The Appearance of Strange characters is a common WordPress issue that manifests when you transfer your blog from one hosting to another. When you update to PHP 7.3 or generally upgrade your PHP version, your WordPress character encoding can change in the process leaving strange characters.
If you have ever updated your PHP version or transferred your WordPress site from one hosting to another, then you should be able to relate with the issue of the following non-English Characters Ã‚ Ã¢ ‚„¢ ¢?”.
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I first encountered this strange/character encoding issue when I transferred flashlearners.com from iPage VPS to HostGator Cloud Hosting. I also experienced the issue when I changed to PHP version 7.3
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It took me hours of research before I could get the real solution. However, I am about to give you the causes and solution to the issue of strange characters appearing in WordPress for free right now.
Causes Of Strange/Weird Characters In WordPress
1. WordPress didn’t specify that the character set when creating its storage tables (posts, etc.)”¦ so the tables were created with whatever the default character set was in the MySQL installation.
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2. WordPress is still expecting the content to be in UTF8, which is why you’ll occasionally see those funny characters on your blog”¦ Ã‚ Ã¢ ‚„¢ ¢.
In a layman’s view, getting funny characters means that WordPress couldn’t tell the correct language when the files transfer or upgrade process was going on. Therefore, your language was changed. You need to change WordPress character encoding from Latin1 to UTF8”
Solution To Character Encoding Issues
Check out how I solved the character encoding issue in my WordPress blog and how you can get rid of weird symbols appearing in all your blog posts.
Step 1) Open the ”˜wp-config.php‘ file under the file manager in your hosting Cpanel (the wp-config.php file can be found on the root directory where you installed WordPress).
Step 2) Find the following two lines on Bold and comment them out:
/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */ define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8'); /** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */ define('DB_COLLATE', '');
They should look like the following after you comment them out:
/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */ //define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8'); /** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */ //define('DB_COLLATE', '');
Step 3) Save changes (overwriting the old one) and check your posts and pages if the issue is fixed.
Step 4) Check thoroughly if the issue is fixed. If that doesn’t work, Remove define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8’); and replace it with define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘latin1’); and then optionally replace define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”); with define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ‘utf8mb4_unicode_ci’);
Using A Plugin
The above solutions should work for you. You can as well use the Better Search Replace plugin and replace the invalid characters with the these correct English or Valid Characters.
This character encoding problem can happen after a database upgrade too so it doesn’t hurt to keep this trick in your mind just in case.
Hope you found this helpful? Feel free to drop your comment and do not fail to share this piece with friends.
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