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Is it possible to set certain settings from the theme functions file for example the setting Enable threaded (nested) comments ca I set it to allow 2 as the answer without having the user go into the admin panel and setting it for there wordpress comment settings?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I am satisfied with Nikolay Yordanov's answer. Just generalizing the solution.

Yes, we can update WordPress options programmatically. WordPress saves options in wp_options table. wp_options holds two rows option_name and option_value to store key and value respectively. We need right option_name and a way to save value in wp_options table.

As we know, we can update threaded comments option by going to wp-admin/options-discussion.php. By opening the page options-discussion.php in a code editor, you can easily found the required option_name to update.

WordPress Options-Discussion

Now, if one can get an option, also one can update it. What you need is WordPress function update_option.

Final PHP Snippet

function update_thread_comments_depth($depth){
    //Validation check
    if(is_int($depth) && 0 < $depth){

        update_option('thread_comments_depth', $width);

        return true; //success

    return false; //failure

Hope, it will help to update other options as well, just open right file in code editor and find the required option name.

Ref: http://www.thebinary.in/blog/change-wordpress-options-programmatically/

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Well, you can do something like this which will always reset the option to 2:

add_action('init', 'update_comment_depth');
function update_comment_depth() {
  update_option('thread_comments_depth', 2);
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