Chinese Characters in Wordpress

by Jon on December 3, 2009

Chinese characters do not work in Wordpress by default if you didn’t originally setup your Wordpress to handle Chinese.

However, it is pretty easy to get it working. I didn’t see it documented elsewhere, so I thought I’d post instructions on configuring Wordpress to allow posting Chinese.

  • Using a program (like phpMyAdmin) to administer your database, select the Wordpress database.
  • Find the wp_posts table, and click on the “structure” icon (it is the second from the left under Actions)
  • Click the “pencil” icon on the wp_content table.
  • Change the Collation option to utf8_unicode_ci (on mine, that’s the option at the very bottom).
  • Click Save.
  • If you want to enable Chinese in titles, you can repeat the procedure for the wp_posts.wp_title.  You might also want to enable it in comments by repeating on wp_comments.comment_content and wp_comments.comment_author.

That’s it! You can now post 汉字 in Wordpress!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil de FontenayNo Gravatar March 31, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the info on setting up for Chinese.

I have Thesis and I am using Wordpress in Taiwan (big5).
I had no trouble setting it up and it is working fine except…
When I try to input titles into widgets using big5 it won’t accept it and I just get the ??? kind of thing. Do you have any idea where I am missing a setting?



JonNo Gravatar April 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

I am not sure about widget titles. You might try to apply the utf8_unicode_ci collation on as many of the text/varchar fields in your database as you can–it’s possible you just need to affect a database field that is specific to widget titles. You could go through each table in the database one by one, and change the collation field over so that it uses unicode (rather than latin1_swedish_ci, which is the typical default).

HowardNo Gravatar April 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I too, was having problem with posting Chinese characters on my blog. After following your instructions to update the collations for the appropriate DB rows, it worked like a charm!!! Thanks JON!!!!

CharlieNo Gravatar April 10, 2010 at 5:03 am

I’ve been trying to figure this out, too. Whenever I add chinese to sidebar widgets, the widgets disappear. I changed almost all of the collation fields in the database to utf8_unicode but still no luck.

I posted this on, hopefully someone knows where that particular change needs to be made:

MarcusNo Gravatar April 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Once WordPress was updated, all the Chinese characters were changed to “?”…I can type Chinese now, but is there any way to restore the old posts?

MarcusNo Gravatar April 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Is there any way to restore chacters that have changed into “??” ?

Meng ChewNo Gravatar December 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

Thanks Jon! There are several instructions to display Chinese but I feel that your advice is the easiest to understand and execute!

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