Today we’ll have a talk with Lee Chestnutt, the mind behind Design Chemical. His numbers are quite impressive: 27,000 sales on CodeCanyon and his portfolio contains a WordPress theme and 7 plugins for jQuery and WordPress. You probably know his greatest plugin: WordPress Social Stream, currently bought by more than 10,000 people!
design chemical



Who is Design Chemical?

Design Chemical is a one man show based out of Singapore that now focuses on jQuery and WordPress plugin development.

How long do you develop plugins?

I started developing free wordpress and jquery plugins in 2009 and my first “premium” plugin was created in 2012 when I first discovered codecanyon.

Why did you decide to develop plugins?

Plugin development originally started as a hobby and as a way to teach myself programming.

How did you learn coding?

All self-taught – mainly from books and online tutorials.

What is your plugin you’re most proud of?

jQuery Social Stream & the WordPress version are probably the ones I’m most proud of since they were original ideas that have been relatively successful.

Is there something you don’t really like about WordPress?

I don’t think there are any aspects of WordPress that I dont like. The system is constantly being improved and as we can see from the huge variety of themes and plugins available it is a pretty flexible system that can handle most type of websites

What’s your favourite tool for coding?

I’m a simple guy – I just use notepad ++

What do you suggest to who’d like to start selling plugins?

From personal experience I think the best way to create a successful plugin business is to start by creating free wordpress plugins and uploading to Combine this with a blog giving free tutorials and download files, which will both start driving decent traffic to your website relatively quickly. This gives you a major boost when you start creating your paid versions. My free plugins and tutorials allowed us to rise up through the codecanyon ranks relatively quickly by driving traffic to codecanyon.

Another major point in my opinion is service – provide good quality, fast support and react to your customers feedback. If you continuously update the plugins to fix bugs and make improvements then you eventually get to the point where support is fairly minimal

And finally – if you can create a good jQuery plugin that can then be developed into a wordpress version you get 2 plugins for each idea … bonus!