Before Hiring MADWIRE, Be Warned

OK, so I have no doubt that there are plenty of honest and capable people at MadWire, or MadWireMedia, or MadWire 360 or whatever.

But there are some things you should be aware of before signing a contract with them.  I’m writing this because in searching for anything negative about Madwire, I’ve found that they have completely bombed google.  And meanwhile, they are buying Pay Per Click Ads like nobody’s business, so it’s really hard to see through their promotional efforts, which I must admit, are pretty thorough.  But such a substantial publicity push serves as what is essentially a reality distortion field for you and me–The kind that would make us think that Godaddy is actually the best choice for shared Linux hosting, which I think most developers would agree, it isn’t.

So here’s the thing I want to warn you about.  It is quite possible, in my opinion, according to what I’ve seen, that if you do not carefully negotiate your contract with Madwire, you will find yourself locked into a perpetual hosting agreement in the ballpark of $50/month.


The Design work you hired them to do, they (or their legal representation) will claim is their intellectual property.  So you can walk away from a hosting agreement that’s about 8-10 times more expensive than it should be, and have nothing, or continue to throw an unnecessary $30=$40 or more dollars into the wind every month, essentially FOREVER.

In other words, what someone I know was lead to sign off on, according to someone at Madwire or claiming to legally represent them, was not Work-for-hire.

Good Web Developers (I include myself in this category, thank you) working for individuals and small organizations understand that the client is best suited if they always have as many options as possible.  Those options necessarily include the ability to hire someone else at any time and/or do other things with the hosting they are paying for.

This means:

  • whenever possible, use non-proprietary code such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Concrete5 Etc (making easier to hire from a pool of other developers out there)
  • The Client should own their own Domain Registration
  • The Client should own their own Hosting Account.
  • All design work should be work-for-hire.  Ownership of the design needs to be the client’s
  • All build work should be work-for-hire.

My understanding is, according at least to one contract I know of with Madwire, their model is that you “rent” their design and development work, contingent on whether or not you continue to pay them way too much every month for hosting that you do not actually have the freedom to use.

And if you want out?  Well, as far as I know, they will then want to be paid off for the release of rights to what should have been work for hire in the first place.

So please, take these things into consideration before hiring Madwire or anyone else including ongoing hosting charges as part of the proposal.



3 Replies to “Before Hiring MADWIRE, Be Warned”


    Thanks for speaking out against Madwire. There is a reason they have so many positive reviews. Madwire Media uses a non-disparaging clause to force unhappy customers to remove negitive or bad reviews. They are hiding the truth.

    Here is the language from their contract.

    Non-Disparagement: The parties to this contract agree that neither shall make any disparaging comments or accusations detrimental to the reputation, business, or business relationships of the other except in connection with any legal proceedings. In the event the client publishes or otherwise disseminates any false, disparaging, defamatory or derogatory information about Madwire Media, its employees, its business, or its services, Madwire Media reserves the right to terminate this Agreement. Upon termination any outstanding balances will immediate come due. In addition, the parties hereby agree that any dispute arising out of any disparaging, defamatory or derogatory information published by client about Madwire Media, or any other provision of this contract, or any other dispute that may arise between the Parties, shall be settled by confidential binding arbitration in Denver, Colorado by a single attorney. Such arbitration shall be conducted pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Rules (CARs) of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The Parties agree that any published statements will be removed pending the outcome of the arbitration. Each party also agrees that the arbitrator shall have the authority and right to grant temporary and permanent injunctive relief and that the prevailing party shall be entitled to enter judgment in any court and that it shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.

    A legitamate business that wants to please customers does not use clauses like this to silence the unhappy customers.

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