To work with UTF-8 encoding on a Typo3 website and ensuring the database connection is also forced to use UTF-8 encoding, a common practice is to configure the parameter [SYS][setDBinit] to
SET NAMES = utf8.

Meanwhile, I faced two installations on servers of two differen hosting providers (1und1 and Pluspunkthosting) serving a wrong encoding even with this configuration.

To solve the problem I stopped using this classical shortcut configuration to force the database connection charset.

Stopped using SET NAMES db init configuration
Stopped using SET NAMES db init configuration

Instead, I used the none-shortcut conifguration for the database connection charset:

SET character_set_client = utf8
SET character_set_results = utf8
SET character_set_connection = utf8

Working db init configuration
Working db init configuration

The problem and configuration described above have been observed on Typo3 4.5.x installations.

If you face similar problems or have any questions about the solutions described, feel free to contact us.

Typo3 Encoding Problem even with SET NAMES = utf8

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