Creating a MySQL powered websites, applications or content management systems often involves dealing with unpleasant character encoding related issues that are hard (and so not fun) to diagnose. In the worst case the behavior may even vary between your development and production environment.
I’ve never been digging deep enough into character encoding (since it’s not fun), but I plan to reading this promising blog post recommended somewhere at stackoverflow: Getting out of MySQL Character Set Hell
Before I get around to doing it (it’s quite long and detailed), here is a quick list of rules to follow I’ve came up with after a lot of trial and error. I might update it after I read the article.