Sometimes when you use SimplePie to load and output an RSS feed, some characters, like quote marks and apostrphes, are replaced with some gibberish like €‡™. You may wonder what’s wrong, and search to find a way to prevent the unsightly garbage from appearing.
You have an encoding issue.
RSS feeds are encoded as UTF-8, as are many web pages. If you try to put SimplePie output on a page that isn’t UTF-8, you’ll get the weird characters.
“But…my page is UTF-8! I have a
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> tag in my header!”
Actually, there’s more to it than that. In addition to specifying the
charset in your header, you server also has to send the data in UTF-8. If you use Firefox, choose Tools -> Page Info from the menu. In the resulting dialog box, note the two references to the encoding and charset.
Note that on Webmaster-Source, as you can see in the screenshot above, the page’s meta tag is specifying UTF-8 and the server encoding is set to UTF-8 as well. Thus, I shouldn’t have any problems with SimplePie output. If you have one set to one character type, and the other set to another encoding, you probably will have problems.
With a PHP script, you can set the encoding with a
header() statement at the top, before anything is outputted. (WordPress already does this, in case you were wondering.)
header("Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8");
If you have URF-8 specified in both places, then you’re problems should be gone.