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Website Quality Alert

Contradictory character encoding specifications

Problem:

The character encoding of a web page can be declared at several locations. If more than one specification is found and they are different, at least one of them must be wrong.

We look for character encoding specifications at these locations

  • HTTP Content-Type header
    Example:
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    
  • XML header
    Example:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
    
  • HTML Content-Type meta tag
    Example:
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=GB2312">
    

Impact:

Browsers may have difficulties showing the text of the page correctly.

Although most modern browsers would also try automatically detect the correct encoding, they may not always succeed. Also, one should keep in mind that the web is more and more surfed using devises such as mobile phones, game consoles or TV sets, which may have less capable and error tolerant browsers.

Additionally, search engines may not recognize the text of your pages correctly, so that people interested in your site's topics may not find it.

Recommendation:

Remove the incorrect encoding specification.

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