As Joomla 1.5 is now no longer supported the Eltham Model Railway Club was upgraded to Joomla 3 using a great template called Jomi.
The new template is fully responsive; that is it will still look great and be usable when viewed from mobile screen, tablet and desktop without any extra intervention.
There are new great looking formats for lists, images, videos and more!
Upgrading the Gallery
This proved to be the hardest job as our version of Joom Gallery was so out of date none of the upgrade scripts from the Joom Gallery website would work.
To begin I copied over the images to the new Joomla 3 site and installed the appropriate Joom Gallery version onto the website.
Rather than type each image's details in manually I studied the database structures of both old and new tables. Then it was a matter of writing and running some SQL to copy the data across. Some file name manipulation took place and it now all works fine now with most of the original data back in place. The photo titles and descriptions were fine but the voting data was omitted.
Future Joomla! Updates
From each major version, ie 1.x to 2.x to 3.x is either a manual upgrade (copying and pasting content manually) or by purchasing upgrade scripts and hope that they work properly. Compared to WordPress which has seamless upgrades this is very shoddy for Joomla and is perhaps the reason WordPress is much more popular now.
I hope that Joomla!, when they do future updates, that they are backward compatible; I've had enough of copy and paste.