Why would anyone want to store the html entity version of (for example) in their database these days? If I understand things correctly, as long as my data is utf-8 encoded both in my data base and how I retrieve it, and I specify UTF-8 as the charset in my meta tag:

<meta charset="UTF-8" />
then the will be both correctly saved and then rendered back in the browser. It would seem to me, then, that the html entity will just take up extra space in my database.

Is there any downside to not encoding the characters?

Thank you,