Top 10 Best Practice Tips

Whether you’re just setting up your PagerDuty account for the first time, or we’ve been waking you up at 3 AM for years (sorry!), we recommend reviewing these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of PagerDuty:

  1. :pager: Use multiple notification rules…

  2. :arrow_heading_up: …and multiple escalation rules

  3. :no_entry_sign: Avoid email-to-SMS gateways

  4. :hammer_and_wrench: Get to know our APIs

  5. :open_book: Explore our Knowledge Base

  6. :gear: Use integrations & extensions to extend our functionality

  7. :bird: Stay updated via our social media channels

  8. :earth_asia: Know your limits

  9. :chart_with_upwards_trend: Choose your monitoring solution carefully

  10. :speech_balloon: Reach out for help & tell us what you think!

Use multiple notification rules…

Ensure that each user has multiple notification rules, including phone calls. Users with multiple notification methods and rules in place are more likely to respond promptly and reliably.

:star: Tip: It’s a good idea to stagger your notifications (i.e. push or SMS notification first, an initial phone call after a few minutes, then a follow-up phone call a few minutes after that) so you don’t get overwhelmed with multiple notifications all coming in at once, or end up missing them.

:point_right: Heads up: There’s a limit of 20 high-urgency and 10 low-urgency notification rules per person.

…and multiple escalation rules

Avoid setting up escalation policies with only one level. You’ll want to implement multiple levels with different people so that if the first person doesn’t respond to or resolve an issue, you’ll have a fail-safe in place to tackle the problem.

Avoid email-to-SMS gateways

These may appear attractive to users abroad, but they are less reliable than direct SMS messages and provide an additional point of failure. Based on customer reports, we recommend against using these.

Get to know our APIs

PagerDuty’s APIs are invaluable for requests that extend beyond our current feature set.


Our REST API covers most of the functionality of our web interface with additional benefits. For instance, it can be used to create schedules of arbitrary length and overrides which are too difficult to repeatedly create manually. The REST API can be particularly useful for automated creation (of schedules, users, etc.) and custom reports.

Events APIs & Custom Event Transforms (CET)

The Events APIs and CETs can be used to trigger alerts and incidents from automated services (i.e. monitoring systems).

:desktop_computer: Want to create incidents from human-triggered actions? Use the REST API’s incident creation method.

:star: Tip: If you aren’t sure which APIs to use, or the proper methods to interface with our APIs, there are a number of open source tools you can use as a reference.

Explore our Knowledge Base

You’ll find explanations of our terms, sample schedules, and example implementations, such has how to communicate effectively with stakeholders.

A surprisingly large number of support requests are resolved through links to our Community Forums and Knowledge Base.

Use integrations & extensions to extend our functionality

We partner with many companies to make solutions that benefit everyone, and often work with them behind the scenes to integrate our services into theirs.

For instance, using Zapier, you can script any number of combined actions, using a ready-made solution. For more information about a available integrations, visit our Integrations and Extensions page.

Stay updated via our social media channels

For updates on our service and reports on our uptime, please check our blog, status page, and our Twitter accounts.

Know your limits

For international users and travelers using your mobile phone for SMS or phone calls, please be aware of the limits of your plan. This means 25 international notifications per user, per month for our Starter and Platform Team plans. Platform Business and Enterprise plans receive an unlimited number of international notifications per user, per month. For your account, the total number of available international notifications without an extra charge will be pooled across all your users. Over this total, you’ll be charged an overage of $0.35 per notification. If you’re interested in increasing the international notifications included with your plan, contact our sales team.

For international users in particular, please ensure that you do not belong to a Do Not Call list, as some are very stringent and essentially prevent us from reaching you and your team members when you need them most.

Choose your monitoring solution carefully

This may save you a number of alerting-related headaches down the line. Think carefully about your needs when choosing an implementation.

We support Nagios, New Relic, Pingdom, Zenoss and many others. Some monitoring tools, such as Nagios, will also automatically resolve incidents for you once an issue has been remediated.

Reach out for help & tell us what you think!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the PagerDuty Community or our support team with individual questions. Our support team has extensive experience with multiple implementations of monitoring services and may be able to help you with your needs.

:star: Tip: When contacting support, include as many specific details as possible when creating your request, as this will enable us to move directly into troubleshooting.

We also appreciate your feedback and, in particular, feature requests; these help us to roadmap and improve our service. We often find our beta testers through these requests, for instance, if you’d like an early sneak peek into upcoming features. You can also find previews in the Early Access section of our forums.