I moved my wordpress installation from server to localhost on my pc using the instructions in the following link http://www.premiumwebbloghosting.com/2012/07/moving-wordpress-from-hosting-to-localhost.html. I used the second option.

After completing the process everything works fine on my pc. I can log to the admin panel using same users, i can access all pages on the website. There was only one problem which is the images are not showing.

The images i uploaded to the website were named in Arabic alphabet, therefore were encoded by wordpress and resulted in weird file names!!

I noticed that the file names are different than the one in the moved database. The original file name (after upload through wordpress) would be: ط¨ظٹط§ظ†ظ.
The file on my pc would be(not the actual file, the link on the database): جئون-ÙÙ.

What is the reason of this change? I exported the database using UTF8. Why the file names changed when i moved the database to my local development pc?

Another thing, Is there a way to prevent wordpress from encoding file names in Arabic, I would like my pictures in the uploads folder to have the same Arabic names, not weird letters!!

EDIT: I just noticed that the links in server and localhost are the same before decoding, but they translate differently. Example: server link: http://mywebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA.jpg localhost link: http:/localhost/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA.jpg but the link translate to different value than the picture's file name!

  • Maybe you should try the WordPress Export tool and see if that fixes it. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 19:57
  • will import overwrite old posts? or do i have to delete theme manually?
    – hfatahi
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:01
  • Not sure but i doubt that matters. Try both as you have backup and access to your old server and content. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:03
  • I tried. Nothing changes. Still the encoded name in the database different than the saved file name!!
    – hfatahi
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:14
  • I normally use the WP Migrate DB plugin to search, find and replace the links. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


The tip in Part 2 at the site you link that reads

Unzip the database you've downloaded and open it with text editor (Notepad++ or Dreamweaver) and use "Find and Replace" option to change "http://olddomain.com" with "http://newdomain.com" and then import it with phpmyadmin.

is absolutely wrong. Running a find/replace on a database dump with a text editor will break serialized data at least. And at most, it may may break character encodings if the text editor is not Unicode aware. Either might be your problem.

Use http://interconnectit.com/products/search-and-replace-for-wordpress-databases/ to correctly deserialize/reserialize data during a find/replace by running the script on the server. Read the docs for it. I've used it many times.

The other thing that may be going on is that your database encoding on your localhost may be different than the live server. Check both wp-config.php files for the setting define( 'DB_CHARSET', 'utf8' ); that should be the same.

See http://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php#Database_character_set

Edit: The docs above say:

There usually should be no reason to change the default value of DB_COLLATE. Leaving the value blank (null) will insure the collation is automatically assigned by MySQL when the database tables are created.

  • i didn't use the find/replace in notepad++. I used SQL queries insted. The encoding is utf8 both on production and development environments. Does DB_Collate has anything to do with it, it's blank in both!!
    – hfatahi
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:30
  • also i mentioned that the encoded url is the same on server and localhost but it does translate to a different file name on my pc
    – hfatahi
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:31
  • See edit above; a blank DB_Collate is fine. What is the local PC? Windows? OS X? Are you using a language localization other than English on the PC? Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:36
  • i'm using windows 8. English is the default. I have only Arabic set as the language of choice for non-unicode programs
    – hfatahi
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:48
  • What type of localhost setup? Windows that you installed yourself or WAMP? Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 14:26

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