The training category in this competition proved incredibly hard to judge – the field was full of quality sites delivering up comprehensive and in-depth content on a variety of training types. Eventually though a clear winner emerged and we had no choice but to honour with our award for best training website.

Who are they?

Phoenix Training and Development is a London based company which delivers sales training, management and leadership training and team development workshops.

They have a simple philosophy: that their courses should make people better at what they do. They attempt to achieve this with a three-pronged approach to training whcih incorporates pre- and post-course aspects as well as the delivery of the training itself.

Phoenix have been Approved Index suppliers since 2008.

Why did they win?

Design – While on another site the pastel shades colour scheme could seem a bit old-hat, Phoenix manage to pull it off with aplomb. This is probably down to the way they use colour to demarcate different sections of the site and of each page.  Clarity is king on this site. There’s very little scrolling as each course and section of information is given its own page. Rather than employing stock photography (the ever-increasing bar charts that seem to be a staple of sales training sites) they’ve used genuine photography – a nice touch that really pays off. More on that later…

Navigation – The four colour coded sections make knowing where you are and getting around the site simple and straightforward. The ever present navigational bar along the top makes sidebars full of internal links redundant and they’re wisely eschewed in favour of the presentation of vital information. The site is also fast – you’re never left waiting for pages to load.

Content – Phoenix’s site is chock-full of content for the training novice. There’s a good length write-up on the content of each course, the Phoenix approach to training, the training facilities, a course calender and copious feedback from satisfied customers. In addition there’s a regularly maintained blog with a host of contributors covering topics as diverse as tips for managers and making best man speeches at weddings.

Contact Options – If you want to get in touch with Phoenix you face very few obstacles. Even though the online chat feature was, er, offline when we visited there’s still a prominently displayed phone number on every page (along with email and physical addresses). The ‘Contact Us’ page is well marked up with both on-page and downloadable maps (a useful feaure for training attendees). The ubiquitous contact form isn’t neglected either.

Pizazz – So where’s the coup de grâce? The element that puts this website head and shoulders above the competition? The cherry on the cake? A cursory look at the site might leave you dumbfounded – there are no video libraries, infographics or flashy widgets (the budget calculator is good idea but poorly executed). It’s only when you look closer that you find where Phoenix really excels: in giving their company a human face.

phoenix2.jpgEvery member of the team and every trainer gets their own page on the site. From here you can read about them and email them directly. You also learn from their mugshots that the images on the rest of the site, including the home page, really are genuine photos of the team in action.

The site paints a picture of not only a company who look incredibly relaxed and happy to be working together but who are also really open about it and, most importantly for a training company, highly approachable.

Phoenix clearly understand their audience and have translated this knowledge into the delivery of their website. In an industry in which communication and human contact is central, they’ve managed to make their online presence as communicative and human as they can. Making the website the first step in building a personal relationship with clients is something all good business website designers aspire to – so hats off to Phoenix Training and Development for getting it spot on.

Training Honourable Mention: Process Management International

Birmingham and Dubai based Process Management International (PMI) have been delivering business process improvement training almost since the concept was invented. With their website they’ve made a great contribution to web based resoources on the subject.

pmi.jpgWhile it may not achieve what Phoenix’s site does in terms of creating a human story it goes above and beyond the call of duty when providing information for prospective training candidates or people who are generally interested in process improvement methodology.

Whether you’re looking to undertake a course of Six Sigma Training or looking to implement improvement programmes in your own company, the videos, case studies and course breakdowns are comprehensive and illuminating.

They also provide a wealth of contact options and provide explicit dates and prices for all their offerings.

Overall, PMI have delivered a highly functional and informative site that manages to escape from the dull-looking, text only sites that seem to dominate in their field. Nice job, PMI.


If you’re looking to keep up with the Jonses above by building your own great business to business website, why not compare website designers and quotes for free at Approved Index?