Picto thématique

Rule n° 226 - The character encoding is UTF-8.

UTF-8 encoding is universal character par excellence. It will display a considerable amount of characters. By using it systematically, you will avoid many problems.

#Structure and code #Development


  • Use an international character set.
  • Prevent display faults.
  • Simplify content manipulation by users and developers.


Configure the server and databases to use UTF-8.

Choose tools (development software, frameworks, CMS, content production tools) compatible with UTF-8.


This verification is carried out in three stages. For each page checked:

  • Check the character set given by the HTTP content-type header sent by the server, using a dedicated tool.
  • Check, if necessary, for compliance of this meta element header http-equiv="Content-Type" in the HTML code of the pages.
  • Check that the content of the pages is encoded in UTF-8 (with no unexpected or erroneous characters), for example by submitting the page for HTML validation with the W3C validator (validator.w3.org).

The W3C Internationalization Checker tool (validator.w3.org/i18n-checker/) combines these three steps.

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