New’ …

Visualizer

A page will appear on your browser with all of the kinds of graphs and charts available.

Select the type of graph or chart you would like to create and click on the ‘Next’ button …

WordPress Plugin: Visualizer

The graph/chart type will pop up in a lightbox.

The next step is to upload a CSV file containing all the data you want to populate your chart or graph with …

Visualizer - WordPress Plugin

Important Info

When creating your CSV data file, make sure that:

  • The first row includes your column headings.
  • Your second row contains the series type (e.g. number, timeofday, etc.)

The screenshot below shows how to format your data as per the above requirements …

Visualizer

If you are unsure about how to format your CSV file, just study the sample CSV file that comes with the plugin.

Once you have completed this step, select the data source (‘From Computer’ or ‘From Web’) in the ‘Upload CSV File’ section.

Upload CSV File From Computer

To upload the CSV file from your hard drive select ‘From Computer‘ …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Locate and select your file and then click on ‘Open‘ …

WordPress Plugin: Visualizer

The plugin imports your data from the CSV file and displays it using the graph/chart type selected …

WP Plugin: Visualizer

Upload CSV File From The Web

Visualizer

Important Info

To learn how to create, save and publish data to a Visualizer chart or graph using Google Spreadsheet, go here:

How To Populate Data Using Google Spreadsheet

After importing your data, make sure that all of your information is correct (if not, click on the ‘Back’ button and reupload a new data file containing the right data), and then click ‘Next‘ …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Depending on the chart or graph type you have selected, the plugin displays a range of customization options and settings …

Visualizer - WordPress Plugin

The WordPress Visualizer plugin gives you full control of your information, and updates your display in real time …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

For example, the pie chart offers many configurable options, including:

  • General Settings – Configure settings for the chart’s title, font styles, tooltip, and legend.
  • Pie Settings – Create 3D pie charts, draw slices counterclockwise, set the text content displayed on the slice, create a “donut” pie chart, rotate the chart’s “start” angle and set the slice border color.
  • Residue Settings – Set the ‘Visibility Threshold’ (the slice relative part, below which a slice will not show individually.), ‘Residual Slice Label’ (the label for the combination slice that holds all slices below slice visibility threshold, e.g. “Other”), and ‘Residue Slice Color’.
  • Slice Settings – Customize the ‘Slice Offset’ (how far to separate a slice from the rest of the pie), and ‘Slice Color’.
  • Layout & Chart Area – Configure the layout (total size of chart) including the width and height of the chart as a number of percentage, background color for the main area of the chart and the chart border width and color, and the placement and size of the chart area (where the chart itself is drawn, excluding axis and legends).

Visualizer - WordPress Plugin

Once you are happy with how your graph or chart is looking, click Create Chart

Visualizer

The new chart or graph will now be added to your Visualizer ‘Library’ …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Note that every new element is given a unique ID displayed in a shortcode. As you will see in just a moment, this allows you to easily embed charts and graphs into your content …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Graphs and charts added to the Visualizer Library can be accessed by type …

Visualizer - WordPress Plugin

After a new element has been added to the ‘Visualizer Library’, you can edit it, duplicate it, or delete it …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Visualizer Usage

After creating a new element and adding it to the Library, it’s easy to add it to your posts and pages.

First, create a new post or page (or open an existing one) …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Next, place your mouse cursor where you want to insert your visual element into your content and click on the ‘Add Media‘ button …

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Click on ‘Visualizations‘ …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

Find the graph or chart to be inserted into your content and click on the “insert” icon …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

This adds a shortcode for the element into your content …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

After you have added the item, click on Publish to publish (or update) your content …

Publishing A WordPress Post

Once your post/page has been updated, click ‘View post’ to see it …

Visualizer

The chart will appear in the location you specified …

Visualizer - WordPress Plugin

As mentioned previously, Visualizer also displays responsive charts and graphs for viewing on mobile devices …

Visualizer Plugin For WordPress

As you can see, the Visualizer plugin allows you to add and customize dynamic charts and graphs in your content. You can update your data and the changes will automatically be reflected throughout your website. This makes adding interactive graph information in WordPress really easy.

Tutorial

The plugin developers have created a series of step-by-step tutorials you can refer to to learn how to edit, customize and use the plugin.

For tutorials on editing, cloning, deleting and adding data to your charts, go to the site below:

WordPress Visualizer – Additional Tutorials

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Congratulations! Now you know how to add great-looking and mobile-responsive pie charts and graphs to WordPress with WordPress Visualizer plugin.


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