What is the easiest way to customize a Wordpress theme?
If I don’t want to use an “off-the-shelf” theme with Wordpress, what’s the easiest way to effectively customize a theme? I’m not sure I’m ready to build one from scratch - what’s a good way to get started with custom Wordpress themes?
I agree with Jimlynch because the internet is stuffed with seamless wordpress themes those you can download freely. For instance see http://nullit.net/category/wordpress_themes/. Thus, you can definitely find a suitable theme that fulfill your desire completely and hence avoid the headache of customization. However, if you are still looking for the process of customizing theme you should have look at themeshaper.com/2009/04/30/modular-css-wordpress-child-themes/ that is a very effective guide explaining entire process efficiently.
You can try just using a parent theme, and then go into the CSS and theme files to customize it. But really, the easiest thing to do is find a good theme and use it. Otherwise you are probably just making more work for yourself.