Is D3 js or Highchart js better

Embed diagrams in your own website

There are several ways to create diagrams and charts for a website or blog. A large number of libraries and software products for creating diagrams are available for this.

There are various reasons for using diagrams on your own website. In particular, if you want to display data in context, it is worth using diagrams to improve user-friendliness. For example, you can use diagrams to clearly display survey results. If you run a finance blog, you can also graphically display historical prices with the help of diagrams. When web diagrams are well made, they exude professionalism and authority, which can improve user loyalty and ultimately lead to more success.

If you want to include a diagram or graph on your website, you have various options:

  1. Use of a chart library such as Chart.js
  2. Chart and diagram extensions for content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla or Typo3
  3. Special software for creating diagrams without programming knowledge
  4. Insert diagrams as an image

In the following, the various options are presented in more detail and explained in detail how diagrams can be created for the website. Each option has advantages and disadvantages that we would also like to address. Real-time diagrams in particular, the data base of which changes periodically, are somewhat more complex to implement.

Libraries for creating graphs

There is a wide variety of JavaScript libraries that can be used to add diagrams to web pages. A disadvantage of these libraries is that it takes a certain amount of time and training to create diagrams. Detailed documentation and examples are available so that you can generate your own diagrams. The following are libraries based on JavaScript. Some solutions are open source and can be used free of charge, others require payment, but offer support, for example.

Since there are a large number of JavaScript libraries for creating diagrams, it can be challenging to decide which solution to use. The following questions can help you make a decision:

  • Are you ready to spend money on a solution, especially if you need support?
  • What type of diagram would you like to add to your website? Are these diagram types supported by the library?
  • Do you like the look of a library's diagrams better than others?
  • Do you need special functions for your diagrams?

The following selection of chart libraries includes the most widely used and popular solutions for creating web charts.

Chart.js

Chart.js is an open source JavaScript-based solution that allows HTML5 charts to be created. Comprehensive documentation and a large number of examples simplify the introduction to this library. Knowledge of JavaScript can make getting started with the Chart.js API much easier.

Highcharts

Highcharts is another JavaScript library for creating charts and infographics for your own website. The functionality and scope is similar to Chart.js. The big difference is that Highcharts can only be used for free for personal and non-commercial projects. A license is required for commercial applications.

Google charts

Google offers its own framework for creating diagrams and charts. Google Charts is free to use and currently supports up to 18 different chart types.

jqPlot

jqPlot is a plugin for the jQuery Framework. Especially if you already use jQuery on your website, using jqPlot can pay off. jqPlot is open-source and can be used under the MIT or GPL license.

D3.js

D3.js is a very extensive library for data visualization on the Internet with a large number of use cases. Not only diagrams but also infographics such as networks or hierarchies are supported. Great diagrams with appealing animations have already been realized with the help of D3.js. A look at the D3.js examples is really worthwhile and can give you new impetus for creating diagrams.

Extensions and plugins for creating web diagrams

If you use a modular system for your website, you may be able to fall back on functionality with which you can create web diagrams. There are also a number of extensions and plugins for creating diagrams for websites that are implemented with the help of content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress or Joomla.

A disadvantage of CMS-specific extensions is that this solution may no longer work if you want to switch to a different CMS. Then you would have to check to what extent the diagrams can be migrated to a new extension, which ultimately leads to additional work.

No Coding Graph and Chart Solutions

There are also many solutions that allow you to build a chart in a special editor without any programming knowledge. You just need to copy the code into your website which simplifies the process and typically reduces the time that you need to publish a chart.

PrettyCharts

PrettyCharts offers a simple to use form to create a web chart and is based on Chart.js. Once you have configured your chart you can simply copy over the code and include it in your website. PrettyCharts also offers the possibility to automatically create a web chart from an image or HTML table.

Insert diagram as picture

The technically easiest way to display a diagram on the website is to take a screenshot of a diagram and then insert it as an image. A variety of software can be used to create the graph, such as Microsoft Excel or Libre Office Calc. There are also many software products for creating screenshots. All you have to do is upload the image to your web server and insert it using HTML code or a WYSIWYG editor.

However, this solution has some disadvantages: While images can be integrated responsively into the website, there is the option of scaling axes independently for diagrams so that the available space on the display can be better used. Static images also do not allow any interaction with the site visitor. Users cannot zoom into a diagram or read diagram values ​​by hovering. Diagram-specific animation cannot be implemented for images either. Another major disadvantage is that when the diagram is adjusted, a new screenshot always has to be created and uploaded to the server. Dynamic diagrams that are automatically renewed cannot be displayed with this approach.

Include dynamic diagrams on the website

The greatest challenge is usually presented by graphs in which the data change periodically. The graph should be automatically updated with the new data. Certain chart extensions offer possible solutions here, such as a connection to a database table. If the content of the database table changes, the chart is automatically rebuilt when the page is loaded. If you want to refresh the content of the diagram without manual refresh (F5), technologies such as AJAX can be used to load new data from the web server in the browser and to update the diagram.

Please contact us if you need assistance in creating diagrams for your own website. We are also happy to assist you with the development of individual diagram solutions and real-time diagrams.