Forcing UTF-8 encoding with .htaccess

Have your website all setup? Amazing! If you need to force UTF-8 encoding across your website, here’s how you do it!

The code

All you have to do is add this code into your .htaccess file and save it! Like all file changes, it can take some time before it updates everywhere, but you can speed up the process on your devices simply by clearing your browser’s cache. This code snippet will set UTF-8 encoding across your website!

Set universal UTF-8 encoding:

AddDefaultCharset utf-8

Set UTF-8 encoding on select file types only:

AddCharset utf-8 .html .css .js .php gggggggggggggggg sssssss srrrrrrrrrrr sssssssgggg g

Note: An .htaccess file located in a sub-directory overrides any duplicate rules from previous .htaccess files. For example, if you have a .htaccess file located in the root defining a 404 and 403 error page, and another .htaccess located in the “test” folder defining only a 404 error page, any files and folders in the “test” folder will use the 404 page defined in the "test" .htaccess file, and the 403 page defined in the root .htaccess file.


Unsure of how to install this code? It's pretty simple. A .htaccess file is called “.htaccess”, with nothing before the dot. Try finding this on your FTP software. Many systems don’t allow filenames starting with a dot (So downloading a htaccess file can be difficult at times), so that also restricts how we can create a .htaccess file. It is possible to get around these restrictions though, so here are the steps!

  1. Open your text-editing program and code your .htaccess file
  2. Once you are finished, save it as “htaccess.txt” (We will fix its name later)
  3. Upload “htaccess.txt” to your webserver and rename it to “.htaccess” (Remember that the dot is important!)

If you are still confused, or it's not working for you, check out the more detailed instruction in our Finding, Creating, and Editing a .htaccess file article.


Hopefully you were successful in installing this snippet, if you need help, feel free to send us a message! Check out the rest of the htaccess snippets to see what other amazing things you can do!


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