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not sure what this wc3 error means.

Posted on 2014-08-05
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Last Modified: 2014-08-06
I get this error when I check client's site (http://patheonconsulting.com/)  at w3c. (http://validator.w3.org/).  I am not sure what it means since I cannot find any referencd to iso-8859-1 in html.

The character encoding specified in the HTTP header (iso-8859-1) is different from the value in the <meta> element (utf-8). I will use the value from the HTTP header (iso-8859-1) for this validation.
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Question by:nsitedesigns
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40242427
In the HTTP response header, your web server is returning...
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

Open in new window

This is specified in the Apache set up.  You should contact your web hosting company and point out that it is interfering with your web pages.
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40242445
but  the weird thing is that the site runs fine.  what is the interferece?
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40242450
The host will need hand-holding to fix this.  What do I tell them to change the server to?  Is it a setting in Apache?
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40242454
could I change the value in the html doc to match what apache server is saying?
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Accepted Solution

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Dave Baldwin earned 1000 total points
ID: 40242538
You could change the HTML (on all pages) to match what the server is sending out.  However, the server simply shouldn't be doing that.  I've seen it before and it typically causes those ? in a black diamond characters when there is a character code mismatch.

The host should find the line where it says "Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" and delete it.  Let the pages set their own character sets.  It may be in the main apache2.conf or it may be in the 'virtual' 'conf' file for that site.

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_mime.html

This is the host:

Excel.Net, Inc.
OrgId:          EXCL
Address:        2103 Indiana Avenue
City:           Sheboygan
StateProv:      WI
PostalCode:     53081
Country:        US
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LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Gary
Gary earned 1000 total points
ID: 40242738
They are on Apache so you should be able to change it in the htaccess (I'm not 100% sure on this or the host may not allow it) so just add to the htaccess

AddCharset UTF-8

ISO-8859-1 is the default that Apache uses (weird)
If the above doesn't work then they will need access to the httpd.conf file
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Author Closing Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40243421
Thanks fellas!
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40243749
This is what host said when asked to delete "Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"

This is not something we are willing to change on a global basis as that is how our encoding has been specified for many years.  I do recognize UTF-8 is now considered the new "default" for HTML 5 moving forward and if that is how you have coded your site you can easily make the changes to support this.  On a site level you can create a .htaccess file and specify directives like this to override the server based defaults for your domains.  This is how you should handle the requested change, so that only their site is affected by the change.  This is pretty standard Apache functionality and you should be able to use this on other sites hosted on servers using that software as well.

So now my questions is, how do I create a .htaccess file? And what should go on that file?
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40243760
I already told you above
An .htaccess file is just a text file that has no name just the extension .htaccess and you put it in the root folder
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40243795
I didn't know it was just a text file.  I will try this.
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40243809
I created fix.htaccess file and put AddCharset UTF-8 as the only text on the file and I uploaded it.  Still get the same warning.  Actually, here are all the warnings I get:

 Character Encoding mismatch!

The character encoding specified in the HTTP header (iso-8859-1) is different from the value in the <meta> element (utf-8). I will use the value from the HTTP header (iso-8859-1) for this validation.

Validation Output: 1 Error

 Using windows-1252 instead of the declared encoding iso-8859-1. ✉
 Legacy encoding windows-1252 used. Documents should use UTF-8. ✉
 Line 4, Column 22: Internal encoding declaration utf-8 disagrees with the actual encoding of the document (windows-1252).
<meta charset="UTF-8">
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40244007
'fix.htaccess' must be named simply '.htaccess'.
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40244025
When I rename file to .htaccess the site goes down.  I get this error:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@patheonconsulting.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache/2.2.9 (Fedora) Server at patheonconsulting.com Port 80
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40244049
Are you sure there is nothing else in the file?
Try it with

AddDefaultCharset UTF-8
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40244053
Was there another '.htaccess' file there before you changed the name?  On Linux, that would cause the 'new' file to overwrite the old one.
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40244071
I used "AddDefaultCharset UTF-8" and that worked!

p.s. There was no other .htaccess file on server beforehand.
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40244086
Good, I'll make a note.  And the web hosts are still punks.  With all of the available characters sets out there, they should never have set up the server that way.
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Author Comment

by:nsitedesigns
ID: 40244100
I didn't care for his response when he indicated that this was the way they have always done it and that they weren't going to change for me.  The change doesn't benefit "me" it is for their clients!  All things change in time.  They should be more flexible.
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