Please, Use UTF-8 Encoding

As internet communities grow, the lines between different languages are blurred. No longer are communities geared towards any particular language, but communities are likely to be consisting of many different languages.

Where am I going with this? Well, I have been noticing that some of the Web 2.0 sites are not yet using UTF-8 encoding. As a result, it is difficult for people in double-byte countries to use such services. An example is BlogCatalog. If you look at the source code of that site, you’ll see that the site is using character set iso-8859-1, which is for single-byte languages only. Being a blog listing service, this essentially means that they have precluded blogs from countries using double-byte languages from being listed, and it will be very difficult for them to attract visitors from countries using double-byte languages.

If you are an enterpreneur planning on launch the next great Web 2.0 site, do yourself and everyone else a favor: encode your site in UTF-8 (that’s the unicode standard most often seen). Better yet, make sure the functionalities you offer work in other languages. This way, everyone in the world can use your great site.