I moved over a development site to the client's hosting server using the WP Clone plugin. It seemed to work just fine, until I noticed a bunch of odd question marks where things like em-dashes and apostrophes should be.

It appears to be a unicode issue, but the only difference I can tell between the two servers is that the client-side is using utf8mb4_unicode_c and my development server is using utf8_unicode_ci.

If I copy and paste a page from the development side to the client side, it displays fine – but I'd rather not have to do that for the entire site (50-plus pages plus a few dozen posts).

I tried exporting the database table from the development site and importing it on the client side, but that led to a bunch of warning messages and everything on the client home page linked back to the development site.

Any ideas on how I can fix this, short of a manual cut-and-paste job?



I wanted to add this as a comment because I want to be brief, but SE will not let me do it since I just signed up.

Anyway, I just faced the exact same issue you are facing. This blog post helped me:


As well as this thread:

Character encoding issue after changing servers

Good luck!

  • 1
    this is actually a valid answer but please edit it to have more substance then just links, for example a short summary of the core reason of why it happens. – Mark Kaplun Dec 16 '15 at 6:57

In my case, the issue was that my wp-config.php file didn't have the following line:

    /** 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', '');

I don't know if I didn't have those lines because my wp-config.php was old or if they had gotten accidentally deleted at some point. For some reason, it worked fine on my old site, fine when I migrated the database to the staging site, and I only had problems when I migrated back to the live site.

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