<meta charset="utf-8" />
Please note this: The closing slash on that meta tag is XML, superfluous, and ignored in HTML5. In HTML4, it's an error because it's a XML closing tag. It serves no purpose at all unless you are serving the page as application/xml+xhtml and I doubt anyone here is.
Some may find this article illuminating: [tiffanybbrown.com...]
Also this one about omitting tags: [w3.org...]