Pretty permalinks improve stats reporting

Last month I reconfigured this blog to use WordPress pretty permalinks. I didn’t rush to do this because I don’t mind the default, where the post is identified by a numeric url argument. The new permalinks do look nicer though, and some claim they help search engines, though I haven’t noticed any impact on traffic. The old links still work as well, so nothing got broken.

One advantage of the new arrangement is that awstats does a better job of reporting page views. I can now easily see which posts are the most read. I thought that might be the newer posts, but it is not. The two posts most read last month, by some margin, are both on why Outlook 2007 is slow. The next is one on trouble installing Adobe CS3. Clearly, these are very common frustrations; users hit Google and these posts have a high ranking for these particular subjects.

I value these stats. They tell me (as if I did not already know) that Microsoft has a significant problem with Outlook 2007 performance; and that Adobe needs to work on its installer for Creative Suite. Web 2.0 is great for product feedback.