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Website Quality Alert

Missing character encoding definition


The character encoding of the web page could be determined automatically, but it is not defined.

Whenever we find no character encoding specification, we try to determine it automatically by analyzing the combination of character codes we find on the page. This is not always possible, and may not be 100% reliable.

We look for character encoding specifications at these locations

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


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

Although most modern browsers would also try to 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 devices 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.


Always specify the character encoding.

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