CakePHP Character Encoding Checklist

I was having some issues today with character encoding and I thought I’d post about it. There are three elements that you need to make sure you have if you want to properly use UTF-8 character encoding in your Cake app. My issue was that I did not have #2, although adding #1 didn’t hurt either.
1. Database Config
Add ‘encoding’ => ‘utf8′ to app/config/database.php

var $default = array(
'driver' => 'mysql',
'persistent' => false,
'host' => 'localhost',
'login' => 'user',
'password' => 'password',
'database' => 'database',
'encoding' => 'utf8'

2. Make sure your layout has the charset line in the

<?php echo $html->charset(); ?>
Other elements...

3. This one is set by default, but make sure App.encoding is set in app/config/core.php

* Application wide charset encoding
Configure::write('App.encoding', 'UTF-8');

And thats it!