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Solving UTF 8 issues with international characters on PHP7

An Internet seach for "problems with UTF 8 and international characters", generates 10th of thousand hits. This is where I was when trying to solve the problem of the infamous replacement code chracter . I reached out to technical support from my web host, whitout success. I was told over and over again that I needed to update my scripts to new standards, and that was the extent of their support. I chatted, called, checked useless knowledge docs, and nothing. My host, 1and1, came out though with what we can call a "business" solution: they would maintain the old php5 version... for an additional monthly fee. After, thousands of trial an error attempts, I was able to make it work. No matter how much I defined that the character set I was going to be working with was UTF 8 in my scripts, the browsers (all of them!) just didn't want to comply. I will not explain more here. I wrote a 2-page paper that ruled my many conversions to this new standard. These steps worked for me. If they do the trick for you also, happy to share.

Here is the document. No charge! :)