I have had my self located Wordpress blog for any very long time. I simply recognized that my DB isn't UTF8 and certain plug ins will not work properly.

My real question is this. So how exactly does a really novice mysql'er start transforming my database? Understandably, I am very reluctant to get this done by myself when i have five years price of posts I'd rather not raise.

Can anybody point me within the right direction, as well as step me with the process for transforming everything to UTF8?

After copying your database as Konerak stated, run this for each table:

ALTER TABLE tablename CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8;

(you might want to seek advice from SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM tablename whether all (text)posts are actually indeed corrrect)

And immediately after you connect with MySQL, run the query:

SET NAMES utf8;

Now, to inform your audience you're using utf8: you can craft a custom header in each and every page or perhaps in an always incorporated file, I however think it is simpler to place this within an .htaccess for Apache within the root:

php_value default_charset "UTF-8"

For those who have non-ASCII content in flat files rather than only within the database, you will need to convert them as well. Your preferred editor could have a batch convert tool, or use iconv.