Raw data, stats, charts and graphs.
… Including those is your no.1 way of taking a blog post (or any online article) to the next level in terms of content quality and authority.
There’s just way too much content out there written on the fly and without much care put into the accuracy of the actual information. So the only way to stand out is to provide something more. Something that has its grounds in the real world. Hence, stats and other types of data.
But numbers alone won’t make much of an impact. They’re inherently not sexy. So we need a more user-friendly and, most importantly, reader-friendly solution.
That’s where today’s review comes into play.
A plugin called Visualizer: Charts and Graphs promises a functional and easy-to-use alternative. In this review, we’re checking if that’s indeed the case.
(Spoiler alert. It is.)
The things covered in this review:
- What Visualizer is
- The main features of the plugin
- Who’s the ideal user of this plugin
- Where you can get it
- How to use it
- The pros and cons
- The price – I can tell you this part right now – it’s $0
In a nutshell, Visualizer is a free plugin that lets you create, manage, and embed interactive charts into your WordPress posts and pages.
It comes with 14 different chart types that are fully customizable and easy to use for whatever data visualization needs you might have. It uses the Google Visualization API under the hood to make things work.
Let’s take a look at the plugin’s main features and capabilities:
- There are 14 types of charts – there are multiple ways to showcase your data with this plugin, specifically: line charts, area charts, column charts, bar charts, pie charts, gauge charts, geo charts, candlestick charts, scatter charts, table charts, timeline charts, combo carts, polar area charts and radar charts.
- It’s flexible and customizable – you can create any chart you want, use an unlimited number of fields, lots of colors and options to make it look exactly like you need it. That being said, all customizations are optional and the basic settings are perfectly ready to go.
- There’s HTML5 and SVG support – charts are rendered using HTML5 and SVG. This guarantees cross-browser compatibility.
Who needs the Visualizer plugin and why?
In short, every blogger or website owner who has ever published any sort of data visualization.
It’s that simple. The plugin will give you an edge over everybody else and make your content pop.
Also, getting into specific niches, if you’re in the financial sector, the plugin is a no-brainer. I’m sure you’re publishing quite a lot of number-driven content. Another area is researchers and academic bloggers. Again, lots of number-driven content.
Where you can get it (and how)
Nothing difficult here! You can get it and install it easily straight from your WordPress dashboard, as you normally would with any other plugin. Just go to Plugins ->> Add new and use the name “Visualizer Charts and Graphs” in the search field.
Alternatively, you can go to https://wordpress.org/plugins/visualizer/ and get the plugin directly.
How does it work?
Your plugin adventure starts on the editing screen of the post or page where you want to include your new chart.
Begin by clicking on Add Media and then Visualisations. Next, Create New.
At this point, you get to choose what type of chart you want to create. Again, 14 types of charts available here.
The one I’m going with is the pie chart (because I like pies).
In the next step, the plugin instructs you on how to import your data. It works with standard CSV files, which is basically the go-to file type for this kind of work.
Once you’ve imported the file, Visualizer will take the data and turn it into the final chart.
Here’s my result (very important data sample was used for the purpose of this demonstration, as you can see), that’s an actual live chart, by the way:
At this point, you can customize your chart or leave it be. There’s a drop-down menu to the right allowing you to do that.
General Settings is where you can set a title and select the main color, font, and size. Also, you can set the position of the legend and the detailed information that will be shown when the visitor clicks on a specific area of the graph.
Here’s the result I got after tweaking some things in this section of the settings:
In Pie Settings, you can adjust options like: giving the whole graph a 3D look, what should be displayed on the slices, borders, and so on.
In Slices Settings, you can change the color of each slice and select an offset for the ones you want to highlight. Like I did here:
In Layout & Chart Area, you can set the dimensions and the background for the whole chart.
When you’re done with all that, you can click on Insert Chart and a shortcode will be generated. You can then put this shortcode wherever you want (usually posts and pages).
The bottom line
- It’s free.
- Delivers an interactive and animated interface that’s pleasing to the eye.
- Easy to use.
- Offers multiple types of charts.
- Has many customization options yet it’s perfectly functional on the default settings as well.
- Importing your data through CSV is perhaps not the most straightforward method. It would be cool if there was an additional interface allowing you to simply input data from your keyboard.
- Visualizer won’t let you edit an existing chart. You can only create new ones. (Something to be fixed in the future versions.)
In the end, Visualizer provides you with some awesome charts and graphs. You can utilize this plugin to take your content to the next level, and simply better your competition. Additionally, the integration with Google Charts means that the plugin uses an optimized solution that’s sure to perform well (in terms of speed and load times).
But that’s just me. So what do *you* think of the plugin?
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%: