There are a number of things that you can do to improve performance.
Don't draw (or query) too many features, so set scale dependencies on your data where possible.
Don't draw things twice (if you can help it) so use the tile cache - it supports TIME dimensions, so if your historical data doesn't change those tiles don't need to either. Also the tiling ...
Namespace URIs in local and prod, along with layer names are the exact
Well, it turns out this was not entirely true.
I had to publish the layers in production again because I had changed the PostGIS views and a column was renamed (I found it out looking at the data page of one of the layers under the Feature Type Details).
Now everything works just ...