I've imported WordPress post data onto a new site and noticed I have strange characters showing on pages and Blog posts.

It usually shows where apostrophes should be.

I've searched multiple solutions to UTF8 & latin1 solutions with success. I've looked at my database and the characters are showing there too.

strange characters in post

strange characters in database

  • 4
    It looks like encoding was messed up during import. Jul 31, 2018 at 11:41
  • You said: "I've searched multiple solutions to UTF8 & latin1 solutions with success", don't you mean: "... without success"?
    – Fayaz
    Aug 1, 2018 at 15:07
  • 3
    Do a database dump with mysqldump, and then search & replace the strange characters within the DB dump file, then reimport that database. I've solved a similar problem using the same method. This will only work if the error is from a single consistent encoding corruption.
    – Fayaz
    Aug 1, 2018 at 15:10
  • 1
    Best guess that's a soft hyphen, character code AD which would UTF-8 encode to C2 AD where C2 = A-with-circumflex, and you've somehow stripped the circumflex too?, and AD = soft hyphen again, which may well not be printable and so the missing character symbol you've got there. So this might be UTF-8 and diacritics stripped, meaning you're unlikely to be able to automatically recover this: a manual search-replace is probably going to be best.
    – Rup
    Aug 1, 2018 at 23:06
  • 1
    And FWIW I think your example "founded in" would be wrong with a hyphen.
    – Rup
    Aug 1, 2018 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


What is your database encoding? Try to switch to utf8mb4.

Alternatively, try to add one of these lines in your wp-config.php file:

define('DB_CHARSET', 'latin1');
define('DB_COLLATE', '');


define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');
define('DB_COLLATE', '');


define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8mb4');
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

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