Trying to decide if I should convert to utf-8

When I designed my website 8 years ago I never thought that foreign people would register. Most of my users are from the US, Canada and Australia, however, there is a good number from other countries too. Some of their names, obviously, are not stored correctly in the DB because of the different characters that are used. I’ve done some research and switching to utf-8 is no small job. I’m wondering if it’s worth the time and expense to implement. Anyone care to comment on their migration experience?


Can’t tell you anything about migration to utf-8, but another (maybe simpler) solution you might consider (if the migration turns out to be too much work) is restricting the character set allowed for their name when registering. Obviously it’s not the perfect solution, but if your database doesn’t store characters like òçàù correctly, what’s the point in allowing them to be used at all?

My DB uses Latin1 for the character set. I just tried pasting [FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#464646]the special characters you used in your post and it worked. That’s odd. I thought the DB had to be configured to use utf-8 to support foreign characters. What am I missing here?


the obvious answer is, those characters aren’t “foreign”