• Joomla 4.2.5
  • PHP 8.0.26

I've just noticed there are strange characters appearing throughout my website text - such as ’s

Some of my pages are created with SP Page Builder, others with the default Joomla articles - they all contain the weird characters.

e.g. see the lines below;

St Columb's School now appears as St Columb’s School

each person's potential now appears as each person’s potential

If you're not happy now appears as If you’re not happy

It seems to be affecting apostrophies. But weirdly, not them all - some pages are fine. There doesn't seem to be any consistency.

I've never noticed this until now. A lot of the content has been copied/pasted from various sources, but I always pasted as plain text.

Any ideas why this might happen, and how I can fix it without having to manually update the text?

I've checked my database and the characters are also there. I created the database using HeidiSQL, the collation is utf8mb4_unicode_ci


1 Answer 1


So it seems this was my mistake!

I was having issues with various aspects of the site so I decided to do some experimenting.

The steps I took to reproduce this are (using HeidiSQL);

  1. took a dump of all the tables in my database
  2. dropped the database
  3. created a new database
  4. imported the dump from step 1
  5. special characters appeared

I think I was exporting or importing the dump as a different character encoding, possibly? I can't remember any of the export or import options I chose, but I'm guessing that was the cause.

I was able to restore the site using Akeeba without any issue, which I should have done from the beginning.

Take backups, use Akeeba, much easier.

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