Highcharts vs Plotly.js

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Highcharts

1.2K
800
+ 1
81
Plotly.js

261
500
+ 1
68
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Highcharts vs Plotly: What are the differences?

Developers describe Highcharts as "A charting library written in pure JavaScript, offering an easy way of adding interactive charts to your web site or web application". Highcharts currently supports line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, arearange, areasplinerange, columnrange, bubble, box plot, error bars, funnel, waterfall and polar chart types. On the other hand, Plotly is detailed as "The Web's fastest growing charting libraries". Plotly.js is the only open-source JavaScript library for data visualization in the sciences and engineering. Open-source interfaces to Plotly.js are available for Python, R, MATLAB, and React.

Highcharts and Plotly belong to "Charting Libraries" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Highcharts are:

  • It works in all modern mobile and desktop browsers including the iPhone/iPad and Internet Explorer from version 6
  • Free for non-commercial
  • One of the key features of Highcharts is that under any of the licenses, free or not, you are allowed to download the source code and make your own edits

On the other hand, Plotly provides the following key features:

  • Feature parity with MATLAB/matplotlib graphing
  • Online chart editor
  • Fully interactive (hover, zoom, pan)

"Low learning curve and powerful" is the top reason why over 26 developers like Highcharts, while over 3 developers mention "Bindings to popular languages like Python, Node, R, etc" as the leading cause for choosing Plotly.

Highcharts and Plotly are both open source tools. Plotly with 10.3K GitHub stars and 1.2K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Highcharts with 8.75K GitHub stars and 2.31K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Highcharts has a broader approval, being mentioned in 213 company stacks & 38 developers stacks; compared to Plotly, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 10 developer stacks.

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Pros of Highcharts
Pros of Plotly.js
  • 32
    Low learning curve and powerful
  • 15
    Multiple chart types such as pie, bar, line and others
  • 11
    Responsive charts
  • 8
    Handles everything you throw at it
  • 7
    Extremely easy-to-parse documentation
  • 4
    Easy to customize color scheme and palettes
  • 4
    Built-in export chart as-is to image file
  • 16
    Bindings to popular languages like Python, Node, R, etc
  • 10
    Integrated zoom and filter-out tools in charts and maps
  • 9
    Great support for complex and multiple axes
  • 8
    Powerful out-of-the-box featureset
  • 6
    Beautiful visualizations
  • 4
    Active user base
  • 3
    Webgl chart types are extremely performant
  • 3
    Impressive support for webgl 3D charts
  • 3
    Charts are easy to share with a cloud account
  • 2
    Interactive charts
  • 2
    Publication quality image export
  • 2
    Easy to use online editor for creating plotly.js charts

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Cons of Highcharts
Cons of Plotly.js
  • 2
    Expensive
  • 15
    Terrible document

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What is Highcharts?

Highcharts currently supports line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, arearange, areasplinerange, columnrange, bubble, box plot, error bars, funnel, waterfall and polar chart types.

What is Plotly.js?

It is a standalone Javascript data visualization library, and it also powers the Python and R modules named plotly in those respective ecosystems (referred to as Plotly.py and Plotly.R). It can be used to produce dozens of chart types and visualizations, including statistical charts, 3D graphs, scientific charts, SVG and tile maps, financial charts and more.

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What companies use Highcharts?
What companies use Plotly.js?
See which teams inside your own company are using Highcharts or Plotly.js.
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What tools integrate with Highcharts?
What tools integrate with Plotly.js?

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What are some alternatives to Highcharts and Plotly.js?
D3.js
It is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. Emphasises on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework.
amCharts
amCharts is an advanced charting library that will suit any data visualization need. Our charting solution include Column, Bar, Line, Area, Step, Step without risers, Smoothed line, Candlestick, OHLC, Pie/Donut, Radar/ Polar, XY/Scatter/Bubble, Bullet, Funnel/Pyramid charts as well as Gauges.
Tableau
Tableau can help anyone see and understand their data. Connect to almost any database, drag and drop to create visualizations, and share with a click.
Google Charts
It is an interactive Web service that creates graphical charts from user-supplied information. The user supplies data and a formatting specification expressed in JavaScript embedded in a Web page; in response the service sends an image of the chart.
ECharts
It is an open source visualization library implemented in JavaScript, runs smoothly on PCs and mobile devices, and is compatible with most current browsers.
See all alternatives