The site was originally built back in 2008, and was based on the combination of Joomla 1.0 and Virtuemart 1.0. At the time of its original launch it was the world's largest Joomla / Virtuemart e-commerce website, and probably remains so today.
After 13 years of sterling service, not only had both the Joomla and Virtuemart versions gone well past 'end of life', but so had the PHP and database versions required to run it. So an upgrade was well overdue, no small undertaking with over 500K product data records to convert, and an equivalent number of images to be ported over.
After consideration of the alternatives, the latest versions of Joomla and Virtuemart were again selected. Work on the design, and development and testing of the migration processes was started in 2021. Product data was extracted from the old MySQL database using custom export queries created in LibreOffice Base connecting to MySQL to create fresh import files with the new data structure. These were then imported into the new site using the Joomla CSVI import component. Importing in 'bite size' chunks made data checking and any issues with imports easier to identify and correct.
Due to the size of the database, and the database search load, the site is hosted on a UK based dedicated server.